Smart bets on Chelsea: Tammy Abraham due for a scoring mini-streak

NORWICH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Tammy Abraham of Chelsea scores his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Chelsea FC at Carrow Road on August 24, 2019 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
NORWICH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Tammy Abraham of Chelsea scores his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Chelsea FC at Carrow Road on August 24, 2019 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /
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After riding the high from the come-from-behind victory against Arsenal, Chelsea fans and bettors alike should be wary of a letdown match or trap game.

The Blues went down early with on goal from Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang in the 13′. Prior to last weekend, if Arsenal led at halftime at home, they hadn’t lost in nine years. But Chelsea ended that streak with two goals in the second half to steal the three points. Chelsea ended an unpleasant streak of their own with that win: it was the first time this season they have taken points from a losing position.

With Brighton waiting patiently on New Year’s Day, the odds tell you everything you need to know. Chelsea is slender favorites at -105 to win against the 14th-place Seagulls, while Brighton is +280 with the draw at slightly lesser odds of +260.

I have a general rule that anytime your team is barely a favorite and the opponent’s odds are that close to a draw, it doesn’t bode well for the favorite.

Brighton at home hasn’t been too bad, averaging 1.5 points a match in their 10 home matches. They have wins against Tottenham and Everton, both coming before those clubs made their recent manager changes.

Chelsea on the road has been spectacular, only losing the opener to Manchester United, at Manchester City in November and Everton (freshly post-manager change, when the new manager bounce was at its most extreme) at the beginning of December. The Blues are averaging 2.1 points from their 10 road matches.

Chelsea are a better road team than Brighton are home team, and they are obviously a better team all-around. But that isn’t always how it goes, especially for Chelsea this season.

The total goals scored for the match are currently at 2.5, with the over taking a large chunk of the action. I believe it will be the under that hits, as Chelsea pull out a 1-0 victory and use the Arsenal win to string some good performances together.

Tammy Abraham will likely secure the three points. He has a habit of scoring in bunches and is due for goals in consecutive games. His best run came early in the season when he racked up seven goals across three consecutive Premier League games. He has mini-streaks of two games with goals in the Premier League and across the Champions League and Premier League.

Of his 14 goals in all competitions, only three came in games where he did not score in the game immediately before or immediately after. All three of those were in December, and it includes his game-winner against Arsenal. So if he gets back on one of his usual mini-streaks against Brighton today, he’ll only have two “standalone” goals this season.

Frank Lampard will have his men ready for Brighton and not looking past them, and Brighton will undoubtedly be prepared for Chelsea. Brighton come into the game five points above the relegation zone: just close enough to be the kind of team that has troubled Chelsea this season.

Next. Predicted XI vs. Brighton: 3-4-3 is dead, long live the 4-2-3-1. dark

This will be a very tight affair with very few mistakes for either side to capitalize upon. Chelsea will edge Brighton for a hard-fought 1-0 victory.