The chase for the final Champions League automatic qualifier is still up for grabs, which adds extra motivation for both sides as the Chelsea-Leicester City odds for Tuesday afternoon are now live at BetRivers.com.
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Manchester City and Manchester United have locked up the top two spots, but Leicester City (20-6-10, 66pts), Chelsea (18-10-8, 64pts) and Liverpool (18-9-9, 63pts) are separated by just three points, meaning two of the three teams will move on to the Champions League while the fifth team will head to the Europa League. If that wasn’t enough, the Chelsea-Leicester City odds are impacted by what took place last weekend, when Leicester City defeated Chelsea 1-0 to capture the FA Cup.
Rob Dauster is here to preview the Chelsea-Leicester City odds ahead of their all-important matchup at 3:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 17.
CHELSEA vs. LEICESTER CITY, 3:15 p.m. ET
CHELSEA: -137 ML
LEICESTER: +425 ML
DRAW: +265 ML
OVER/UNDER: 2.5 goals (+108/-134)
Click here for the full list of Chelsea-Leicester City odds.
Chelsea are in such a weird spot right now.
For three months under Thomas Tuchel, they looked like they were the best team in Europe this side of Manchester City. Hell, the “this side of” qualifier may not be necessary. After rolling through Real Madrid in both legs of the Champions League semifinal, the Blues went into the Etihad and beat City, 2-1, to put themselves into a position where they controlled their own destiny in the top four race. That came after a win over City in the FA Cup semifinals. They were rolling.
And then last week happened.
Chelsea lost 1-0 at home against Arsenal. Then they lost 1-0 on Saturday to Leicester in the FA Cup final. And on Tuesday, the Blues will draw the FA Cup champions in a rematch that just so happens to be the most important game of the season for the three clubs that are in the thick of the top four race.
Here’s the situation: Leicester is currently sitting on 66 points, two points ahead of Chelsea and three points ahead of Liverpool. Liverpool finishes the year with matches against Burnley and Crystal Palace. Chelsea visits Aston Villa after Tuesday’s match with Leicester and before another date with City in the Champions League final. Leicester heads to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday and hosts Tottenham on Sunday.
The stage could not be better set for a thoroughly dramatic run in, and that’s after Allison’s 95th minute header for Liverpool beat West Brom on Sunday.
Here are the scenarios:
– If Leicester beats Chelsea, they guarantee themselves a spot in the top four as they’ll be five points up with one game left to play.
– If Chelsea beats Leicester, the Blues will move into third place and control their own destiny when it comes to qualification. Beat Villa on Sunday and they’ll finish third.
– If there is a draw, Leicester will control their own destiny, needing to beat Spurs on Sunday to finish fourth.
– Liverpool is essentially guaranteed to finish top four if they win out. If Chelsea drop any points in the last two matches, Liverpool will pass them. If Leicester lose once, Liverpool will draw even on points and, given that they are currently tied on goal differential, will likely leapfrog them.
There is SO much on the line on Tuesday afternoon.
At first glance, the line might look a little bit odd. It opened at Chelsea (-155) and has since moved to Chelsea (-137). This is not all that surprising, given the back-to-back losses for the Blues and the fact that, you know, Leicester just beat them.
But if you look a little bit deeper, is there really all that much for Chelsea fans to worry about?
For starters, both of the losing goals in the last two matches have been somewhat fluky. Arsenal scored after a horrible mistake by Jorginho, who very nearly passed the ball into his own net before setting up an Adam Smith-Rowe goal, while Leicester won on a 30-yard screamer that A) probably should have been saved, and B) came as the result of a handball that could have (should have?) been overturned by VAR.
Combined in those two matches, Chelsea allowed less than 1.0 total xG. They won the two matches on xG by more than 1.5 goals. Their attack has looked a little tepid in the last 180 minutes, but that has been an issue since Tuchel took over. In his 27 matches in charge, Chelsea have scored more than two goals in a match exactly once. They win with their defense, and their defense was just fine in the losses to Arsenal and Leicester.
They were on the wrong side of variance, in a sense.
And I think they’ll right the ship on Tuesday.
So not only do I love under 2.5 goals at this price, but I will be letting the line move as far as possible before buying Chelsea on the dip.