Sunday Premier League Odds, Pick, Preview: Back Offenses to Shine in Wolves vs. Chelsea EPL Clash
Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Pulisic.
- Wolves host Chelsea in Sunday’s Premier League match at Molineux Stadium.
- The Blues will be without several players due to positive COVID-19 tests, which could be an issue.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the contest below and explains why he expects the offenses to shine.
Wolves vs. Chelsea Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+135 / -160)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 9 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Chelsea had one of the more unfortunate results of the season on Thursday, when it totally dominated Everton and created 2.9 expected goals (xG), but failed to find the finishing touch and had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home.
Next up for the Blues in the midst of its recent blip in performance and results is a tricky road trip to take on Wolves on Sunday.
Regression has come of late for the Blues, who were massively overperforming their expected goals in the first portion of the season and now have had some unfortunate results against Burnley, West Ham and Everton.
Wolves might be a tougher test for Chelsea’s defense than perhaps its goal scoring record suggests, and the market has gotten quite low on Thomas Tuchel’s attack despite solid performances of late.
Wolves finally scored a goal after four consecutive scoreless outings when they won at Brighton in the midweek, although they were outplayed for large stretches and pretty fortunate that the Seagulls missed a bunch of big scoring chances.
This appeared to be an excellent fade Chelsea spot and a buy-low chance on Wolves, but the midweek results and market adjustment from those results have led me toward a play on the total instead.
Regression Coming for Wolves
Wolves have been one of the most profitable under teams in all of Europe because of their poor finishing in attack and excellent goalkeeper play from Jose Sá. No goalkeeper in the PL has saved more post-shot expected goals than Sá this season, and that’s simply not sustainable for the Wolves keeper.
Sá is a major reason Wolves have only conceded 14 goals from 23.2 xG. It’s quite rare that a team will run 64% under their expected goals defense, and it’s impossible to continue at this rate. Anything within 10-15% could be explained as normal variance once the sample is large enough, but they’ve simply been lucky.
Teams have also shot poorly against Wolves and once that stops, the goals will be flowing. Look no further than recent games against Liverpool and Manchester City. Manager Bruno Lage’s team lost both of those games 1-0, but it allowed six xG.
In the last six games, Wolves have allowed two goals from about nine expected. The attack is equally underperforming at an unsustainable rate, too. Their results just don’t make sense at all given the performance of the attack and defense.
For the year, they’ve only scored 13 goals from 17.6 expected and two of their main attackers — Francisco Trincão and Adama Traoré — have a ton of positive regression coming.
Chelsea Ready to Cope Without Absences
The Blues have slowly played themselves out of pole position in the Premier League title race, but the reality is that they were unlikely to ever keep pace with Liverpool and Manchester City, both of whom have significantly better underlying numbers.
Sunday becomes a must-win of sorts given that Chelsea is four points behind City, which plays lowly Newcastle on Sunday, and three behind Liverpool, which travels to Spurs.
The Blues have four players within the squad who are unavailable for Sunday in Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Ben Chillwell (already injured) and Callum Hudson-Odoi due to positive COVID-19 tests. However, with Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount available and N’Golo Kante returning to fitness, the Blues have more than enough good players available to field a strong side against Wolves.
Chelsea did get the benefit of playing injury-riddled squads against both Leeds United and Everton, but the dominant attacking displays still suggest that they’ll create plenty of chances on Sunday.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Blues showed earlier this season without Werner and Lukaku that they can still create plenty of chances and score goals. I’d expect Chelsea to control the midfield in this match with Kanté and Jorginho back in the fold, but that won’t completely take away chances for Wolves to hit them on the counter.
Even if Wolves had very few chances vs. Liverpool and City, a lot of that was because of how they set up, defending with more numbers to take the point away from home.
At home and against a Chelsea defense that has been more vulnerable to counters, Wolves should find more attacking chances and grab a goal.
Wolves ridiculous recent run of unders — buoyed by unsustainably good goalkeeping, lucky defending and poor finishing in attack — has deflated this total considerably.
My projection puts this game at 2.35 total goals, and the current total is set at 2.5 with the over at +135 odds.
Chelsea should control large stretches of this match and even though the Blues are still overperforming their xG for the year, the recent run of poor finishing is hurting the perception of their attack in the market.
Pick: Total Over 2 Goals (-130)
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