Thanks to Manchester City, the futures market in the English Premier League hinges on wagering on who will attain the top-four finish that secures an automatic berth into the 2018-19 Champions League.
Buoyed by a derby-day win at Manchester United last week, City are in deep minus money on the EPL championship odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Manchester United, 11 points adrift with 21 games left, is the nominal second favorite.
There is, however, some value in top four props. Aforementioned Manchester United (-900) and Chelsea (-400) offer plenty of chalk. Liverpool (-140) and Tottenham Hotspur (even) still have a modicum of value. Arsenal (+160) have been an enigma. But Burnley (+6600) are staying up with the big boys due to strong away play and tight defense
Leicester City (+4000) also loom as a value play, but the cachet the Foxes created with their 2015-16 league title means they are more likely to draw action than the other darkhorse.
Manchester City (-200 on the Matchweek 18 betting lines), with their record 15-win streak in the league are home against Tottenham Hotspur (+475, draw +330) which will be missing defenders Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez. It is hard to see how Spurs will have a path to a result with such a sub-optimal back line.
Brighton & Hove Albion (+155) have scored but once in their last five starts, and few teams defend better than Burnley (+215, draw +185). Even at -130 the under on the 2.0 total is still good value.
Leicester City (-115) offer great value at home against relegation-zone Crystal Palace (+330, draw +245). Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez has had the hot boot of late (three goals in four games). The under on the 2.5 total is tempting, to say the least, since Crystal Palace have yet to score an away goal in league play.
West Bromwich Albion (+500) take a 304-minute goal drought into action against Manchester United (-185, draw +290) in a Sunday betting matchup. Man United are just 3-3-2 over its last eight games against West Brom, and a low-scoring defensive struggle could unfold here.
Bournemouth (+500) are on a five-match winless skid as it hosts somewhat inconsistent Liverpool (-215, draw +360) on Sunday. The form says Liverpool can right itself away from the critical eyes of its supporters at Anfield, especially with Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho all projected to start.
And Everton (-150), which have taken 10 of 12 possible points from its last four games, host struggling Swansea City (+425, draw +260) in a Monday matchup. Against such a lower-placed side, Everton and Wayne Rooney likely will be on the attack, and the over on the 2.5 total offers a meaty +110 payout.