Soccer Picks: Chelsea Over Maribor As Champions League Chalk

Steven Suarez

Monday, November 3, 2014 4:46 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 4:46 PM UTC

It doesn't matter that Chelsea is away from home. The Blues are in great form and it'd be a big surprise if they didn't win as the soccer betting favorites in this Champions League visit to Maribor.

Odds Overview
Currently, the soccer betting odds start right around -315 on a Chelsea win, but some lines go all the way up to -375. We can't say we're surprised - there's no doubt the Blues are by far the superior team.

Despite being at home, Maribor is a +1000 underdog, while a draw is quoted at roughly +450. Any other result besides a Chelsea win would surprise a lot of people, this writer included.


FK Maribor
The Purples have not been the minnows that many thought they would be in Group G. They've earned two draws in their first three fixtures, as they drew with both Sporting Lisbon and Schalke.

However, their most recent Champions League encounter ended in a 6-0 win for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, so you can see why online sportsbooks have set the lines as drastic as they are. 

As it stands, Group G has the Blues on top with seven points, with Schalke in second with five points, Maribor in third and Lisbon taking up the last spot. Despite scoring just two goals (and allowing eight) through three matches, the Purples still have a chance to advance on to the knockout stages.

In terms of their domestic play, Maribor has had a little extra time to prepare for this visit of Chelsea, after their league match against Olimpija was postponed. You can currently find the Purples in fourth place in the league, though they're a sizable nine points back of league-leading Domzale.

Luka Zahovic and Marcos Tavares have been the two most dangerous attacking players for the club this season. Zahovic leads the way with eight league goals, while Tavares has chipped in with five of his own. Zahovic was the hero in the draw against Lisbon after scoring in stoppage time to give his team a crucial point. Will he do anything special against the mighty Blues?


The Blues were last in action this past weekend, and it was relatively surprising to see them barely hold on for a 2-1 win over QPR at home.

Coming in, Chelsea was a massive favorite, and it was widely expected that they're win comfortably. However, Blues supporters may have gotten a little nervous after Charlie Austin had equalized for Rangers, only for the hosts to get the lead back straight away through an Eden Hazard penalty.

In the Premier League, the Blues remain in the top spot, and they've still yet to lose a single league match. They're four points clear of second place and are obviously in a very good spot there.

Ditto for their Champions League campaign. Chelsea started out with a 1-1 draw against Schalke but have since beaten both Sporting Lisbon (1-0) and Maribor (6-0) to go on top of the group.

Under Jose Mourinho's watch, the Blues have looked like one of the world's best so far this season, so there's little reason to foresee any kind of dropoff, even away from the comfortable confines of Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is the heavy favorite for a reason.


Champions League Pick
We certainly don't expect to see a 6-0 drubbing away from home, but it's hard to imagine Chelsea not winning at the end of the day.

The Blues have looked very sturdy at the back, with John Terry and Gary Cahill forming a formidable partnership in the middle of the defense. Assuming they start, we have a difficult time seeing Maribor being able to find their way through.

Elsewhere, it's all about quality. Chelsea has the talent to make the most of their chances, and so we look for them to grab a couple goals and seal up shop for another European win. Add the Blues to your collection of soccer picks for the week.

Pick: FK Maribor 0 Chelsea 2

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