Loading scores...
Odds and Ends

PL Best Bets: Tough times without Grealish

by Brad Thomas
Updated On: March 18, 2021, 2:46 pm ET

Manchester City continued to show their dominance during their 2-0 defeat of Borussia Monchengladbach. This weekend’s slate is small with many clubs heading to international break.

Each week I'll break down the Premier League action from a betting perspective, digging through information pertinent to bettors and offering my take on particular matchups. Due to the small slate, we will focus our attention on one Premier League matchup this weekend (all odds via PointsBet Sportsbook):

Aston Villa vs Tottenham Hotspur (Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET)

Three-way Moneyline: Aston Villa (+205) | Draw (+240) | Tottenham (+130)

Aston Villa come into this weekend’s fixture with a slight dip in form. The Villains have won just one game in their last five fixtures. It’s evident that there is a dip in quality without Jack Grealish on the pitch, and unfortunately for Villa, Grealish will be sidelined with a shin injury. Another major blow to Villa is the absence of Bertrand Traoré. Traore was one of the main aggressors during Grealish’s absence.

When Grealish isn’t on the pitch this already low scoring offense lacks a point man and an offensive identity. There were hopes that Barkley would provide a spark once he had returned from injury, but Dean Smith has excluded him from his starting XI in their last four fixtures. This leaves a tall task for Ollie Watkins to provide the necessary spark to compete on the offensive side of the ball this fixture.

Aston Villa is not alone in with their injury problems. During Tottenham’s 2-1 loss in the North London derby, Heung-Min Son went down with a hamstring injury. He was later replaced by Erik Lamela who picked up a red and will be absent for this contest.

Despite Son going down and Lamela on a red card suspension, Tottenham is still the stronger side. Grealish’s impact on the outcome is much larger than that of Sons.

Prior to the loss in the North London derby, Tottenham had been in fine form. Although one could cite lack of quality competition, they had won five straight across all competitions. Jose had seemed to turn things around and make good on his promise.

The matchup between Arsenal and Tottenham was very one sided, it seemed that Arsenal was playing for more fluidity and more passion. Jose’s squad should be able to correct that as they head into this weekend’s fixture.

Strangely enough, Aston Villa have performed better away than at home and Tottenham’s goal differential is much better on the road. With that being said, it’s hard for me to ignore Villa’s production without Grealish and Tottenham’s performance on the road, so I will be taking Tottenham to win (+130).

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

Brad Thomas

Brad is a sports handicapper who is lucky enough to write about his true love; sports. "We may all root for different teams, but our objective remains the same… Beat the books! Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint." Follow Brad on Twitter @MrBradThomas.