Manchester United, Chelsea odds move in Premier League futures

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While one matchweek is the ultimate in small sample sizes, the outcomes have made oddsmakers adjust their prices in English Premier League futures significantly.

Manchester City remain at the top of the board, listed at +130 to be the EPL outright winner at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The big mover was their cross-town rival, as Manchester United have come down slightly to +275 after a four-goal victory in its opener, while Chelsea have doubled to +650 after an embarrassing stumble in their opener at Burnley.

Tottenham Hotspur (+800), which coincidentally will host Chelsea on Sunday, still have an attractive price for bettors looking for the higher-risk but higher-reward play; all the chatter about how they might be less offensively potent whilst displaced to Wembley Stadium overlooks their defense.

The board will be volatile early in the season, especially week to week. If one believes Man United and Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba are for real, now might be the best time for believers in Jose Mourinho’s men to get down since the Red Devils won’t face another big power until mid-October.

Conversely, a scan of the fixtures list shows Manchester City will have some big matches in September, including being home to Liverpool and a trip to Chelsea. A stumble might lead to an artificial price rise. Chelsea do present a buy-low opportunity, but they are working without their first-choice starting 11 and have some tough early-season tests.

Among this week’s Premier League fixtures, Manchester United (-275) face short-staffed Swansea (+900, +370 draw) on Saturday. The Red Devils are +105 on the goal line and winning by two should be doable.

Liverpool (-270) host Crystal Palace (+800, +400 draw) in a matchup of teams which each conceded three goals in their openers. The total is an even 3, which means playing the over offers a push as cushion.

On Sunday, Tottenham (+105) host Chelsea (+265, +245 draw). With suspended Gary Cahill off the back line, Chelsea might have trouble containing both Harry Kane and Dede Alli, but with their 0-1 record it will be desperate to batten down and try to get the draw and valuable (in the long run) point.

Newly promoted Huddersfield Town (+140) are still offering plus money for its home opener against Newcastle United (+210, +220 draw) on Sunday. Newcastle had a desultory opening loss, so riding with everyone’s new second-favorite team on sentiment makes some sense.

The matchweek wraps with Manchester City (-355) hosting Everton (+950, +450 draw) on Monday. Everton have won the last three matchups between the teams and offer some upset potential, especially if midfielder Idrissa Gueye contains playmaker Kevin de Bruyne.

Manchester City now minus money in Premier League futures

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Manchester United and Manchester City are shoulder-to-shoulder in the English Premier League standings, but not on the futures board.

Having won its past three matches by a combined 15-0, Man City has been re-appraised as a -110 favorite to win the league, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. That means the +275 price on Manchester United seems fairly attractive; the season is a marathon, not a sprint, and manager Jose Mourinho has the depth to help his team stay near the top.

Defending champion Chelsea (+500), still waiting on the return of Eden Hazard, is a distant third on the board. Prices have also risen on Tottenham Hotspur (+1400) and Liverpool (+2200).

Top matches this week on the EPL betting lines include Swansea City (+135) hosting Watford (+210, +225 draw). None of Swansea’s past five home matches against Watford have a had a total higher than two. That’s likely to continue. Watford is short-staffed due to injuries and Miguel Britos’ suspension, but getting an away win is attainable for one of the better teams in the EPL’s middle class.

West Ham United (+450) is home to Tottenham Hotspur (-170, +315 draw) with each club in need of a tangible result. A conservatively played contest could help the under 3.0 (-135) hit.

Everton (-160), who needs something good to happen, hosts struggling Bournemouth (+450, +280 draw), who’s yet to make use of striker Josh King. Everton has won its last four matches against Bournemouth and should grind out a win, but the under on the 2.5 total might hold up.

Leicester City (+305) hosts Liverpool (-115, +275 draw) just four days after the teams played in an EFL Cup match. Liverpool had the run of play before losing that match, which means it rates an excellent chance of getting instant revenge. Liverpool’s defensive issues suggest that over might hit on the 3.0 total.

Brighton and Hove Albion (+165) is a shaky play in its Sunday home fixture against  Newcastle United (+185, +205 draw). Newcastle is on a three-match win streak and might be satisfied to wrangle a draw.

Arsenal (-310) hosts West Bromwich Albion (+850, +425 draw) in the lone Monday game. West Brom is a pesky team so goals will be at a premium, but Arsenal has momentum after tying Chelsea last week and is paying a decent -105 on the goal line (minus-1.5).

Chelsea FC agree to sell Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid for a reported $77 million fee

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Chelsea have confirmed that disgruntled striker Diego Costa has been sold to Atletico Madrid in a blockbuster 57 million pound ($77 million) move, pending personal terms and a physical.

If Costa agrees to terms and passes the physical, he’ll join Atletico in January when the winter transfer window opens.

After a summer filled with numerous reports of tension between Costa and Chelsea’s manager Antonio Conte, the two sides ultimately found a mutually beneficial resolution.

The Brazilian-born Spanish international striker never settled in London after agreeing to join Chelsea from Atletico in 2014 and was very public in his desire to leave the club. He rejoins Diego Simeone’s side in La Liga after scoring 52 league goals in 89 Premier League appearances for the Blues.

For Chelsea, the side will likely be thrilled that the public acrimony between both sides didn’t affect Costa’s transfer value. The team bought the striker at 25 for 32 million pounds and almost received double that amount in selling him.

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