English Premier League Betting Odds & Picks: Spurs vs. Chelsea (Thursday, Feb. 4)
Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Blues celebrate a Marcos Alonso goal.
- Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur meet Thursday in the only Premier League fixture of the day.
- Both sides have struggled heading into the London derby.
- With Harry Kane sidelined, can the Blues take advantage? Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the match below.
Spurs vs. Chelsea Odds
|Day | Time||Thursday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated as of Wednesday afternoon and via DraftKings.|
Two London rivals will face off in North London on Thursday as struggling Chelsea visits out-of-form Spurs. The Blues are in their third match under new manager Thomas Tuchel and have won one and drawn one of his first two fixtures in charge. Meanwhile, Tottenham have lost two consecutive matches and will again be without striker Harry Kane due to injury.
Tottenham’s season has derailed since the Lilywhites were atop the Premier League table in mid-December. Too many late equalizers allowed cost them points, but the reality is that their performances and underlying numbers have been struggling since late November. They’re as reliant on Kane as they’ve ever been and he is unavailable. Since Kane left the game injured at halftime against Liverpool, Spurs have produced nine total shots, zero big scoring chances and one goal in 135 minutes.
A big question unanswered about Spurs all season would be if they had a plan B when trailing and chasing a game. The early signs suggest they do not have a plan B at all. Spurs now rank eighth in non-penalty xG difference and 11th since the start of December. They’ve been a mid-table team for the last two months and now don’t have their best player.
There are not enough shots in this Tottenham attack right now and that’s unlikely to change against Tuchel’s Chelsea on Thursday. Spurs are so reliant on Kane to come short and receive the ball before pivoting to lead the counter. Without him, they have little tactical plan while in possession.
While Tuchel’s Chelsea aren’t exactly firing in his first two matches, there are signs of progress in the underlying numbers. For one, the Blues totally dominated possession and allowed next to no shots from their opponents. Burnley didn’t register a shot until stoppage time and Wolves created zero real chances against Chelsea.
Chelsea allowed a total of 1.02 xGA in two matches, and 0.39 of that came on a stoppage time header by Burnley with the Blues leading 2-0. Tuchel should be happy with the increase in opposition half ball recoveries in the first two matches under him. Even without N’Golo Kanté, the Blues have been pressing well and not allowing much the other way. Tuchel will want his team to shoot fewer lower-quality shots and create better chances, but the progress is there. Chelsea is due a lot of xG regression, and could make a run down the stretch of the PL season.
A possession-based Tuchel team against a possession-averse José Mourinho side is a fascinating tactical battle. Tuchel is much less likely than Brighton’s Graham Potter to drop his backline off of Spurs and force them to create for themselves. Tottenham showed they couldn’t create real chances against the Brighton defense, and they’re unlikely to have many successful counters against this Tuchel team without Kane.
Betting Analysis & Picks
The line movement in this game is a classic example of why betting early in the week is important. Even after Spurs lost to Brighton and it would be known Kane was unavailable, you could find a Chelsea draw no bet line around -120. Now, that line is all the way up to -195 and out of range for me to play.
Spurs’ drop-off defensively in recent matches is the only thing keeping me away from playing the under 2.5 goals here. If Chelsea starts to click, this could be a rout for the Blues. But this is still a Mourinho side, and they’ll be careful to not get torn apart by Chelsea here. I have serious doubts about Spurs’ ability to counter without Kane against this Tuchel team, though.
It could be very easy for Tuchel to keep Spurs’ attack at bay by preventing the out ball, much like Frank Lampard’s Chelsea were able to do in the reverse fixture, and much like Liverpool did once Kane was out of the game last week.
For that reason, I’ll play Chelsea to win to nil. I project this at +220 once taking Kane out of Spurs’ lineup. If you can’t find that line on your book, I’d also look to play Spurs under 1 goal at -130 or better.
Pick: Chelsea to win to nil (+240 or better) or Spurs under 1 goal (-125)