Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: West Ham United vs. Chelsea (Saturday, April 24)
Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images. Pictured: Timo Werner.
- Chelsea and West Ham square off Saturday in a crucial Premier League match at London Stadium.
- West Ham has seen some injury issues in its lineup as of late, so Chelsea has a chance to continue its stellar run of play in this battle of teams seeking Champions League berths.
- Check out Anthony Dabbundo's betting preview, complete with updated odds and a pick below.
West Ham vs. Chelsea Odds
|West Ham Odds||+350|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+102 / -127)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Friday morning and via DraftKings.|
The biggest Premier League game of the weekend is on Saturday as fourth-place Chelsea travels to London rival West Ham for a huge clash of sides fighting for Champions League places.
The Blues still have a route of qualifying for the CL by winning this year’s competition, but both Chelsea and West Ham sit tied in fourth place on 55 points with six matches to play.
Whoever wins on Saturday is in control of the fourth and final CL spot, and it’s a matchup of strength-on-strength as the Blues’ stingy defense battles West Ham’s recently potent offense.
As good as West Ham has been this season by maintaining a relatively consistent starting XI and getting excellent production from its top talent, the injury crisis has reached the point where it is difficult for the Hammers to continue to cope with them.
Star defensive midfielder Declan Rice is out. He’s critical for both tackles and interceptions as he breaks up play. Top striker Michail Antonio is also out and is their best poaching finisher. The injuries and suspensions are mounting at the back, too, where Aaron Cresswell, Craig Dawson and Arthur Masuaku are all either out or very unlikely to play in WHU’s back line.
The result is a porous defense that doesn’t press and counter nearly as well. It struggles to keep the ball anyway and will especially struggle to break through Chelsea’s pressing and possessing style. The Blues will dominate the ball with WHU looking to break quickly, but it will be difficult to find success that way against this stingy Chelsea defense.
The Hammers have been running a bit hot in recent weeks in terms of finishing. They rank just eighth in xG difference per 90 for the year. Game state absolutely plays a role, but WHU has lost xG to Newcastle, Wolves and Spurs in recent wins.
Jesse Lingard has carried this attack with hot finishing and absurd running numbers, but I’m skeptical that the rate of chance conversion is sustainable.
The Blues were held down to a goalless draw in the midweek with Brighton, a disappointing result that they probably win more often than not based on performance. However, they never found the goal and settled for one point.
Chelsea will likely roll up with a front three of Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. They’ll use quick, short passes to attack this WHU defense. I’m concerned about the Hammers’ ability to defend crosses given their depth issues at center back. Chelsea will keep firing balls into the box, and space will be found given the lack of quality from the Hammers defense.
The Blues have improved significantly in transition defense since Thomas Tuchel became the manager. They’ve allowed less than 0.6 xGA per 90 in the PL since he took over.
Betting Analysis & Pick
West Ham has been on a great run of finishing and results, but Chelsea is a much tougher challenge. My number makes this -130 against a full-strength West Ham side, but the Hammers will be far from that on Saturday.
The Blues’ elite defensive run should be able to keep the WHU counterattack at bay. If the Hammers fall behind early, it will be difficult for them to sustain periods of possession to stay in this game.
West Ham is vulnerable to through balls, too, so look for Werner to get in behind multiple times on Saturday.
Pick: Chelsea ML (-130 or better)
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