In the past few seasons, the final day of the EPL season has lacked dramatic games as many of the issues have already been resolved. That’s not the case this season with plenty to play for at both ends of the standings. At the bottom, Bournemouth, Watford and Aston Villa are battling it out for 17th place which will guarantee a place in next season’s competition. At the top of the table there is a winner-takes-all contest between Leicester and Manchester United at the King Power Stadium. If there is a winner, that team will play in next season’s Champions League while the loser will have to settle for the Europa League - if Chelsea avoids defeat at home to Wolves. I’ll be highlighting some of the best bets available from a full slate of 10 EPL games on Sunday.
Man City looks to pile on the misery for relegated Norwich
The end of the season can’t come soon enough for Norwich. Their relegation was finally confirmed with a whimper after the team scored just one goal since lockdown and two in the past 13 games. The last thing Norwich needs is a trip to Manchester City, a team that has outscored league opponents 16-1 in the past four matches. It’s hard to see how Norwich can get anything from this game, but the same was said ahead of this season’s first meeting which the Canaries won, 3-2. Norwich is +2,800 to win this game which shows just how big the task ahead of them is.
Since the resumption of the league following the lockdown, City has scored four or more goals in five of nine games and Man City is highly fancied to score at least four more (-115) against a Norwich side that has looked out of its depth for the majority of the campaign. Norwich has lost its past nine EPL matches and eight of them have been in shutouts. Nine of City’s past 10 league wins have been to nil (-148) and this could well be another one-sided win for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Bet: Manchester City to score over 4.5 goals (+225)
Newcastle and Liverpool could end the season with plenty of goals
Over the years, Newcastle and Liverpool have served up some thrilling matches. This will be the teams’ 50th meeting in the Premier League and the previous 49 encounters have averaged 3.16 total goals a game. That average has been helped by the successive 4-3 wins Liverpool managed at Anfield in 1996 and 1997 when Newcastle was one of the sides battling it out for the title. Liverpool to win 4-3 this time is trading at +8,000.
This season was all about Liverpool getting its hands on the Premier League trophy for the first time and since being crowned champions of England for a 19th time the team’s form has dipped, dropping nine points since the lockdown which is four points more than they dropped in the opening 29 matches.
There has never been a 0-0 between these two sides in the EPL. In fact, there has not been a 0-0 draw in the past 72 meetings since February 1974 and the odds of it happening at St. James’ Park on Sunday is +1,500. Both sides have struggled to keep clean sheets in recent weeks. Liverpool has registered one in its past six while Newcastle has one in the past seven league matches, so there is a very good chance both teams will score (-129) in this contest.
Bet: Both teams to score (-129)
Tottenham aims to extend Palace’s dismal run of defeats
It’s good that no supporters are allowed in these final games as Crystal Palace would surely have been booed off the pitch after a dismal run of losses. The Eagles have lost the past seven games in a row and are in danger of losing this game against a Tottenham side looking for a fourth successive win. When it comes to final games of the campaign, these two sides have recent history of being involved in high-scoring affairs. Last season, Palace ended its campaign with a 5-3 win at home to Bournemouth. The previous season saw Tottenham bring the curtain down on its season with a 5-4 win at home to Leicester, 12 months after winning 7-1 at Hull City on the final day of the 2016/17 campaign.
England captain Harry Kane comes into this game in red-hot form with four goals in his past two games against Newcastle and Leicester. Kane has been the last scorer (+295) in the last five matches in which he has scored with four of them coming in the final 10 minutes. Palace has failed to score in six of its past seven matches and another defeat in a shutout (-230) is a distinct possibility.
Bet: Tottenham to win to nil (-230)
Arsenal looks to prepare for Cup final with victory over Watford
Sacking your manager with two games to go while the club is in the middle of a relegation battle could come back to bite Watford on the backside if it gets relegated this weekend. Nigel Pearson was relieved of his duties after winning two of his past three matches in charge of the Hornets, who offered very little resistance in a 4-0 loss at Manchester City on Tuesday night. The loss dropped the team into the bottom three on goal difference. Conceding the fourth goal means the team’s fate is out of its own hands, and Watford is relying on Aston Villa to help them stay up. Watford has failed to score in five of its past six visits to Arsenal and has not scored the first goal in the past nine EPL games.
Arsenal players have places in the FA Cup final to play for which does not bode well for the visitors. The Gunners are unbeaten in the past eight at the Emirates and will be looking to capitalize on Watford’s defensive struggles in the first half of recent games. The Hornets have given up 10 first-half goals in the past six matches and gave up two first-half goals in the reverse fixture earlier this season. Arsenal to lead at halftime (+118) might be worth considering. Watford recovered that day to earn a point in a 2-2 draw, but a draw in this contest may not be enough to keep the team up.
Bet: Arsenal HT/FT double (+190)
Leicester aims to topple Manchester United for Champions League spot
In recent years, there has been a distinct lack of meaningful games at the top end of the table on the final day of the season because all the issues have been resolved. Not this year. How about a contest between third and fifth with the winner guaranteed a place in next season’s Champions League. A loss will result in Thursday night football in the Europa League if Chelsea avoids defeat at home to Wolves. It has been billed as the game of the weekend, but it could also be described as the game of the season because so much depends on the outcome.
One goal has been enough to decide the past two meetings which went the way of United, which is unbeaten in the past 11 against the Foxes. I can see this being an open game with potentially a few goals for both teams which makes BTTS a good bet (-152). While United has scored in its past 12 EPL matches, the team has given up at least one goal in each of the past three league matches at Old Trafford. Leicester has not registered a clean sheet in its past six road games. Brendan Rodgers’ side has not won any of its past eight league matches away from the King Power Stadium. Ending that run with a win at Old Trafford for the first time since January 1998 to secure a place in Europe’s elite competition next season should be motivation enough.
Bet: Both teams to score (-152)
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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