Chelsea, atual campeão da Premier League.

Chelsea, City both set as heavy favorites in EPL season openers

Chelsea FC will be searching for its first victory in four matches on Saturday when the club begins defense of its Premier League crown against Burnley as heavy -475 home favorites on the EPL soccer odds.

The Blues were a force down the stretch last season, claiming victory in their final six matches to finish at the top of the table for the second time in three years, but have underachieved in the offseason, losing four of five ahead of Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge.

The defending league champions came out flat in their last outing, blowing a 1-0 halftime lead en route to a 3-1 loss on penalties to Arsenal in last weekend’s FA Community Shield, failing to pay out as +106 chalk. The Blues also open the new season trailing on the Premier League championship odds, chasing favorites Manchester City with +325 odds.

Pegged as distant +1300 underdogs on Saturday, the Clarets have a lot to prove after finishing a distant 16th last spring, but enjoyed a solid offseason, going undefeated in five matches including a 2-1 win over Spanish side Celta de Vigo in a friendly earlier this month.

It has been almost nine years since Burnley last tallied a win at Stamford Bridge, but the Clarets have escaped with 1-1 draws in two of their past three meetings with the Blues.

Perched as +175 favorites to finish at the top of the table for the first time since 2014, Manchester City opens their campaign on Saturday as heavy -325 chalk against recently promoted Brighton & Hove Albion.

Promoted after finishing second on last season’s EFL Championship table, the Seagulls make their Premier League debut as +950 underdogs. Brighton & Hove earned a win on penalties in a 2008 League Cup date with the Citizens, and has claimed victory in three of five all-time meetings with City on home turf.

The Premier League schedule opens on Friday afternoon, when Arsenal plays host to Leicester City as -220 chalk, before Liverpool starts the day on Saturday, visiting Watford as a -185 favorite, and Tottenham Hotspur begin Sunday as shorter -150 favorites against Newcastle United.

The Gunners have alternated between wins and losses over their past five matches but finished last season on a five-match win streak, while the Foxes sit as +575 underdogs, and ride a three-match losing streak in EPL action.

All eyes will be on Tottenham attacker Harry Kane on Sunday. The 24-year-old scored eight total goals in his final three appearances last season, and is an intriguing +350 bet to score two or more against fledgling Newcastle United.