Chelsea will wrap up their first Premier League title since 2009/10, and gaffer Jose Mourinho’s first with the club since 2005/06, with any kind of victory over Alan Pardew’s visiting Crystal Palace, meaning betting opportunities abound at Stamford Bridge.
First of all, back Chelsea. They’re far too big at 1/3.
Forget talk of Pardew overcoming Mourinho for the second time this season; the Eagles chief’s 2-1 win against Chelsea when boss of Newcastle in December was at St James’ Park, whereas the Blues haven’t lost at home in the Premier League all season, taking 42 points from 48 on offer.
They’ve won three of their last four in front of the faithful, beating Manchester United and Spurs during that run, and Palace have been sent packing in four of their five visits to Chelsea during the Premier League era, including both fixtures against Mourinho, with the exception a 0-0 draw in 1995.
All that being said, and even taking into account Palace have lost their last two games to bottom-half opposition, the main reason the champions-elect will win this is because they’ll take the title when they do. Snap up that 1/3 while it’s hot.
For a first scorer, it has to be newly-crowned PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard at 13/4, as the Belgian has struck four openers in his past eight Premier League games for Chelsea.
Diego Costa leads the market at 3/1, despite suggestions from Mourinho that the striker might not play again this season due to persistent hamstring problems, while Loic Remy, who has just one top-flight first goals to his name since signing for Chelsea last summer, also gets in ahead of Hazard at 4/1.
The vagaries of first-goal markets can make for some surprise value, with Hazard at 13/4 in what’s likely to be Chelsea’s title-winning fixture one such instance.
Don’t forget, with bwin double winnings you’ll get twice the payout if your first-scorer pick bags the opener and another in the match.
The last bet we’re tipping up is Chelsea to win by at least three goals at 9/4, as they have in three of their four title-winning matches since first lifting the First Division trophy in 1955.
Mourinho’s men to nil may be the safer bet at 20/21, as Chelsea managed as much against Sheffield Wednesday in 1955 (3-0), Bolton in 2005 (0-2), Man Utd in 2006 (3-0) and Wigan in 2010 (8-0), but back at the Bridge the trends suggest they’ll cruise past a two-goal handicap, so go for the value.