Wednesday Premier League Odds, Pick, Prediction: Chelsea vs. Brighton & Hove Albion Betting Preview
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- Chelsea has moved from -230 to -260 for Wednesday's match against Brighton, while the Seagulls have fallen from +650 to +750 over the last day in a corresponding move.
- However, we believe Chelsea is slightly overvalued after an unimpressive win over Aston Villa, and that this is a good spot to back the underdog getting at least a goal.
- Get Anthony Dabbundo's full Chelsea vs. Brighton preview and pick below.
Chelsea vs. Brighton Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-105 / -110)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 2:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated Tuesday at 11:20 a.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Both Chelsea and Brighton were in desperate need of a win on Boxing Day and both won by multiple goals. Chelsea ended its recent blip in form when the Blues won 3-1 on Boxing Day at Aston Villa, while Brighton won its first Premier League match since September in a 2-0 victory at home against Brentford.
Now, the Seagulls will travel north to West London to take on the Blues, who need to start stockpiling wins if they want to remain in the title race through the spring.
Both Chelsea and Brighton well overperformed expectations and their performances early in the league season. But both have dealt with some regression in recent weeks as Brighton briefly fell out of the top 10 in the league and Chelsea surrendered top spot in the table.
For Chelsea, it’s been injuries and COVID-19 that have ravaged the squad and the depleted teams have been unable to dominate opponents as much. For Brighton, its attackers aren’t producing nearly as many chances per game as they did last year.
The Seagulls remain a great team to back as an underdog because of their excellent defense and it will be difficult for the Blues to break them down given their struggles in attack recently.
Chelsea Need to Overcome Adversity
Chelsea’s recent run of performances and results looks significantly less impressive when you consider they’ve had four penalties called in their favor in the last four Premier League matches.
Take out those penalties, and the performances in attack remain quite average — Everton game aside. The Toffees played a very weak lineup due to injuries and COVID-19 in that game, but the aggregates on this Chelsea team in the last month don’t look nearly as impressive as early-season Chelsea.
Chelsea’s season-long xG difference is +0.98 per 90, but the Blues are just +0.6 per 90 in the month of December, and even lower once you consider that they’ve gotten four penalties this month and have seven this season, three more than any other team in the league.
History has shown that penalties tend to be very random and not a sustainable way of producing chances and goals in the long term.
The Blues aren’t overperforming defensively as much anymore as Edouard Mendy is in worse form than he was early in the year and teams have stopped missing as many clear-cut chances against this Chelsea defense. For example, Chelsea conceded about 0.86 xGA per 90 in the first three months of the season, but allowed just 0.11 goals per 90. That was unsustainably good.
Since November began, Chelsea continues to allow an average of 0.80 xGA per 90, but is now conceding 0.77 goals per 90 in the last two months. The defense has regressed and is no longer preventing opponents from scoring at ridiculously unsustainable rates.
There’s still more room for Chelsea to fall, regression-wise, and drop points, even though the Blues are clearly the third-best team in the league by almost any metric you look at. The return of Romelu Lukaku boosts the attack, but he hasn’t been in great form at any point this season.
Brighton Maintains Stingy Underdog Role
Brighton finally ended its 11-match run without a victory with a 2-0 win against Brentford in a match where the Seagulls overperformed their xG and scored two goals from outside the penalty area.
The match went as most of the Seagulls matches against teams who let them have the ball have gone. Brighton had lots of defensive possession and combination play, but failed to generate any clear scoring chances in the penalty area.
Brighton can generate decent shot numbers from its possession, but rarely great shots. The Seagulls secondary attackers around Neal Maupay haven’t put up the same level of shots this year that they did last season. So even though the Seagulls have underperformed xG once again in attack thus far, it’s come from a much lower xG per game baseline.
The game changes a bit when teams look to have the ball more against the Seagulls though, and the Brighton ability to play through opponents’ ball pressure and break into space for chances makes them a dangerous attack.
Brighton tied Liverpool 2-2 earlier this year, outplayed Arsenal in a goalless draw at home and outplayed Chelsea and City in the spring of last season as well. The Seagulls don’t give the ball away easily and tend to always know where to play the outlet pass from pressure.
The defense has allowed the second fewest big scoring chances in the entire league, the sixth fewest box entries and successfully pressure opponents into mistakes at the second highest rate in the league.
When Brighton has the ball, the Seagulls are third best at preventing opponents from pressuring them successfully and fifth best at preventing opposition ball recoveries. All of this is important ahead of a meeting with the Blues at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea is going to press high and try to pen Brighton into its own half.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There will be spots to back Chelsea coming up on the Premier League schedule, but the Blues seem overvalued to me here off the win at Villa where they were less than impressive for large stretches and only managed two non-penalty shots in the opening 45 minutes.
The Blues may get some players back in the lineup here, but midfielder Yves Bissouma and center back Shane Duffy return for Brighton as well. The Seagulls underrated defense won’t be overwhelmed here.
My projections make Chelsea exactly one goal better than Brighton at home, and yet the line is set at +1.25 on the alternative spread line.
The Seagulls should be able to generate chances against a Chelsea defense that is clearly not as elite as it was in the spring of last season when Thomas Tuchel became manager 10 months ago.
Without the fortunate run of penalties, Chelsea hasn’t been able to get margin on Leeds United, Watford, Aston Villa and Wolves and I don’t see them getting margin against a top five Brighton defense by xG allowed either.
Pick: Brighton +1.25 (-120)
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