Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace Odds, Pick, Betting Prediction: How to Back the Blues as Big Favorites (Aug. 14)

Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace Odds, Pick, Betting Prediction: How to Back the Blues as Big Favorites (Aug. 14) article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Kai Havertz (left) and Wilfried Zaha.

  • Chelsea are a huge favorite over Crystal Palace in Saturday's Premier League opener for both clubs.
  • Chelsea are second-favorites in the Premier League in 2021/22, while Crystal Palace are expected to be on the outskirts of the relegation battle in Patrick Vieira's debut season.
  • Do the odds suggest a play on Chelsea in their season-opener?

Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace Odds

Chelsea Odds -400
Crystal Palace Odds +1100
Draw +525
Over/Under 2.5 (-130 / +110)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 a.m. ET
How To Watch NBCSN | fuboTV
Odds updated Friday afternoon via DraftKings.

Nothing like a London Derby on a Saturday morning.

Chelsea, who come into the new Premier League season as second-favorites behind Manchester City, will open their new campaign by welcoming Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues had an incredibly successful second-half of the 2020/21 season after swapping out Frank Lampard for Thomas Tuchel. The German manager will bring back his entire Champions League-winning squad plus Romelu Lukaku, fresh off a sensational season for Inter Milan.

While Chelsea has enjoyed a relatively stable summer, Crystal Palace had plenty of changes, including bringing in Vieira to replace Roy Hodgson. The French manager has been busy in the transfer market and will look to push the Eagles into the the top-10 in his first go-round as a Premier League manager.

Chelsea Are Among Europe’s Best

Defense was Chelsea’s calling card under Tuchel. The Blues allowed only 0.58 xG per match in the Premier League and Champions League combined since the German took over at the end of January.

Tactically, Tuchel changed Chelsea’s system to a 3-4-2-1 from the 4-3-3 used by Frank Lampard, which has allowed Chelsea to become more unpredictable. The main objective of the 3-4-2-1 is to completely overwhelm opposing defenses by outnumbering them on the counter-attack.

The new formation allows Chelsea some tactical flexibility, to adjust on the fly based on how the match is going. That’s allowed Chelsea to dominate possession and keep opponents on their toes.

Their offense has also been outstanding under Tuchel, as the Blues are averaged 1.82 xG per match since he took over, which will only improve with the arrival of Lukaku.

What to Expect from Crystal Palace

I love what Crystal Palace did in the transfer market and think it will help them stave off relegation this season. They are due for some negative regression, as they had the third-worst expected goal differential last season and only averaged 0.93 xGF per match.

The Eagles sold off their old, underperforming players like Andros Townsend, Patrick van Aanholt and Mamadou Sakho to name a few, then brought in some exciting young players. The Eagles added center-back Marc Guehi from Chelsea, who spent all last season on loan at Swansea; center-back Joachim Anderson from Lyon, who spent last season on loan at Fulham; and, and attacking midfielder Michael Olise from Championship side Reading.

Crystal Palace still has Wilfred Zaha, who is one of the league’s best creative attackers and had 85 shot-creating actions in 27 appearances last season. However, this is a terrible matchup for them to begin the season throwing new young signees up against one of the best teams in the world.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

In their one meeting against Crystal Palace under Tuchel, Chelsea thrashed the Eagles, 4-1, and outcreated them 3.37 xG to 0.37 xG. Should we expect something different this time around? I think not.

Since I have Chelsea’s spread projected at -1.87, I think there is some value on their spread of -1.5 at -120 or better.

Pick: Chelsea -1.5 (-120 or better)

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