Manchester City want to extend their lead


We might just watch the title race wrap up over the holidays.

In the English Premier League table, Manchester City are eight points ahead of Chelsea and nine points ahead of Liverpool (who have one game left). And it’s not inconceivable that City could widen that gap in double digits on either team over the weekend.

City have the most talented and deepest squad in the league and it’s no surprise they’re huge favorites to win the title. But it’s also a bit amazing how quickly City can mock the title race. Man City have won their last 10 league games, scoring 30 points. Chelsea have 17 points in their last 10 games and Liverpool have 23 in their last 10.

Man City obviously won’t continue this winning streak forever. But it’s also unlikely to see a prolonged slump in the league. Once the lead at the top of the table is 10 or more, the league race is probably over.

Here’s a look at BetMGM’s odds for the New Year’s weekend of games. All games are played on Saturday unless otherwise noted. Manchester United play Wolves on Monday and that match is not included in this preview.

Arsenal vs Manchester City (Over/Under: 3.5)

  • Armory (+475)

  • Manchester City (-200)

  • Tie (+360)

Arsenal have a game in hand against Manchester City but are a whopping 15 points behind City despite being fourth in the standings. That’s how good City was this year. It’s hard to bet against City in this game and the over is +115 if you think there will be four or more goals.

Leicester City vs Norwich City (3.5)

  • Leicester (-250)

  • Norwich (+675)

  • Tie (+360)

Norwich lead the league with 13 defeats and have lost their last four games after drawing 14-0 with Newcastle. Leicester just stole a win against Liverpool on Tuesday and shouldn’t have much of a problem with the canaries, especially if Norwich field another 11-starter line-up with 0 EPL goals in total.

Watford v Tottenham (2.5)

  • Watford (+425)

  • Tottenham (-165)

  • Tie (+320)

Watford are somehow two points above the relegation zone despite losing their last five games since a surprise win over Manchester United. Watford have also given up two or more goals in all of those defeats. Take Tottenham and take the lead.

Crystal Palace v West Ham (2.5)

  • Crystal Palace (+220)

  • West Ham (+115)

  • Tie (+250)

Perhaps Palace can manage the third 3-0 game in a row. Palace beat Norwich 3-0 earlier in the week after losing 3-0 to Tottenham on Boxing Day. West Ham are a point clear of Tottenham in fifth place but Spurs have two games in hand. We go with a tie here as West Ham may be short-handed.

Brentford vs Aston Villa (2.5) [Sunday]

  • Brentford (+175)

  • Aston Villa (+145)

  • tie (+240)

Both teams are outside the top 10 and safely above the high zone. Brentford had just a quarter of possession in a midweek 1-0 defeat by Manchester City, while Aston Villa have had two of their last three games postponed because of COVID-19 cases. The only game played was a 3-1 loss to Chelsea. Another draw feels right here.

Everton vs Brighton & Hove Albion (2.5) [Sunday]

  • Everton (+145)

  • Brighton & Hove (+200)

  • Tie (+210)

Everton sit 14th in the standings after an uneven start to the season and their last three games have been postponed due to COVID-19 cases. Brighton finally won against Brentford on Boxing Day and tied Chelsea earlier in the week. Let’s get excited.

Southampton vs Newcastle (2.5) [Sunday]

  • Southampton (-145)

  • Newcastle (+375)

  • Tie (+280)

Newcastle held a surprising draw against Manchester United on Monday, while Southampton have taken five points from their last three games. Southampton should take the win here as it’s difficult to trust Newcastle until they get a couple of good performances in a row.

Leeds v Burnley (2.5) [Sunday]

  • Leeds (+105)

  • Burnley (+250)

  • Tie (+250)

Leeds should have players back after being unable to play their last two games due to COVID-19 cases. The first game between these teams ended 1-1 and three points here will go a long way towards keeping both sides ahead. Therefore, it will probably end in a draw.

Chelsea vs Liverpool (2.5) [Sunday]

  • Chelsea (+195)

  • Liverpool (+130)

  • Tie (+250)

There is a nice bookend for the weekend among the top 4 teams. Chelsea have picked up points in their last six EPL games, but three of them have been drawn. Liverpool, meanwhile, have picked up just one point from their last two. These teams drew 1-1 in August and we continue with that result.

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