Reading-Chelsea Betting Preview: Why backing the Royals to score in the first half looks to offer value

With the hosts regularly scoring before the break, and the Blues prone to conceding in the opening 45 minutes, Phil Kitromilides can see a great looking bet at 8/5
Unlikely as it may sound, things are looking up for Reading. The Royals may be in the relegation zone, and are still one of the favourites to go down, but three wins in their last four league matches, coupled with FA Cup success, means Brian McDermott's side have put together a useful run.

After seven successive defeats, Reading have suffered just one loss in their last seven games in all competitions and Paddy Power price them at 6/1 (7.00) to overcome Chelsea this evening.

The Blues for their part are priced at 1/2 (1.50) to win yet in recent weeks have been extremely erratic. Unexpected draws against Southampton, Swansea and Brentford came either side of a decent home win against Arsenal and trying to predict how Chelsea will face the game this evening is a challenge.

Instead of attempting to second guess the Londoners' approach, it could be wiser to back Reading in some way, and the price of 8/5 (2.60) for them to score in the first half is extremely appealing.

The Royals have been netting in the opening 45 minutes consistently in the last few weeks, scoring first half goals in five of their last six matches.

Chelsea meanwhile have acquired a knack of conceding fairly early on, with the Blues allowing their opponents to find the back of the net in the first half during three of their last five away games.

The price for Reading to score in the first half is big, and with this bet comfortably paying out when the sides met earlier this season (Reading had scored twice inside 29 minutes) it looks to offers punters some real value.

If Reading look likely to score in the first half then those looking for a higher priced value bet could do worse than backing the 9/2 (5.50) offered for the Royals to be leading at half time, a bet which has paid out in two of the last three meetings between the sides.

Reading to score in the first half at 8/5 (2.60) with Paddy Power
Reading to lead at half time at 9/2 (5.50) with Paddy Power

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.