Nottingham Forest vs Chelsea Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview

Nottingham Forest vs Chelsea Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview article feature image

Stu Forster/Getty Images. Pictured: Serge Aurier

Nottingham Forest vs. Chelsea Odds

Sunday, Jan. 1
11:30 a.m. ET
Nottingham Forest Odds+460
Chelsea Odds-155
Over/Under2.5 (-102/ -120)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(-102/ -124)
Odds via FanDuel. Get up to the minute soccer odds here.

Chelsea looks for back-to-back wins out of the World Cup break when they hit the road to take on Nottingham Forest.

Nottingham Forest did not have a great start out of the break, losing in convincing fashion 3-0 at Old Trafford. They are currently sitting in the relegation zone and are desperate for points, so this is a crucial match in their quest for survival.

Chelsea got things going out of the break with two first-half goals that ended up being the difference, beating Bournemouth 2-0 at home. Things had not been going well for Graham Potter's side heading into the break, but consecutive wins could get them back in the race for the top four.

Nottingham Forest

This season has been going quite poorly for Nottingham Forest, but they are one of the biggest positive regression candidates over the second half of the season.

The Nottingham Forest defense has conceded 33 goals on the season, but only off 26.6 expected. They have conceded a Premier League-high 12 goals from outside the box on 3.2 expected. Dean Henderson is currently at a -4.1 post shot xG +/-, but throughout his career, he's never been below -1, so he's not as bad as a keeper as he's shown this season.

Nottingham Forest is a huge home/road split team. On the road this season they have a -9.6 xGD away from home, but only a -1 xGD at home. They are due for a ton of positive regression defensively, as they’ve allowed 33 goals off 26.6 expected. Offensively, they have created the ninth-most big scoring chances, while Chelsea defensively is 13th in big scoring chances allowed. 

Plus, at some point all of these new signings are going to be able to gel into Steve Cooper's 3-5-2 system. Also, Morgan Gibbs-White has been upgraded to probable for this match, which is huge because he is their best attacking player.

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Since Potter has taken over Chelsea, the Blues have a -1.9 xGD and in their last seven matches in the Premier League before the break — if you take away penalties — they lost the expected goals battle in every single match except for the one against Bournemouth on Tuesday. 

Problems still exist for Chelsea. They are struggling to turn final-third possession into a high-quality chance because they currently don’t have a go-to striker. In terms of progressive passes + dribbles, box entries, and xThreat, Chelsea is in the top seven in all of those categories, but they have taken the fewest shots inside the six yard box and they’re outside the top 10 big scoring chances. This is why the Blues are only averaging 1.05 npxG per match, which is 13th in the Premier League.

Plus, the injuries are still racking up for Chelsea, as Reece James was forced off against Bournemouth and will miss this match. Additionally, Ben Chilwell and N'Golo Kante are both likely to miss this match as well.

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Nottingham Forest vs. Chelsea Pick

Nottingham Forest have been dreadful this season, but I am not ready to say Chelsea has turned the corner after one decent performance at home against Bournemouth.

The underlying metrics show that there are still real problems at Chelsea creating chances in the final third and not having  James or Chilwell available makes it even harder for the Blues to create chances up the wings.

I only have Chelsea projected at -107, so I like the value on Nottingham Forest at home where they've performed much better.

Pick: Nottingham Forest +0.5 (+130) (PointsBet)

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