Soccer Picks & Tips for Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace

Nila Amerova

Friday, December 13, 2013 5:03 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 5:03 PM GMT

Chelsea take on Crystal Palace in week 16 of Premier League action, in a tilt sportsbooks are firmly cornering in the Blues’ camp. Can Crystal Palace turn the odds in their favour? Join us as we breakdown this matchup complete with soccer free picks.

Chelsea runaway favourites

Sportsbooks install Chelsea as the runaway favourites at -500 soccer odds to win outright against a struggling Crystal Palace, still mired in the relegation quarry. But while bookies seem rather confident, experts are divided, undecided whether Chelsea warrant such blatant favouritism in sports betting markets.

At face value, it would appear they do warrant such firm soccer odds. Chelsea are sat pretty in third place with a 9-3-3 mark and 30 points, level on points with Liverpool in second place and just five points adrift of league leading Arsenal.

That said Chelsea have been fairly suspect of late (read: unconvincing) with a 3-1-2 record in their last six matches. Most recently, they faltered (somewhat surprisingly) against Stoke City on the road, losing to the Potters 3-2 at Britannia Stadium. The latest defeat prompted a rather bleak outlook for Jose Mourinho and his Blues as far as title credentials go in both Premier League and Champions League.

Nonetheless, the Blues bounced back with a 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge in midweek Champions League. Although the win was enough to secure top spot in Group E, arguably, it was another lacklustre account, symptomatic of their recent form that leaves much to be desired.

Chelsea will be looking to get back on track against Crystal Palace at the weekend and, fortunately, for the Blues they are undefeated at home with a 6-1-0 record this season. More importantly, offense has been more productive at Stamford Bridge than it has on the road this season.

Crystal Palace on the mend?

Crystal Palace are knee deep in the relegation zone, in 19th place on the back of a 4-1-10 mark and 13 points. But only a point separates them from 16th placed Cardiff and just two points from 15th placed West Bromwich.

Recently, Crystal Palace picked up six crucial points with back-to-back wins over West Ham United and Cardiff City at home. It’s apparent that new head coach Tony Pulis is responsible for this recent upsurge, breathing new life into the team and bringing in a whole new ethos and morale with him that many Prem fans will remember all too well from his days at Stoke City.

It might also interest some soccer bettors to know that just like Chelsea, Crystal Palace boast a 3-1-2 record in their last six games as well. A positive sign for the Eagles as they look ahead to climbing out of the relegation zone.

Despite the positive signs coming out of the Crystal Palace camp, expecting the Eagles to come away with a meaningful result at Stamford Bridge is rather a stretch, evinced by the staggering +1800 odds currently in swing at Bet365.  Few would be bold enough to entertain an upset – though, then again, few predicted a Stoke City win over Chelsea in week 15. Goes to show that nothing is a sure thing these days in the topsy-turvy Premier League.

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Soccer Betting Verdict: Because Chelsea lost to Stoke City, the idea that Crystal Palace would hand Chelsea a defeat or a draw (listed at +700 soccer odds across sportsbooks) is gaining traction in sports betting circles. It’s marginally possible but the probability is so slim to make it a long shot. Besides Chelsea can’t afford to lose. Lose another Prem fixture against an ‘on paper’ beatable side and it’ll be a headline maker.

Most fully expect a Chelsea win in this match and we have to agree with that consensus but at -500 to win outright at Bet365 there is little value to be had. So towards that end we are recommending additional soccer picks for your consideration, such as Chelsea to win both halves at -175 and the Over 2.5 at -188. We also quite like Chelsea to win by 2 goals at +275 at Bet365.

Soccer Free Picks: Chelsea to win outright at -500; Over 2.5 -188
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