Brighton vs. Chelsea Odds, Pick, Prediction: Are Seagulls a Live Underdog?
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images. Pictured: Neal Maupay, Marc Cucurella
- Chelsea are a -125 favorite on the three-way line against Brighton on Tuesday afternoon, down 10 cents over the last 24 hours.
- Anthony Dabbundo expects the Seagulls to pick up at least a point here, and considers them a live underdog.
- Get his full Chelsea vs. Brighton preview and pick below.
Brighton vs. Chelsea Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+110 / -130)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings, updated at 12:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Any chance Chelsea had of staying in the Premier League title race basically ended on Saturday when the club suffered a 1-0 loss at Manchester City on a stunning goal from Kevin De Bruyne.
Now 13 points off the top of the table but comfortably inside the top four of the league, Chelsea has a tricky road trip to the south coast Tuesday, where it takes on Brighton & Hove Albion.
The host side had another classic Brighton performance on Friday at home against rival Crystal Palace. The Seagulls dominated the match, created more chances and clearly won the midfield, but settled for a 1-1 draw.
Brighton has continued to struggle as a favorite against lesser sides this year because of inconsistent goal scoring production, but the Seagulls have been stellar as an underdog and this is a dream spot.
Chelsea is vulnerable for a potential sandwich spot, with the loss to City and a critical London rivalry match with Tottenham scheduled for this weekend.
The Blues haven’t played at their best for more than a month now and when these two teams last met in December, it was the Seagulls imposing their will in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea.
Now at Brighton, the Seagulls remain undervalued.
Brighton Enters Match as Live Underdog
There are some team news concerns for Brighton in this matchup as the Seagulls will be without two of their best midfielders in Enock Mwepu (injury) and Yves Bissouma (AFCON). They’ll also be without both of their starting center backs — Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk — and will resort to Adam Webster and Dan Burn at the position.
It’s a credit to Graham Potter’s managerial ability that the Seagulls haven’t gotten worse defensively with two center backs out for multiple games.
The Seagulls rank second in allowing the fewest big scoring chances in the entire league, fifth in non-penalty xG allowed and fifth in shots allowed. Chelsea is typically a very effective press and possess unit and have been stellar since Thomas Tuchel became manager.
However, the Seagulls are second at playing against ball pressure and they simply don’t turn the ball over high up the pitch and concede big scoring chances from turnovers.
To make up for the loss of Bissouma and Mwepu against Crystal Palace, Potter opted to load up the midfield with plus passers and creators in Alexis Mac Allister, Jakub Moder, Adam Lallana and Pascal Gross. He might opt to do the same against Chelsea given that both N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovacic are both very press resistant and Chelsea should be better at retaining the ball than the Blues were in the first meeting.
Outside of a beatdown against Manchester City at home earlier in the year, Brighton has performed very well against the league’s top sides. They outplayed Chelsea for most of the 1-1 draw, tied Liverpool 2-2 and the chances were tilted slightly toward Brighton in that match too.
When the Seagulls played Arsenal and West Ham, they were the better side for large stretches against both but settled for a draw in both. Their stellar defense and ability to play against pressure makes them an excellent side to back as an underdog.
Chelsea Finds Itself in Sandwich Spot
Chelsea had appeared to get right following a run of patchy league form that cost them a shot at the league title when the Blues beat Tottenham twice in the EFL Cup semifinals and comfortably advanced in the FA Cup third round.
However, Saturday’s effort at Manchester City was a disappointment not just because of the result — a 1-0 loss — but the performance.
The Blues squandered a handful of chances to expose City on the counterattack and produce the needed goal. Manager Pep Guardiola made some tactical switches from his losses to Chelsea last season and City’s quality overwhelmed his opponent.
Chelsea managed just four shots the entire match and didn’t take any until the second half. This would be less concerning if it were a one-off situation against the best teams in the world, but the club struggled with Wolves, Brighton and Liverpool in the three matches prior as well.
A difficult stretch of opponents for sure, but Chelsea is just +0.5 xG difference per 90 minutes in its last 10 EPL matches. In the first 12 games, Chelsea was +0.95 xG difference per 90 minutes. Both numbers are more than good enough to finish in the EPL top four, but the Blues have dropped from title winning form to the kind of numbers that tend to create third- or fourth-place finishes.
The inevitable regression has come for Chelsea in the last two months and there’s nothing to suggest anything has changed since the last match with Brighton.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Chelsea didn’t take a shot for nearly 45 minutes of the last meeting between these two sides. The Blues scored early on a controversial goal off a corner and Brighton easily played through the press with Romelu Lukaku not adding any defensive work by pressing from the front.
If Tuchel opts to go to Lukaku up top again, what he gains in shots he loses in game control and that plays into the hands of Brighton.
My projection for this match makes Brighton at -120 odds to get at least a point, so I don’t think Chelsea should be an odds-on favorite to win on the road, let alone at the -135 price currently being offered.
While I’m typically lower on the Blues than the market and higher on the Seagulls, Brighton should be able to prevent clear scoring chances and take advantage of Chelsea’s defensive weakness in goal with Kepa in for Mendy.
I’d play Brighton to get at least a point in this match at anything plus money.
Pick: Brighton +0.5 (+100 or better)
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