Soccer Picks Chelsea to win outright vs. Swansea

Nila Amerova

Friday, December 20, 2013 4:29 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 4:29 PM GMT

Chelsea take on Swansea in midweek action over the Christmas Holidays, in a game that will potentially have lofty implications and offers plenty of value in soccer betting markets.

Chelsea unquestionable favourites?

Sportsbooks send Chelsea into their home clash with Swansea City as the hot favourites at -333 to win outright, but are they really the unquestionable soccer betting favourites when they only just lost to Sunderland in League Cup action and have yet to pit their fluency against league leading Arsenal at the weekend?

Chelsea stumbled out of League Cup on Tuesday when they lost to Sunderland 2-1 in extra time after conceding two late goals. Granted Jose Mourinho, mindful of the upcoming pivotal clash with Arsenal at the weekend, fielded a largely second-string side. Therefore, the defeat to the Black Cats, who currently prop up the league, put into that appropriate context was an unfortunate incident where underestimating the opposition proved costly. League Cup is an important competition nonetheless. To be so unceremoniously dumped in the quarterfinal stages – by a weaker side no less – is an inexplicable disappointment, not least amounts to yet another chance at silverware gone.

The worrisome aspect of that untimely exit is in its revelation of a questionable commitment by the Blues. In terms of quality, depth and belief, the team as a whole has flattered to deceive, which then begs the question whether Chelsea are genuine title threats at +350 at Bet365. A bid that will be soon put to the test when they take on Arsenal (listed at +400 to win the title) and so we might gain some answers then. But if the sports betting markets were any indication, their currency isn’t exactly optimistic as Chelsea are listed as the underdogs at +200 while Arsenal are listed as the notional favourites at +130.

No matter the result of that pivotal clash, Chelsea’s favouritism against Swansea should remain largely intact. Tipped as high as -333 to win outright at Bet365, it would take something extraordinary for their soccer odds to shorten suddenly ahead of the domestic engagement against the Swans on Boxing Day and to render them insolvent to their backers on the day.

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Swansea questionable underdogs?

Regardless of the outcome of their clash with Arsenal, one suspects Chelsea should be able to beat the Swans at Stamford Bridge. Tipped at whopping +900 soccer odds to orchestrate the upset, Swansea City boast a 1-1-3 record on the road in their last five matches, part of an overall 3-1-4 record on the road. Hardly the stuff to recommend an upset.

Their most recent road win came against a hapless Fulham, who are in the midst of an existential crisis this season. The other two wins came against Crystal Palace and West Bromwich, two sides that are of dubious quality in the broad spectrum of English football.

A win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge would be something out of nowhere and quite extraordinary. It’s hardly likely that Jose Mourinho will attempt to field a second-tier side either when the stakes couldn’t be any higher, the competition crowding at the top of the table. So no point in hanging your hat on that score.

Let’s not forget Swansea’s tough date with Everton at the weekend – one of the form teams in Premier League this season to the surprise of all and sundry (including former boss David Moyes) – to contend with before they can look ahead to the Blues in London. Most expect the Swans to falter against Everton, as statistics have shown them to do in the face of top opposition this season. Still that hasn’t deterred some pundits recommending the draw result for that clash, in which case the Swans might flutter on a wave of measured optimism into Stamford Bridge, hopeful of clinching a similar result at the very least. Still, regardless of the outcome of their date with Everton, it’d be a bold move to scratch them on either the draw (tipped at +400 or therein depending on the sportsbook of choice) or win at Stamford Bridge in our opinion. Best left for risk seeking sports betting fans and not for the fainthearted.

Soccer Free Picks: All things being considered, this is a home banker surely. Chelsea to win outright at -333 at Bet365 has to be the smart soccer pick, especially when they’ve yet to lose a game at home where they are 7-1-0 this season and where only (surprisingly one might add) West Bromwich Albion were able to take points off Chelsea at Stamford Bridge with a 2-2 draw. That was a rare miss against a lesser side. More likely than not Chelsea will continue on their splendid home form with a win over Swansea. As well, continue their free scoring ways, which have totted up a tally 19 goals at home while conceding just 7 goals, and can be represented by an additional soccer pick on the Over 2.5 at -150.

Soccer Free Picks: Chelsea to win outright at -333; Over 2.5 at -150
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