Spurs vs. Sheffield United Odds
|Sheffield United Odds||+1000|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-148 / +118)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 2:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Saturday afternoon via DraftKings|
Two teams going nowhere fast meet on Sunday afternoon to close a weekend of Premier League action. Tottenham Hotspur will again be missing from the Champions League next season, while it might be a long time until EPL fans hear the words “Sheffield United” again.
Neither team is in great form on either end of the pitch and want to win for differing reasons. The Blades are hoping for anything positive, which a win over Tottenham would be, while Spurs can still quality for the Europa League.
Let’s break down where the betting value lies.
Tottenham come into this game in anything but convincing form. They’ve won once in their last four Premier League outings, and they also fell in the Carabao Cup final to Manchester City last weekend.
In those four Premier League games, Spurs have allowed 3.30 expected goals to Newcastle, 2.10 to Manchester United and 2.26 to Everton. Their last game was the lone win, a 2-1 win over Southampton that saw the xG numbers finish 1.29-1.06 in Tottenham’s favor.
The Southampton game was the only outing without Jose Mourinho in charge. Ryan Mason, all of 29 years old, is in charge for the rest of the season, and he faces a relatively light schedule down the stretch until a trip to Leicester City on the final day.
The Carabao Cup final doesn’t do us much good because of the quality of Spurs’ opposition. They managed just two shots and 38% of possession. It’s fair to assume both of those numbers will be greater against bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United.
Tottenham’s lack of depth in attack has been staggering this season, with Harry Kane and Heung-min Son combining for 36 of their 56 league goals. Spurs have a goal difference of +18, but their underlying numbers indicate that’s a bit fortunate. Understat has their non-penalty expected goal differential at +4.81.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Sheffield United’s historically bad season truly came out of nowhere. They were extremely close to playing in the Europa League this season after a great return campaign to the Premier League. Now, they’ll be plotting a return to the top flight starting next season.
Having lost 26 of their 33 league games this season, the Blades have scored just 18 times. Their 29.36 xG total indicates that’s due to poor finishing, although it’s not like they’d be anywhere closer to safety if that was their actual goal tally.
Going forward, Sheffield United are truly hopeless. They haven’t registered more than 1.00 xG in a game since Feb. 2 against West Brom. They’ve reached that number just twice in 2021.
The Blades’ plan hasn’t worked, but there’s simply not enough talent to do much else. Their organization and strong shape were their best attributes last season instead of impressive playmaking or defending.
A few Sheffield United players could be sold back up to Premier League sides or other top flights around Europe. It wouldn’t shock me if a team similar to this season’s group was fighting for promotion next season.
Betting Analysis & Pick
After reading about both teams’ form, you’d be correct in saying this game sucks. But we’re not here to be pleased aesthetically. We’re here to bet, dammit.
Kane was absolutely dreadful last weekend against Manchester City, failing to create anything going forward and rendering Tottenham absolutely hopeless. Granted, that was against the best defense in club soccer right now. He has a great chance to bounce back in this one.
Assuming Kane starts, which is likely since he’s not just going to be shut down for the season with Tottenham still fighting for a Europa League place, +230 for him to be the game’s first goal scorer is good value. It’s tough to keep Kane down for long, and this is an ideal bounce-back spot for him.
Tottenham’s moneyline is simply too high, and I can’t advise anyone to back Sheffield United to get a result in good faith. Kane is one of the best finishers in Europe, and I expect an active game from him on Sunday. He has 21 goals in 30 Premier League games and seems likely to add to that tally in this one.
Pick: Harry Kane first goal scorer +230