Watford vs. Reading Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+115 / -155)|
|Day | Time||Friday | 2:45 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds as of Thursday afternoon via BetMGM|
Thanks to a stellar run of recent form, it looks like Watford is only going to be out of Premier League fans’ lives for one season.
The second-place Hornets have been fantastic over the last two months, and look to stay hot in Friday’s Championship match against Reading. The Royals sit sixth in the table, poised for a tense final six matches as they’re just a point clear of seventh-place Bournemouth for the final playoff position.
Let’s see where the betting value lies in this contest.
Since a 0-0 draw with Coventry City on Feb. 6 that brought Watford’s winless run to three games, the club is 10-1-1 in its last 12 games. A 1-1 tie with Middlesbrough on Monday ended a streak of six consecutive wins.
This stretch of form combined with the collapse of Brentford, which has just three wins in its last 10 games, has Watford sitting pretty in the promotion race. In the battle for second place, the club is 10 points ahead of Brentford, which has two games in hand.
Watford has only conceded seven goals in its recent 12-match run of form, including three in its last seven games
Even though there haven’t been any fans in the stands at Vicarage Road this season, Watford has made its home ground a fortress, going 16-2-2 overall entering this fixture. It won’t be a long trip for Reading, but that record is too impressive to ignore.
Last season in the Premier League, Ismaila Sarr showed why he was the club’s record signing and has continued to impress against lesser opposition this season. Sarr leads the club with 10 goals and his four assists are tied with midfielder Philip Zinckernagel for the team lead.
Up top, club captain Troy Deeney hasn’t played since that Feb. 6 draw against Coventry that preceded Watford’s stellar run of form. It has been 19-year-old Joao Pedro leading the attack during that span. He only has three goals since Deeney’s injury, but combines very well with Sarr and wreaks havoc on Championship defenses with his skill.
Reading has been incredibly hot and cold throughout the season. After winning seven of its first eight games, it lost four in a row. The Royals won just one of their first six games in February, only to win their next three contests.
Recently, Reading drew three out of four before taking down lowly Derby County on Monday. Bournemouth, which has a game in hand, is the Royals’ only real competition for the spot. Cardiff City sits eights points back in eighth place with just six matches to play.
This is the start of a very difficult final six matches for Reading. Its next match is against Cardiff City on April 16, and fixtures against fourth-place Swansea City and top-of-the-league Norwich City remain.
Reading’s plus-13 goal difference is solid, and 18 of its 56 goals on the season have come from striker Lucas Joao. Yakou Meite has nine goals in 19 appearances from the right wing this season as well, including three in the Royals’ last five games.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Watford’s winning run might have ended at Middlesbrough on Monday, but its home form is simply too impressive not to back, especially at a reasonable price like -130 odds. Reading has been poor since the start of February, and I’m not going to let Monday’s result fool me.
Back the Hornets to further cement their hold on second place in the Championship at Vicarage Road. A 16-2-2 mark at -120 odds on a scintillating run of form is simply too good to pass up.
Pick: Watford ML (-120)