Odds, Preview & Pick for EPL Week 16: Chelsea vs. Hull City

Kevin Stott

Monday, December 8, 2014 5:04 PM GMT

Newcastle United handed first-place Chelsea its first loss of the year at St. James’ Park last Saturday so the Blues will be in a foul mood and take it out on Hull making Chelsea minus a goal or two the pick.

Odds Overview
Chelsea vs. Hull City, Saturday 15:00 (NBC Sports Live Extra, Mun2 (US), 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT): You know the girl skinny-dipping in the ocean in the very beginning of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws? That will be Hull City at Stamford Bridge this Saturday—bitten early and often and probably dead by the time the movie really gets started. But such is Life catching the first-place Blues at Home in West London after their first loss of the season. Hey, someone’s gotta pay the price.

Chelsea (11-3-1, 34 GF-13 GA) comes into this Week 16 fixture the obvious and heavy Favorites in the Three-Way (Winner) Soccer odds market, priced at -600 with massive Underdog Hull City at +1400 (14/1) and the Draw at +650 (bet365). The Total Goals in the game is, for now at least, is 2½ with Over heavily juiced at -175 (bet365) meaning this Total will likely end up at 3 for most bettors come game-time in almost a week. The Both Teams To Score odds for this game are Yes +150, No -200 (bet365)—obviously skewed by the fact(s) 1-Chelsea is mad; 2-Chelsea has Thibaut Courtois, and; 3-Hull hasn’t scored on the Blues in a long time. Of note: The BTTS is 2-4 in the L6 in this series with Chelsea notching 4 clean sheets in those games.

A couple of random prop bets: Chelsea To Win To Nil is priced at -183 (Yes, No +130; Bwin) and Correct Score (Chelsea 5-0) is priced at a fun +2200 (22/1, Paddy Power) if you think the host Blues go off on Saturday evening in potentially chilly West London (Partly cloudy, High: 41° F, 5° C).


Hull City FC
Hull City (1-4-3 Road, 7 GF-11 GA) sits in 18th place and in the dreaded relegation zone with just 13 points heading into Stamford Bridge and manager Steve Bruce’s squad picked the wrong time to play the Blues after that first loss that suddenly made the EPL a race again in many people’s minds. The Tigers do have some decent scorers in Nikica Jelavic (4 goals), Mohamed Diamé (4 goals), Abel Hernández (3 goals), Stephen Quinn (3 assists) and a solid GK in Allan McGregor. Hull City comes in off a 0-0 Draw at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and it’s worth noting that the Tigers haven’t won a Premier League game since their 2-0 victory over visiting Crystal Palace over two months ago on Oct. 4. Sone Aluko saw some time against the Baggies and the Nigerian forward may get in here at Chelsea if Bruce is in the right mood but trying to beat José Mourinho and the Blues—especially this potent roster—at Home at Stamford Bridge is like trying to beat Batman in Gotham City. Few do.
 

Chelsea FC
Chelsea (7-0-0 Home, 18 GF-3 GA) has incredible numbers at Home, as you can see, and with that back four and Mourinho playing a fairly consistent, sometimes deemed “fixed” or “regular” starting XI with Courtois in goal, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, John Terry, César Azpilicueta, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fàbregas, Willian, Oscar (3 goals), Eden Hazard (5 goals) and leading scorer Diego Costa (11 goals) up top in the Blues usual 4-2-3-1 formation, usually getting the starts this season. Chelsea will be without playmaker Fabregas (11 assists) who earned his fifth Red Card of the season in the loss to The Toon and will be out here with that accumulation so someone like John Obi Mikel or Ramires may get the nod but replacing Fabregas in this offense is nearly impossible. Look for Costa in the Anytime Goalscorer markets when they come out midweek as he is overdue and could even get a couple here with the striker taking out some of the club’s frustration in the first 45+ minutes in this one. And with guys like club legends Didier Drogba (3 goals) and Petr Cech, Loïc Rémy, André Schürrle, Filipe Luís. Mohamed Salah and Nathan Aké, among others. As always, Chelsea is loaded and this is a bad place for Hull City to be this weekend and the only real questions are what will the final score be and how much will Chelsea (4-2-0 L6 in series, 10 GF-2 GA) win by? Hello sports gambling.

 

Best Betting Approaches and Trends
The skinny here is that angry and able host Chelsea may go Over the Total itself and that this is one of those matches where employing the Asian Handicap is a good way to get some odds close to palatable if you really believe in your visualized or predicted or power numbers Final Score. With the last time that Hull City scored on Chelsea being Feb. 2, 2010—in a 2-2 Draw at KC Stadium—and Courtois likely in goal, expecting a 2-0, 3-0, 4-0 or even 5-0 Chelsea win here is a fairly logical expectation. So, laying a goal (-454, bet365), 1.50 (-173), 1.75 (-142) or even (-102) seems safe enough as even a 2-0 Blues win would push this theoretical bet.

And one reason why? The Special One will likely rest Costa in the second half near the 60-minute or so mark meaning Drogba will likely come in and the old Ivorian has been brilliant lately, scoring and assisting and have a much better season at this point in the season than he did when the Blues won the UEFA Champions League over two years ago. In short, he’ll want to get his, be it another goal or an assist and King Didier is remembering how warm it was in the royal blue spotlight at SW6.

And, as far as examining the Total here, despite the Under being 4-1 L5 in this series and the Tigers coming off that nil-nil affair at Home against WBA at the KC Stadium, it does seem that Chelsea could/should go over (2½) or equal (3) the Total itself with the electric Hazard and Blues strikers Costa, Drogba and Rémy are very capable of tallying a total of 3 goals themselves in this type of situation. And in all 5 of those games that went Under, the Blues didn’t have Costa on their roster. So, for our Soccer picks, Hull gets to be the girl from Jaws and Costa gets to be the top row of the famous shark’s teeth. Seems about right.
 

PREDICTION: Chelsea 3 Hull City 0

Free Soccer Pick: Chelsea -2 -102, Over 2½ -175

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