ALL of a sudden, there is an element of contest once again in the 2016-17 English Premier League title race.
Chelsea’s defeat at Manchester United over the Easter weekend has allowed to Tottenham Hotspur to close the gap to four points with only a handful of fixtures remaining.
While the Blues remain firm favourites in Sportsbet.com.au’s EPL outright market at -714.29, Spurs have edged in to +450.
Not much has changed for Manchester City (+15000) and Liverpool (+20000), even though the latter have a rather soft run to the finish line with dates against Crystal Palace, Watford, Southampton, West Ham and Middlesbrough.
But it is the mid-table clubs and relegation battlers that have tripped up the Reds this season, while the absence of star striker Sadio Mane has put a significant dint in their goalscoring armoury.
Rounding out the market are Arsenal and Man United on +50000 apiece, although both will have their work cut out just to snare a Champions League spot.
The Red Devils at +333 are the best bet to squeeze into the top four, with the Gunners back at +750 and seventh-placed Everton a +10000 long shot.
At the other end of affairs, the bookies and punters agree that Sunderland’s luck will finally run out.
Nine points from the safety zone with six games to play, the Mackems are $1.005 certainties to slide down to the Championship.
Not far behind are Middlesbrough at -10000, with Swansea City -188.68 and Hull City +140 playing hot potato over the third relegation place.
One of those Premier League spots will be taken by Brighton and Hove Albion, who secured promotion after Huddersfield Town drew with Derby County on Tuesday morning.
Newcastle United are all but assured of following the Seagulls into the top tier, while Aaron Mooy and his West Yorkshire cohorts are rated +210 favourites to join them.
Sheffield Wednesday (+300) and Fulham (+320) loom as Huddersfield’s chief rivals in the promotion playoffs, along with Reading (+450) and Leeds United (+500).
2016-17 Premier League futures betting
-714.29 – Chelsea
+450 – Tottenham
+15000 – Man City
+20000 – Liverpool
+50000 – Arsenal, Man United
-20000 – Tottenham
-1428.57 – Man City
-909.09 – Liverpool
+333 – Man United
+750 – Arsenal
+10000 – Everton
-20000 – Sunderland
-10000 – Middlesbrough
-188.68 – Swansea
+140 – Hull
+2200 – Crystal Palace
+3300 – Bournemouth
+3500 – Burnley
+6000 – West Ham
Top league goalscorer
-400 – Romelu Lukaku (24)
+1400 – Sergio Aguero (17)
+2000 – Alexis Sanchez (19)
+2500 – Diego Costa (17), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (17)
+6600 – Dele Alli (16)
2016-17 EFL Championship betting
-3333.33 – Brighton
+1100 – Newcastle
+40000 – Huddersfield
+210 – Huddersfield
+300 – Sheffield Wednesday
+320 – Fulham
+450 – Reading
+500 – Leeds
-5000 – Wigan
-200 – Blackburn
+350 – Birmingham, Nottingham Forest
+1000 – Burton Albion
+3500 – Bristol City
All markets provided by Sportsbet.com.au
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