Chelsea vs. West Brom Odds
|West Brom Odds||+1500|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-136 / +110)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday afternoon via DraftKings.|
The international break is finally over, and the Premier League returns beginning with Chelsea versus West Brom on Saturday.
Will Chelsea’s top-four surge continue under Thomas Tuchel? Can West Brom somehow avoid relegation?
Here’s a closer look at the two clubs, followed by a prediction.
In case you’ve forgotten, Chelsea are up to fourth place in the Premier League with 51 points — five points behind third-place Leicester City, and two points above fifth-place West Ham. They have nine matches left in which to secure a top-four finish and an automatic spot in the Champions League next season.
Speaking of the Champions League, Chelsea also have advanced to this year’s quarterfinals. And they received a relatively easy draw, playing Porto. But the first leg is in Portugal this coming Wednesday, which will be in their thoughts this weekend.
It’s also worth reminding you that Chelsea are unbeaten in 14 matches in all competitions since replacing Frank Lampard with Tuchel — 10 wins, four draws. Their most recent match was a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarterfinals.
Chelsea have conceded only two goals in their 14 matches under Tuchel, one of which was an own goal. But they’ve scored only 17 goals in those 14 matches, a little more than one per game, and they haven’t scored more than two goals in any of them.
In terms of the underlying numbers, Chelsea are the second-best team in the Premier League in terms of xG (expected goal) difference, according to FBRef, at +21.5 — behind only Manchester City at +34.5.
West Brom have won just three of their first 29 Premier League matches this season, fewer than any other club. They’re currently in 19th place, with 18 points — 10 points below 17th-place Newcastle.
There’s very little hope of West Brom avoiding a return to the Championship next season. In fact, FiveThirtyEight has their chances of relegation at greater than 99%.
West Brom lost 1-0 at 12th-place Crystal Palace in their final match before the international break, preceded by a scoreless draw against Newcastle.
And the underlying numbers paint an even bleaker picture. West Brom are the worst team in the Premier League in xG differential at -27.3, with even cellar dwellers Sheffield United well ahead of them at -21.5.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Chelsea are huge favorites here, but I don’t see much value there, so I’m turning to the total instead.
As mentioned above, Chelsea haven’t scored more than two goals in any of their 14 matches under Tuchel And West Brom have actually been pretty stout defensively of late, conceding just two goals in their past five matches.
On the flip side, I think West Brom’s chances of scoring are pretty poor, given Chelsea’s track record under Tuchel — two goals conceded in 14 matches. And West Brom have scored only 20 goals in 29 league matches, including just one goal in their past five matches.
Teams can be rusty offensively coming out of an international break, too. I’ll take my chances with the under here.
Pick: Under 2.5 goals (+110)