Tottenham vs Chelsea Odds, Pick: Trust Blues to Rebound (Feb. 26)
Visionhaus/Getty. Pictured: Joao Felix.
Tottenham vs Chelsea Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+100 / -122)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-136 / +108)|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Newcastle and Manchester United will meet at Wembley for the League Cup final on Sunday, but the appetizer for Sunday’s final is a classic London derby and big six matchup between Chelsea and Tottenham.
A lot has changed since Spurs and Chelsea drew 2-2 on Tottenham’s last-second goal in the second week of the season.
Thomas Tuchel is gone, the dreams of Spurs competing for a league title this season are finished and both clubs enter this matchup in an uncertain situation. Tottenham have found some league form in the last few weeks, while Chelsea are full of new players and are still unable to score goals and produce results under new manager Graham Potter.
In my view, this is an excellent sell-high and buy-low opportunity. Spurs have the best set piece numbers in the whole league at both ends of the pitch, but this is an average team from open play and Chelsea will have significant midfield advantages and be able to press Spurs into mistakes in possession.
The surface level numbers suggest Spurs are playing better, but the underlying data tells a bit of a different story.
Tottenham’s Form a Bit Deceiving
Spurs have won three of four in the Premier League, but the underlying performances have still been pretty average as a whole. They defend their penalty area well, but Fraser Forster is a downgrade to Hugo Lloris in goal, they make a ton of errors in possession that lead to chances for the opponent and the attack isn’t nearly as potent from open play.
No team has conceded more chances because of individual mistakes than Spurs this season, and now they’ll face the team that has allowed the fifth-lowest pass completion rate in the entire league. Chelsea are also first in passes per defensive action, so expecting Spurs to build out from the back is a huge risk for them defensively.
Tottenham struggled to play through Manchester United’s pressure and they conceded the second goal to Chelsea in the first meeting directly from a turnover inside their own half. Even Leicester City scored twice directly from Tottenham giveaways in Spurs’ recent 4-1 defeat to the Foxes.
The problem is magnified when you consider that Spurs are shorthanded in midfield. Injuries to Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma means that Oliver Skipp will start alongside Pierre Emile Hojbjerg. Spurs decided not to start Heung-min Son against West Ham and used him as a sub instead. Even though Son came off the bench and ultimately scored, Spurs got very little production from Richarlison in his place.
Chelsea Wildly Under-Performing Against Analytics
The Blues have scored just one goal in their last five matches in all competitions despite producing 8 xG. The narrative surrounding the Blues is that they can’t score goals and that Potter is on the hot seat, but the field tilt numbers are encouraging, as are the shot differentials, xG and expected threat numbers. Improvement in results is coming if Chelsea continue to put in this level of performance.
Chelsea totally dominated the reverse fixture of this matchup and they had Tottenham penned into its own half for large stretches of the contest. That was Tuchel-ball and this is Potter-ball, but Chelsea are still forcing high turnovers, pressing and tilting the field on their opponents.
There’s an element of bad body language within this Chelsea team right now, but a lot of it is surely due to the poor finishing and results. It’s easy to compare the two teams right now by looking at their European away performances. Chelsea produced more than 2 xG against Dortmund and were unfortunate to lose while Spurs never looked like scoring in 90 minutes at AC Milan.
Both lost 1-0 on the scoreboard, but the underlying numbers tell a very different story of the current performance level of both clubs.
Tottenham vs Chelsea Pick
If you look at just the season-long aggregates, it’s easy to think that Tottenham should be a bigger favorite in this matchup. But when you consider the trend lines for both clubs, it’s a bit of a different story. Spurs started the season well with their performances and they’ve steadily gotten worse.
Chelsea hit rock bottom near the beginning of the Potter era, when he had no healthy players, but the Blues are quietly starting to rise again. All of the January signings have made small impacts in the xG data too, even if it’s not quite showing on the table or the scoring sheet yet.
Tottenham can effectively defend their own penalty area, but consistent Chelsea pressure should break them down and make them the more likely winner on Sunday.
From a projections standpoint, this number is about right for me with Spurs around a tossup at home. But the spot and matchup favors the Blues and I’m willing to bet them on the draw no bet line at -110 or better. The goals and results will come for Chelsea, if they continue creating chances like they have been.
Pick: Chelsea PK (-110 or better)
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