Soccer Picks: Chelsea vs. Fulham

Nila Amerova

Monday, September 16, 2013 6:39 PM GMT

Monday, Sep. 16, 2013 6:39 PM GMT

Chelsea are looking to bounce back after a surprise defeat to Everton in the last round of Premier League action. Join us as we breakdown this clash complete with odds and picks for your consideration.

 

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This week, they host Fulham at Stamford Bridge and according to bookmakers they are massive favourites to do just that despite the glaring poor form of late. Do the bookies have it right or will Fulham turn the market on its head?

Betting on the match winner

Chelsea fell to their first Premier League defeat this season when they lost 1-0 at Everton. The defeat was their second in a row after losing to Bayern Munich in UEFA Super Cup a few weeks ago and cause for concern is growing amidst fans and pundits alike especially where Chelsea’s bid for the title is concerned.

The latest defeat has further highlighted an ongoing problem with the Blues that goes back to last season: a serious lack of forward power. To put it simply: offense is no-existent or rather inconsistent. Sure, they have strikers including the pricey Fernando Torres, but the Spaniard’s heydays are a distant memory. Samuel Eto’o has been ineffective so far and newbie Andre Schurrle... well, he has yet to gel with the squad. All in all, since Drogba’s departure, the Blues haven’t been the same.

All this has culminated into the worst start to a season by Chelsea during the Abramovich era. Seven points in four rounds with a record of 2-1-1 is a new low for the proud Blues. Yet, in spite of growing concern and criticism, soccer odds makers are standing firmly behind Chelsea so far – they remain one of the top favourites to win the Premier League title, listed at +275 at Bet365. And they go into their next clash with Fulham as the hot -333 favourites to win outright.

This nod extends to every market for this match. Chelsea are favoured at -138 to win both halves and a Draw/Chelsea win is quite reachable as well, at +275.

As strongly as Chelsea are favoured to win, equally so are Fulham at the disadvantage. Heck, even more so really, as they are priced at a hallucinatory +1000 to win outright and the draw is listed at +400. Not surprising when their start to the season has been less than promising with a 1-1-2 mark.

More likely than not, Chelsea will win this match making them the best pick to win, at -333 to win outright. Nothing about Fulham’s form suggests they are poised to mastermind the upset. Much less execute one at Stamford Bridge (if they do, it would be a right shocker). To add value to this soccer pick, betting on Chelsea to win both halves at -138 is an option, but given their depleted offense a Draw/Chelsea outcome might be the better sports betting option at +275.

Betting the Totals and Score markets

Odds makers are favouring the 'Over' 2.5 at -163 at Bet365, which is a stance that goes completely against current form on both sides of the coin. Chelsea have scored four goals in four games which means they are averaging a goal a game. While Fulham have scored three goals in four games, which means they are averaging less than a goal a game. If this matchup goes to form, surely the under 2.5 (+125) is the savvy pick?

Predicting scores is notoriously difficult to get right short of a crystal ball. However, if we are to take a page from the bookies then the favoured outcome is a 2-0 score to Chelsea at +550 and the next favoured outcome is a 1-0 score to Chelsea at +650 (these underscore the Under 2.5 total pick above). Even a 1-1 draw is priced under four digits.

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Soccer Betting Verdict 

While the bookies favour the 'Over' 2.5 result, they point to low-scoring affairs in the score market. A bit of a conundrum but, as we’re latching on to the issues on offense for Chelsea (and seemingly Fulham aren’t immune either), we’re plumping down to a low-scoring affair.

Soccer Pick: Chelsea wins 1-0, available at +650 odds at William Hill

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