STILL IN THE HUNT
A stunning number of teams remain in the hunt for a Top-5 spot in the English Premier League as the calendar flips to December – and two of the clubs in the mix square off Tuesday as 11th-place Crystal Palace welcome 12th-place Bournemouth to Selhurst Park Stadium.
Crystal Palace (+110) returned to the win column last weekend following a three-game losing streak, and are slight favorites against a Bournemouth side (+240) that comes in on its own three-game skid. Both teams enter the new week smack dab in the middle of a cluster of teams, with just six points separating No. 5 Tottenham from No. 17 Everton.
It has taken them a few months, but Tottenham are finally ready to challenge for a Top-4 berth in the EPL as they carry a two-game winning streak into Wednesday's road encounter with Manchester United. Fifth-place Spurs have earned points in four straight games for the first time this season, and are ever-so-slight +162 favorites against a Man United squad (+175) that has just one victory from its previous four games.
The betting action should be interesting here, with the away team having won the previous three head-to-head meetings – including both league fixtures last season.
KEEPING IT CLOSE
Everton might not be able to pull out the upset victory this week, but it might be able to keep things close as they visit table-leading Liverpool on Wednesday. At first glance, Liverpool (-275) appear to have a significant advantage, having gone an incredible 45 games without a home defeat in domestic play while winning 13 of their opening 14 games.
Everton (+750), meanwhile, sits 17th in the standings with just four wins from its first 14 matches. But bettors beware: the teams have drawn twice in their last three meetings, with just a single goal scored over that three-game span.
GUNNING FOR A WIN
Arsenal have been dismal in domestic play, but are in good position to put an end to their misery – at least temporarily – as they host Brighton on Thursday. The Gunners have gone six domestic games without a victory and haven't registered a win in any competition since Oct. 27.
However, they're -175 home favorites for their mid-week encounter with Brighton (+450), who have dropped three in a row in league play to fall to 16th in the league. This one might not be as easy as Arsenal fans hope it is, with the teams battling to draws in their previous two head-to-head encounters.
• Crystal Palace and Bournemouth aren't shy about piling up the goals as they prepare to do battle Tuesday. The teams have finished above the 2.5-goal threshold in each of their previous four meetings, including a wild 5-3 Crystal Palace home triumph in their last encounter. The O2.5 play is a surprising +100 for Tuesday's game.
• Burnley probably won't beat Manchester City this week – but they would probably settle for scoring a goal as they host the No. 3 team in the English Premier League on Tuesday. Burnley have gone three straight meetings without tallying against Man City, who have enjoyed a 11-0 goal margin in that span. We recommend the Man City clean sheet at -120.
• Low-scoring games have been the calling card of Norwich away from Carrow Road. The 19th-place EPL team face No. 18 Southampton in hostile territory on Wednesday, and have converted the U2.5 in seven consecutive road matches in all formats; Norwich scored in just one of those contests. The Southampton/Under combo is in play here at +400.
• Recent visits to King Power Stadium have been rather unpleasant for Watford as they gear up to face host Leicester City on Wednesday. The 2015-16 EPL champions have dominated home field vs. Watford, winning four straight meetings while outscoring the visitors by a 9-1 margin. Bettors can go a variety of ways here; we favor the Leicester -1 handicap at +105.
• Everton might have given Liverpool troubles in recent years, but that won't keep bettors from hammering the home side in Wednesday's EPL fixture. The hosts have been winning at half-time and full-time in eight of their previous nine league games, and are an intriguing option at +105 to pull off the HT/FT double against lowly Everton.
• The Arsenal offense has been stuck in mud for more than a month – but Thursday represents a get-right spot for new coach Freddie Ljungberg's crew as it entertains Brighton. The visitors have surrendered 2+ goals in each of their previous four league games away from American Express Community Stadium, and are +162 to yield three or more on Thursday.
• Watford have parted ways with Quique Sanchez Flores yet again, sacking the beleaguered manager less than three months into his second stint at the helm. Flores, who previously served as head coach during the 2015-16 season, led Watford to just one victory in its first 14 league matches; they sit six points from the safe zone and are -275 favorites to be relegated.
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