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Odds and Ends

EPL Betting Preview: Chelsea

by Alex Blowers
Updated On: August 1, 2022, 11:39 pm ET

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Off the pitch, Chelsea's 2022 has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. Russia's invasion of Ukraine triggered economic sanctions that threatened the club's existence and resulted in Roman Abramovich selling The Blues to a consortium led by American billionaire Todd Boehly in a $5.25 billion deal.

The takeover has seen a massive shake-up in the boardroom, with chairman Bruce Buck, director Marina Granovskaia, and club legend Petr Cech all departing. Boehly has stepped in as interim sporting director, leading Chelsea's transfer dealings, and I think he's done a magnificent job.

He's made the tough decision of loaning unhappy record-signing Romelu Lukaka back to Inter Milan at a huge financial loss. The other elephant in the dressing room Kepa Arrizabalaga also looks to be on his way to Italy in a loan move to Napoli. Getting these two out of the club will do wonders for the squad's balance and harmony.

Signing Raheem Sterling for $61.2 million is one of the summer's best deals. He's a proven winner - four Premier League titles, one FA Cup, five Carabao Cups - and a guaranteed attacking threat with 162 goals and 129 assists in 429 career appearances. At 27 years old, his best years are ahead of him.

In defense, Kalidou Koulibaly is an upgrade on Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen. The 2022 African Cup of Nations winner has been one of the best defenders in Europe over the past five seasons, and his leadership and athleticism will complement Thiago Silva very well. If Joules Kounde had picked Stamford Bridge over the Barcelona financial circus, Chelsea would have the best backlines in the league.

Conor Gallagher and Emerson Palmieri are back from their successful loan spells, and Ben Chilwell is back from injury to add further depth and quality.

Odds To Win The Premier League +1400

Chelsea +1400 to win the Premier League are you mad?

This group of Chelsea players faced unprecedented circumstances last season when the UK Government placed financial sanctions on the club in early March. Thomas Tuchel handled the situation flawlessly, and the players rallied to finish in the Top 4 and reach the FA Cup final. I think the experience bonded the squad and will give them an edge this season.

I know there are questions about depth at center-back, with Koulibaly, Silva, César Azpilicueta, and Trevoh Chalobah the only four players on the books. Their first five fixtures before the transfer window closes are Everton, Tottenham, Leeds United, Leicester City, and Southampton, with a week's rest between the first four.

They have enough depth to get through these opening games and time to recruit a quality center-back with Leicester City's Wesley Fofana linked in recent days. Also, Reece James can fill in on the right side of the back three if needed.

I think this price is too good to turn down, and I'll be throwing a little coin on Chelsea lifting the title in May.

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Odds To Finish Top London Club +150

I think this is one of the best value future bets available on PointsBet.

Tottenham +100 are the favorites in this market, and I'm a huge fan of Antonio Conte. He is easily one of the best managers in the game and a proven winner. When I compare Tottenham's squad to Chelsea's, I see more winners and a stronger mentality at Stamford Bridge.

I think Arsenal are a couple of transfer windows away from making the Top 4. West Ham don't have the squad depth to compete in the Europa Conference League and challenge for the top spots in the Premier League. Crystal Palace will do well to finish in the top half, and Brentford and Fulham will be fighting off relegation.

Before you make this bet consider my next one, which is similar with a better price and slightly more risk.

Odds To Finish Outright Winner Without Manchester City and Liverpool +225

Realistically when you remove Manchester City and Liverpool from the title race, it's down to Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, and Manchester United. With United in a rebuild under new manager Erik Ten Hag, Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer request sideshow, and the squad looking weaker after a mass clearout, I'll happily allow them to join the race for a better price.

Back Chelsea to take the title with the two favorites removed from the running.

Raheem Sterling To Win The Golden Boot +2800

Earlier in this article, I waxed lyrical about Sterling, and rightly so. He's guaranteed to improve Chelsea's attack, score goals and provide assists, but I think he'll fall short of competing for the Golden Boot.

His highest scoring season is 20 goals in 19/20, and he's leaving a team in Manchester City who have averaged 97 goals and 85.28 xG per season over the last five. In that same time, Chelsea have averaged 65.6 goals and 62.92 xG per season per FBREF.com.

Save your money and place it on Chelsea To Finish Top London Club +150 or Outright Winner Without Manchester City and Liverpool +225 instead.

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Alex Blowers

Alex Blowers is a fantasy and betting content creator for soccer for NBC Sports EDGE and writes for HighPressSoccer and TheLines. Born and bred in England, he can now be found in Las Vegas, most likely at a sportsbook asking them to put soccer on. You can follow him on Twitter @AlexJBlowers.