RELEGATION rumbles, derby dates, top-crust clashes – the upcoming round of English Premier League action has it all.
Let’s look at the best bets for week 27, with match odds and soccer specials from the world’s best online bookmakers.
EPL Matchweek 27 betting odds
Markets provided by Sportsbet.com.au
Man United -400 – Draw +500 – Bournemouth +1100
Leicester -117.65 – Draw +270 – Hull +320
Stoke -105.26 – Draw +225 – Middlesbrough +333
Swansea -105.26 – Draw +240 – Burnley +310
Watford +240 – Draw +230 – Southampton +120
West Brom +110 – Draw +225 – Crystal Palace +275
Liverpool +105 – Draw +250 – Arsenal +260
Tottenham -151.52 – Draw +280 – Everton +400
Sunderland +1000 – Draw +450 – Man City -357.14
West Ham +450 – Draw +300 – Chelsea -161.29
Leicester City vs. Hull City
3pm local time – Saturday, March 4, 2017 – King Power Stadium
- Correct score 1-1 draw – +650 at Bet365
- Jamie Vardy first goalscorer – +500 at CrownBet
Where has that Leicester been all season?
Fresh off Claudio Ranieri’s controversial axing, the Foxes produced their best display of the season to stun Liverpool 3-1 on Monday night.
Jamie Vardy, who had not scored in the league since his hat-trick against Manchester City in December, ran rings around Lucas Leiva et al and fully deserved his brace.
But the highlight came from Danny Drinkwater, whose unstoppable volley from outside the box will be a serious contender for goal of the season.
The secret may lie in Craig Shakespeare’s back-to-basics approach, as the interim boss reverted to the same formation and personnel – minus N’Golo Kante – that won Leicester the title last season.
That sudden revival is unwelcome news for a Hull side that needs every point it can scramble.
The Tigers are playing well – far better than they were before Marco Silva’s appointment – yet are not reaping the rewards their output deserves.
Coming off consecutive fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, the Humberside club would have eyed Burnley’s visit last week as a red-hot chance for three points.
They could only manage one, thus heaping even more importance on the trip to the East Midlands.
Hull’s hopes may ride on the availability of Harry Maguire, who has blossomed into a true leader in the heart of defence with Curtis Davies and Michael Dawson out injured.
The 23-year-old Sheffield native is a strong chance to return from a knee knock this week, while the on-loan Lazar Markovic is also expected to be fit.
The Tigers won 2-1 when these two meet earlier in the season, with goals from Adama Diomande and Robert Snodgrass.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal
5:30pm local time – Saturday, March 4, 2017 – Anfield
- Half-time draw/full-time Liverpool – +450 at William Hill
- Roberto Firmino first goalscorer – +600 at CrownBet
While Leicester were good, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds were downright dreadful.
Georginio Wijnaldum put in a very rare stinker, Sadio Mane struggled to get on the ball and Roberto Firmino had one of those nights where every touch seemed to go wrong.
The absence of Jordan Henderson’s prolific passing may have upset the midfield rhythm, while Lucas – so impressive at the back against Tottenham two weeks prior – was given an absolute bath by Vardy and company.
The captain is touch and go for Saturday, but Dejan Lovren (knee) and Daniel Sturridge (illness) are expected to report for duty.
Even with mixed form and serious defensive issues, Liverpool will fancy themselves to complete the double over Arsenal.
The Gunners were overrun when the Merseysiders visited the Emirates in round one, shipping four in a flash before scraping back a few consolation goals to lose 4-3.
Their own form line makes for ordinary reading.
Never mind the wins over relegation favourites Hull and lower-league FA Cup battlers Sutton United – it is the heavy defeats to Chelsea and Bayern Munich that should worry Arsene Wenger.
The Londoners are alright at beating up less-talented teams, but they are too often and too easily dismantled by opponents in their own weight division.
Since defeating the Blues back in September, they have not beaten any of their rivals in the Premier League top six.
Whichever way you lean, expect goals at both ends.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton
1:30pm local time – Sunday, March 5, 2017 – White Hart Lane
- Under 2.5 goals – +105 at William Hill
- Romelu Lukaku first goalscorer – +560 at CrownBet
After thrashing Stoke 4-0 last week, Spurs are alone again in second place on the 2016-17 EPL table.
It was the usual suspects who did the damage – Harry Kane with a hat-trick, Dele Alli with the other.
Pummelling the Potters has become a force of habit for Tottenham, but it was a timely return to form after their horror show at Anfield two weeks earlier.
Now another Liverpudlian threat approaches as Everton look to continue their assault on the top six.
Undefeated since Christmas, the Toffees are only four points shy of Man United, who have a game in hand, and five behind their cross-town rivals.
Romelu Lukaku is up to 17 Premier League goals this season, but the club’s fortunes no longer rest on his finishing alone.
The January addition of Morgan Schneiderlin seems to have completed the midfield puzzle at Goodison, allowing the likes of Ross Barkley and Idrissa Gueye more freedom of movement in the final third.
The latter was especially impressive in last week’s 2-0 win over Sunderland, scoring the opener and creating several more opportunities with his probing late runs.
It could be an interesting contest at White Hart Lane, where Everton managed a goalless draw early last season.
They have not beaten Spurs since 2012, but five of their last eight meetings have ended all square.
Furthermore, neither side has scored more than two goals in this fixture since 2008.
West Ham United vs. Chelsea
8pm local time – Monday, March 6, 2017 – London Stadium
- Chelsea to win both halves – +310 at CrownBet
- Eden Hazard first goalscorer – +500 at Bet365
After an awful start to what was supposed to be a very good season, West Ham have steadied the ship.
They have lost only twice in 2017, and both of those defeats came against the Manchester clubs.
Dimitri Payet’s departure for Marseille seems to have improved matters both in the dressing room and on the park.
Manuel Lanzini is playing some excellent football, while Michail Antonio continues to impress in whatever role he is asked to play.
But the Irons will have to make do without their fix-it man this week after he was sent off in the draw with Watford.
In better news for Slaven Bilic and company, Andy Carroll is expected to pass fit after a few weeks out with a groin problem.
It might not matter who they field against this Chelsea side.
Still 10 points clear in the title race, the Blues are churning away at their remaining fixtures with a minimum of fuss.
Cesc Fabregas came into the side last week and starred in his 300th Premier League appearance, scoring the opener against Swansea and running the show from midfield.
The decision for Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is whether to start the Spaniard once more at London Stadium.
Fabregas has plenty of experience in the hustle and bustle of London derbies, but the midfield pairing of N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic offers much more defensive protection.