Europa League Final Betting Odds, Preview: Arsenal Trendy Underdogs Against Chelsea
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Arsenal’s Mattéo Guendouzi
- The 2018-19 Europa League Final will be played between Arsenal and Chelsea at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 29 at Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan.
- Chelsea have been favorites to lift the trophy throughout the tournament but bettors have been keen on Arsenal entering the final.
The Europa League final could be the defining game of the season for Arsenal or Chelsea, two English clubs with new managers Unai Emery and Mauricio Sarri hoping to win a trophy in their first year at the helm.
Arsenal and Chelsea have been two of the top favorites throughout the entire tournament but the Blues have had the clear edge in each round. Now 17 games unbeaten in the Europa League, Chelsea are the odds-on -135 favorites to hoist the trophy.
Odds to Win Europa League
Chelsea went undefeated in the group stage then advanced past Malmo, Dynamo Kiev, Slavia Prague and Frankfurt to reach the final.
Arsenal also went through the group stage without losing a match and then progressed past BATE Borisov, Rennes, Napoli and Valencia.
In the semifinal round, Chelsea squeaked by Frankfurt on penalty kicks while Arsenal defeated Valencia convincingly, 7-3 on aggregate.
Immediately following the semifinal, Chelsea opened as -145 favorites to lift the trophy over Arsenal but odds have come down to -135.
The Blues already qualified for next season’s Champions League through their third-place Premier League finish, but the Gunners need to win for a berth as they finished fifth in the EPL standings.
Injuries and Suspensions
Arsenal: Midfielder Aaron Ramsey and defender Hector Bellerin will miss out due to season-ending injuries. Striker Danny Welbeck is back in the squad though surely would only come on as a late substitute.
F/M Henrikh Mkhitaryan is fit to play yet won’t travel due to security reasons. Mkhitaryan is of Armenian heritage and tensions are high with neighboring country Azerbaijan, enough to keep him from entering the country.
Chelsea: Midfielder N’Golo Kante is doubtful with a knee injury but did train a bit Tuesday. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi are both out with a ruptured Achilles.
Europa League Final: Betting Breakdown
The public has been set on Arsenal since odds opened with nearly 60% of bets to win in regulation, and initially the line shifted toward the Gunners. However, sportsbooks have adjusted back in Chelsea’s favor in recent days and all three moneylines are essentially back to where they started.
As is the case in most finals, casual bettors are ignoring the draw and choosing to pick a side instead.
Less than 10% of all moneyline tickets is on the draw but sportsbooks won’t necessarily be rooting for extra time. The draw has accounted for 23% of the money so far, indicating the market has taken some bigger wagers on a tie.
Some of the uncertainty lying in the market for this match is the status of Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, who is doubtful with a knee injury. Any progress into the starting lineup would help move the line toward the Blues once again.
Recent form may not be very important considering how much time both squads have had off, but Arsenal finished the season with three wins and a draw while Chelsea sputtered to one win and four draws in their last five games.
At the time of publication, Chelsea’s odds to win in regulation range from +135 to +145 while Arsenal’s can be found between +205 and +220. The draw is being offered +230 on the low end and +245 on the higher end.
In the totals market, multiple adjustments have been made toward the over (2.5) with the juice increasing from +105 to -115.
I’m usually keen on betting draws in finals even though that strategy hasn’t fared well in recent years. An exact result of 1-1 is actually the most likely finish according to the odds (+500) and that’s probably the bet I’d make for this one. As a Gunners fan I’m prepared to be disappointed, though.