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Tottenham vs Chelsea: Betting Preview and Moneyline Pick

Chelsea() @ Tottenham()

  • Where: Wembley Stadium . London, UK
  • When: November 24, 2018 12:00 am EST

The Premier League’s schedule often suffers from the defects of its virtues.

This Saturday’s flurry of important kickoffs at 10 AM New York time present a fun scenario for live-bettors and state-side EPL junkies, but it’s not exactly a bettor’s advantage. The twists and turns of an early-match parlay or a bunch of wagers on separate outcomes could lead to a cash loss.

Best to focus on a stand-alone match in a wide-awake hour. Chelsea’s visit to Wembley Stadium occurs at 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time and is a pick’em spread…in addition to a tight 3-way moneyline market.

The draw market at Bet Online (+220) is fairly standard. Chelsea is the moneyline favorite at (+159), not the tiniest number for a squad that has won 8 of 12 matches while not losing any of them. Tottenham sits at (+168).

One must put significance on Spurs’ 0-1 loss to Manchester City on October 29th, a match in which Hugo Lloris gave up a goal just 6 minutes in, and Tottenham spent the next 84+ minutes trying in vain to get accurate shots on target despite controlling the ball 48% of the time and passing pretty well. The squad seemed confounded by a simple 4-4-3 formation buoyed by opposing backliners like John Stones and Benjamin Mendy.

But the reason the result stands out is actually good news for Spurs. Tottenham has not lost or drawn a match in November, beating Wolverhampton in a terrific 3-2 finish on 11/3 and following-up with a Champions’ League win over PSV Eindhoven in which striker Harry Kane scored the tying and winning tallies following another early slip-up by the backline.

Travis Tyler of Fansided argues that Tottenham really isn’t very good despite winning 9 matches out of 12 in the Premier League in 2018. The blogger casts Spurs as a 1-dimensional team: “Not even Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool press as ferociously as Spurs do. They will look to force the opponent wide (which Chelsea will look to play towards anyways) and then press in high numbers.”

To me, that sounds like journalistic hubris, comparable to bitter American analysts saying Mexico was the worst team in the World Cup right before El Tri went out and beat Germany to begin the tournament in Russia. Harry Kane is a great striker, Lloris is outstanding in goal, Toby Alderweireld is world-class on the backline, and the pressing style gives the club an identity. There may prove to be a few cracks over time, but especially for gambling purposes, it could be very bad to underestimate Spurs.

If Chelsea wins on Saturday, it will be because the Blues play extremely well and attack without giving up quality counters. Not because jaded bloggers like to say teams are “not very good” after they’ve won 3 times as many matches as they’ve lost.

Chelsea’s attack has looked inconsistent in recent matches against excellent opponents, namely Liverpool and Everton. While Kepa’s presence in goal has kept the Blues from losing any EPL matches in a dozen, the Sky Blues of Manchester City are playing so well that they’re threatening to run away with the Premier League table at some point. That’s putting pressure on rivals.

The heat was apparent in Chelsea’s 0-0 draw with Everton on November 11th. Despite possessing the football for 69% of the match, the hosts only managed 4 on-target shots against Jordan Pickford. None of those shots were devilish enough to seal the deal at Stamford Bridge.

Swift attackers like N’Golo Kanté and Eden Hazard are enough to keep any backline occupied, and Jorginho’s status as a maestro in midfield is unquestioned. But the tallies aren’t exactly piling up.

Premier League pundits will focus on the match-up of Spurs’ 3-lines-and-a-striker setup vs Chelsea’s flexible 4-3-3. But as usual, I’m calling on macro-analysis and common sense to determine the best bet.

Kane is scoring so many crucial goals against elite teams that you’ve got to imagine Chelsea needs at least 2 tallies to prevail on the moneyline. Lloris has looked more vulnerable than Kepa, but can we peg the Blues as a % pick to produce a terrific 90+ minute attacking day on the road against Tottenham? Not at this point.

However, I’m having an even harder time seeing how the hosts are the better moneyline pick. Chelsea will respond to a press on all levels by taking its time when playing out from the back, potentially earning a bunch of corner kicks, and making things stressful for the Tottenham backliners. The Blues do not need to dominate on offense all day – they simply need to keep Kepa’s game manageable and avoid mistakes in midfield that lead to chances for the emerging superstar striker on the other side.

Perhaps Chelsea will get impatient at some point in mid-season. But we’re not quite there yet. I’m liking Chelsea to win or draw a low-scoring match in 7 or 8 out of 10 tries at Wembley.

That makes Blues ATS (pick’em) the best and safest pick in this match.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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