English Premier League Odds & Betting Picks for Chelsea vs. Arsenal (Wednesday, May 12)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images. Pictured: Chelsea standout Marcos Alonso celebrates after scoring a goal.
- Chelsea welcomes Arsenal to Stamford Bridge for Wednesday's Premier League showdown.
- The Blues have an extremely busy schedule in front of them, highlighted by appearances in the FA Cup and Champions League finals.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the match below and explains where he finds value in this meeting.
Chelsea vs. Arsenal Odds
|2.5 (+110 / -137)
|Day | Time
|Wednesday | 3:15 p.m. ET
|Odds updated Wednesday afternoon via DraftKings.
London rivals meet in Premier League action Wednesday when Chelsea takes on Arsenal and looks to continue its excellent recent form, with the the hope of securing its place in next season's Champions League.
The Blues have a chance to win two trophies in the final weeks of the season and secure a top-four position in England's top flight in the process. In contrast, Arsenal has little to play for with its chances of European football next year all but over at the moment.
The Gunners have improved under manager Mikel Arteta, but their attacking numbers haven't been consistent enough and a disastrous start to the year that saw them in 15th place left them too far out of the European race.
Chelsea has the FA Cup final to look forward to Sunday, along with a looming Champions League title match May 29 against Manchester City. The Blues really can't choose to rotate here, though, with West Ham United and Liverpool chasing them for UCL positions.
Since manager Thomas Tuchel took over in late January, the Blues have become the world's best defense. Like Manchester City, Tuchel has figured out the way to be successful in the COVID-19 era. Chelsea still presses and counter-presses at a solid rate, but not at the level it did under former manager Frank Lampard. Instead, the Blues focus on conservative possession, recycling the ball and being patient to create high-quality shots.
Just four of 16 EPL matches where Tuchel has been in charge have resulted in at least three goals and the Blues have kept 11 clean sheets in that time frame. The underlying defensive numbers are just as impressive, as no team has allowed fewer completed passes into its own penalty area in the entire league since Tuchel's reign began.
The Chelsea attack took some time to come around, with the early season fitness issues for Kai Havertz causing hurdles since his arrival from Bayer Leverkusen. Combine that with Timo Werner's notoriously bad finishing run this season and the result has been a struggle to score goals at times.
I've been lower than the market all season on the Gunners. I picked them to finish eighth in the league and thought they'd miss out on Europe, which appears to be their fate following a loss to Villarreal in the Europa League semifinal round. Their defense has actually been better than I projected, partially because of Arteta's defensive possession structure.
One could argue that the global pandemic part of soccer, where Arteta refuses to press and wants slow build up of possession play, would be beneficial to his side. However, after watching how easily West Bromwich Albion ripped Arsenal apart and created big scoring chances, I'm concerned about the club in this spot as well. The Gunners have little to play for and were fortunate to secure all three points at the weekend against the relegated Baggies.
Arsenal won this reverse fixture on Boxing Day, but scored two fluke goals and that was before Tuchel was in charge. Both teams have improved since then, but the Gunners haven't been able to generate clear chances all year against the league's elite. When facing Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City, Arsenal has created less than 0.85 non-penalty expected goals in all but one match, which came in an early season 3-1 loss to Liverpool.
The Gunners defense should be able to cause problems for Chelsea if it's up for the match, though I don't see how they generate consistent scoring chances against this defensive juggernaut.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Despite the circumstances, this game is not likely to be the most exciting for neutral fans to watch. Two possession-based sides will be doing battle, and given that Arsenal's pressing numbers are pretty low, Chelsea should have more of the ball and look to poke and prod at its foe's defense.
The Gunners will look to counterattack, but I don't trust any of their attacking options given the recent form. My projections are right on with Chelsea at -138 odds, but I do show value in a certain prop market.
My projections give a 56.5% chance that both teams do not score in this match, but the current price at DraftKings is -106 at the moment. That said, I will make that my top pick.
Pick: Both Teams To Score — No (-115 or better)