Spurs just haven’t been able to beat Chelsea and this is a series with a dominating trend where you want to back the momentum and with the Blues just -125 favorites at White Hart Lane, this is an ideal betting spot.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea, Thursday 17:30 (NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra, Directv, Telemundo, Deportes Telemundo En Vivo Extra (USA), BT Sport 1 (UK) 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT): First-place Chelsea (14-4-1, 41 GF-14 GA) heads across Londontown for this New Year’s Day derby at White Hart Lane against host Tottenham Hotspur (9-4-6, 24 GF-24 GA), currently in seventh-place in the English Premier League with the same point total (31) as sixth-place West Ham United (9-4-6), but way behind the upstart Hammers on Goal Differential (0 to +7).
Oddsmakers have made Chelsea -125 favorites over host Spurs (+400) with the Draw priced at +275 (Bwin) in the Three-Way (Winner) market. The Total Goals is in this game is set at 2½ Under -108 (Over -101, Pinnacle) while the Both Teams To Score odds here have the Yes priced at -125 (bet365, No -110).
Some random props: To Win To Nil sees Chelsea priced at +225 and Spurs at +700 (Skybet); Team To Score First has Chelsea at -166, Tottenham at +250 and No Goals priced at +900 (9/1); and, the Total Corners is set at 10½ Under -125 (Over -110, Stan James).
Phil Dowd will be the referee for this match and the weather forecast for White Hart Lane on Thursday is Cloudy with SSW winds that could gust up to 40 mph and a forecasted High temperature of 51° F/10° C. So, wind could definitely be an issue.
Tottenham Hotspur FC
Tottenham (4-2-4 Home, 11 GF-10 GA) is always an enigma of sorts and Spurs are playing well in UEFA Europa League but as you can see from the dismal home record and the mere +1 Goal Differential at White Hart Lane halfway through the season, manager Mauricio Pochettino has some work to do to get this team playing well enough to garner another UEFA tournament berth next time around. But earning 3 or 1 point in this match in North London against league leaders Chelsea will be quite the undertaking and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will have to play like he did last year in this fixture when it ended in a 1-1 draw, but last season the Blue Strikers were Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba while this campaign Chelsea has the English Premier League’s second-leading scorer (Diego Costa) staring at the spot with club legend Didier Drogba providing an incredible No. 2 guy and the vastly underrated Loïc Rémy giving the West London team wonderful depth at the position. In short, Spurs will have to play much better this year in this fixture than they did last season to even hope to come away with the same or an even better result.
Tottenham will look to striker Harry Kane (+225, Anytime Goalscorer, bet365), Emmanuel Adebayor (+260), Roberto Soldado (+260), Erik Lamela (+375), 7-goal scorer Christian Eriksen (+400), Nacer Chadli (+500), Andros Townsend (+500), Paulinho (+500), Ryan Mason (+700), Moussa Dembele (+700) and Aaron Lennon (+700) to try to score against the league’s best defense and probable Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, but the big Belgian has shown he’s human lately so who knows? Maybe Tottenham can find a way to score first through Lamela or Eriksen or Soldado and Kane and electrify the crowd and then hope it can play strong enough defense on Thursday to beat a club which lost only once in the first half of the 2014/2015 Premier League season.
Chelsea (5-4-1 Away, 19 GF-11 GA) has won half of its 10 away games and either drawn or lost the other half and managed just 2 clean sheets in those matches despite having two of the best goalkeepers in the Milky Way in Courtois and Petr Cech. But when you’re on top, as the Blues have been so far this season, everybody’s gunning for you and everybody usually gives you their best game—both home and away. And that’s usually the way it is across the board in all professional sports
Expect The Special One to start a predictable 11 for this one and to again use Drogba (+125, Anytime Goalscorer, bet365) or Rémy (+125) as substitutes at some point for starter Costa (13 goals, -125) as well as maybe Ramires (+500) or André Schürrle (+210). The advanced midfield should see playmaker Eden Hazard (+210), Oscar (+225) and Willian (+375) all starting with regular central midfielders Cesc Fàbregas (+260) and Nemanja Matic (+700) in their usual spots and in a game like this, Matic could very well get a key goal and reward backers at the pleasant 7/1 odds. You know these still are the holidays, brother. And Chelsea defenders have even been know to score so longshots like Branislav Ivanovic (+700), captain John Terry (+800), Gary Cahill (+900), Filipe Luís (+1100) or César Azpilicueta (+1600) may be able to bring home the bacon. With the current roster at SW6, everyone but Courtois, Cech and Eva Carneiro can score goals.
Best Betting Approaches and Trends
The trends almost overwhelmingly back Chelsea in this situation with the Blues 9-9-3 in 21 meetings at White Hart Lane (37 GF-22 GA) and the Blues gaudy 24-16-3 overall mark against Tottenham in which Chelsea has outscored Spurs, 82-35 makes it easy to blindly back the Blues here as they look to stay ahead of second-place and defending champions Manchester City who lurk three points back in second place and face Sunderland at home at Etihad Stadium in a game in which the sky Blues are massive -500 favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). And by kickoff, Manchester City may have already tied Chelsea in points (36) atop the table so expect Mourinho to use that fear as a motivating factor and stress defense in a match where Tottenham may try to employ a high-line and do the very same thing, knowing who they’re playing and how hard it may be to try to muster up a goal or two in this particular contest.
With 3 of the last 5 meetings here at Tottenham ending 1-1 and all 5 seeing both teams score, (1-1, 4-2 Chelsea, 1-1, 1-1, 2-1 Tottenham), it’s hard to recommend the Under despite the possible weather conditions and ttype of game which could evolve from intended stalemate soccer. So, the aforementioned Both Teams To Score (Yes -125, bet365) prop may be worth a look as visiting Chelsea should be able to get at least one goal meaning if you’re confident enough that Spurs can get one at home against a team with just 2 shutouts in 10 road games, then do your thing. But it seems the safest and simplest route in this last game of Week 20 is to just back the one-loss team (Chelsea) with the better players, goalkeepers and manager at the more-than-fair price (-125) against the team (Tottenham) which has only beat them 3 times in the last 43 games. Rocket science.
PREDICTION: Tottenham 1 Chelsea 2
Premier League Pick: Chelsea -125 (bet365)