Lobos make the trip from Puebla to Guadalajara to take on Chivas on Saturday. Can Guadalajara make a last-ditch playoff push with a much-needed win at home? Are Lobos going to continue to upset opponents? How is the market pricing the glaring weaknesses of both sides?
Chivas are glad to see the calendar switch from March to April. The team from Guadalajara went winless against Pumas, America, Queretaro and Monterrey and scored just one goal in the four matches.
Guadalajara fell out of the top eight in March and now find themselves on the outside looking in with five matches to play, Chivas must make up four points to catch up to Puebla and Cruz Azul for the final playoff spot.
Lobos did not fare much better in March, but they were able to salvage a victory over Pumas and a draw against Monarcas in order to stay in reach of making the top eight.
Current projections give Guadalajara about a 20% chance to make the final eight with a win while a loss for Lobos this weekend will drop their playoff probability below 5%.
Weakness vs Weakness
This match is a battle of contradicting weaknesses. Not counting Queretaro and relegated Veracruz at the bottom of the table, no team remaining in contention has scored less goals than Guadalajara (12).
On paper, this is a perfect matchup for Chivas as no team left in contention has conceded more goals than Lobos (23).
Home teams are drawing a significant amount of attention in the betting market each week due to the historically high 52% home win rate this season. But in addition to a favourable matchup the reason for market interest in Guadalajara this week could be due to a contrast in expectancy.
Both teams sit at the same level in the league table but are placed in completely different price brackets. Guadalajara opened at odds of 1.80 on Pinnacle.
They have since been bet down to 1.75 implying a win probability of 57%. The move down in odds is the first for Guadalajara in four matches.
This may seem a bit high at first glance, but when looking at the performance table, some gaps appear. In comparing expected goal differential vs. actual goal differential, Guadalajara is playing 2.5 goals below expectation while Lobos are playing more than 3 goals above expectation.
Based on expectation level alone, the sudden change in market interest for Chivas seems to be warranted.
Guadalajara Chivas vs Lobos BUAP: Where is the value?
Chivas manager Jose Cardozo was forced to deal with a fatigued Alexis Vega, Issac Brizuela and Raul Gudino last week after the trio travelled with the national team. With his star attacker, midfielder and keeper in place on full rest this week, the backbone of his team will be playing at full pace.
In the first six weeks of the season Leo Ramos accounted for 33% of all shot attempts for Lobos. In the six weeks since, opponents have figured out the formula – stop Ramos, stop Lobos. His impact has decreased to less than 20%.
It is not a surprise that the last four defeats for Lobos came against elite defences with strong centrebacks duos, Pubela, Leon, America and Monterrey. Chivas have plenty of depth on the backline captained by Jair Pereira to frustrate the Argentinian attacker.
Offensively there is a depth advantage for Chivas too. The visitors do not have a defender which grades out in the top 35 of the league.
Young superstar Alexis Vega will be the point of focus for Guadalajara, but the quality of attack will come from the creativity of Alan Pulido and Isaac Brizuela in the build-up.
Despite not scoring, Chivas rank among the top in the league from shot proximity averaging more than seven shots from within 18 yards per match.
With the full club now two weeks removed from international duty and the worst defence in the league visiting, the match this Saturday is a prime positive regression spot for Guadalajara. The market has responded, but bettors can still find value with the home side at 1.75*.