Chelsea vs Forest: EPL betting guide and tips

Mateo Kovacic of Chelsea (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Mateo Kovacic of Chelsea (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /

Well folks, Chelsea finally did it. They are safe from relegation and will be taking part in the 2023/24 Premier League campaign. Some people may think I had been over-exaggerating my fears about dropping into The Championship, but I genuinely didn’t think Chelsea was going to win another game for the rest of the season.

Fortunately, the team proved me wrong and its four remaining outings are completely meaningless. That’s better than the alternative, though, so I’ll hold off from complaining about any results over the next few weeks. This summer will be absolutely crucial for the club, both in terms of on-pitch performance and off-the-field relationship rebuilding with its supporters. Todd Boehly and his hierarchy needs to regain the trust of the Stamford Bridge faithful in order to move forward effectively as owners.

In the meantime, Frank Lampard and his boys will receive Forest in west London for what was shaping up to be a relegation six-pointer only a week ago. The visitors are three points above the drop line, but currently have the second-worst goal differential in the English top flight at -31. They’ll need to rely on continued positive results if they’re going to stay in the Premier League next season, and taking points off a Chelsea side with nothing to play for might be Forest’s easiest remaining objective, with Arsenal and Palace also on the fixture list.

The Tricky Trees walked away from the campaign’s first iteration of this matchup with a draw at home, but replicating that outcome at the Bridge will require complete focus from the opening whistle. Conor Gallagher’s early goal against Bournemouth was surely a catalyst for the Blues’ first victory since March.

Betting on Chelsea’s final four games will probably be more difficult than it has been for a majority of the season, now that the team seems to be in some semblance of a rhythm. I doubt there’ll be a massive uptick in production, but players like Gallagher, Noni Madueke, Hakim Ziyech, and Enzo Fernandez have found enough form to elevate the atrocious brand of attacking football that the club’s supporters have been subject to all year. Even so, counting on any forward to score consistently has been a pointless exercise in 2022/23, so I’ll stay away from the over on the Blues’ team total.

I will back the home side to win at least six corners in the match at -186 odds, though, as the Stamford Bridge pitch is notoriously small. If the pride can continue to dominate possession, as it has against weaker opposition in most of its home contests, then we should be seeing an early cash for this play.

Despite last weekend’s impressive win at the Vitality Stadium, I still can’t bring myself to bet on any scoring overs against Forest. In fact, I’ll be taking under 2.5 total goals at -104 odds. These are two of the worst offenses in the Premier League, both averaging one measly goal per game, while the Blues boast a top three defensive unit. Nottingham’s back line has been suspect, conceding nearly two scores per outing, but the CFC attack usually finds a way to make its counterpart look much better than it actually is.

I also don’t trust Lampard to continuously reward his best performers with more playing time, so Ziyech and Madueke might not be utilized much over the next four matches. Inconsistency has been the only consistent for the Chels‘ this year, so I won’t fall into the trap of betting with my heart based on one good result.

Official odds (via FanDuel as of May 12)

Chelsea ML: -195

Nottingham Forest ML: +500

Draw: +340

Over/Under: 2.5 (-116/-104)

My Chelsea picks:

The season is coming to an end, my friends, so it’s time to really cash out on being forced to watch these dreadfully boring contests. The summer will be a much-needed reprieve from the past 9 and a half months of supporting this club. And while I’ve never endured a more frustrating campaign in the history of my sports fandom, I’ve never felt more desire for one of my teams to succeed. Putting the sentiment aside, let’s get into the bets. Give me over 5.5 home corner kicks for the home team at -186 odds, as well as under 2.5 total goals at -104.

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Finally, I’m persevering for the fourth consecutive match on the both teams not to score prop, despite it missing against the Cherries. The odds come in at -118 for Saturday, which feels like pretty solid value. I’ll admit that this is a relatively safe card, but my gambling results over the past 180’ of Chelsea football have me feeling risk averse.