It is the final weekend of the 2012/13 Premier League season and we still have plenty to play for at both ends of the table......................
Well, that was what I was going to write until Arsenal went and thumped Wigan 4-1 last night to send them down to the Championship with already relegated QPR and Reading, thus saving Sunderland from needing to get a result in this one and depriving us fans of the kind of drama that unfolded this time last year in the EPL!
So that being said, and with no potential final day drama at the bottom of the table at least, where does the soccer betting value lie in this one, as we look to finish the 2012/13 season on a high here at SBRForum.com?
Well, Spurs are a heavy favourite with both bet365 and Paddy Power at 1/3 while Sunderland you can get for 10/1 right now with Paddy Power. The draw is at 9/2 with William Hill.
Tottenham of course are still hoping to somehow secure a Champions League spot, but even with a win they need a slip up from Arsenal this weekend. Sitting fifth and a point behind their North London rivals and with a far inferior goal difference to both them and Chelsea in third, even an emphatic victory could, in the end, still mean 'just' the Europa League next season.
Soccer odds now list the Spurs at 2/1 for a top four finish while Arsenal are at 4/11 with one game left each as, somewhat curiously given the circumstances, Sunderland's fiercest rivals Newcastle host Tottenham nemesis Arsenal this weekend.
As I will touch on more in my preview of the Chelsea vs Everton match this weekend, which you can read right here at SBRForum.com, there is the chance of a rare, and I mean Dodo rare, anomaly this weekend in the EPL. Arsenal and Chelsea could actually finish on the same points, same goal difference and identical goals scored records to have to enforce a play-off for third spot, which will be a first ever.
Tottenham will be hoping that it doesn't come to that and the Geordie's do them a favour and celebrate their own survival from last weekend by ending their season at home with a win, though a draw will do just as nicely from Spurs point of view. That would put them into fourth with a win and I cannot see anything other than that in this particular game I must say.
The return fixture in December ended 2-1 to Tottenham in a game they should have sewn up earlier but for the brilliance of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet who made several top draw saves for the Black Cats. The same score Saturday can be added to your sports picks at the price of 7/1 with Paddy Power who have the same score in Sunderland's favour at 25/1.
Sunderland could have saved themselves at home last weekend but only drew 1-1 with Southampton to leave it up to Arsenal to do their dirty work for them Tuesday night and I think Paolo Di Canio will have his work cut out for him next season at the Stadium of Light.
Actually, William Hill has published their early odds for the 2013/14 season already and Sunderland are 1500/1 to win the EPL which is significant as only the two automatically promoted sides, Cardiff and Hull, and for some unknown reason (to me?) Norwich City are quoted at longer odds of 2500/1.
With a home win a dead cert in my book the best value here is with the many scoreline prediction bets on offer and as I think Spurs will really go for this one early before any nerves start jangling as news filters through from Newcastle later on, then early goals could be on the cards. 6/1 with William Hill if you think there will be a goal in the first five minutes.
I also like the Half Time/Full Time correct score of Half Time 2-0 to Tottenham/Full Time 3-0 to Tottenham at 22/1 with Paddy Power though the 2-0/4-0 at 33/1 is also catching my eye.
I simply do not see Sunderland turning up for this one though a win and other results going their way could move them up several places in the table which is significant from a prize money point of view if nothing else!
All the form is with Spurs, Sunderland have been hanging on by a thread since being demolished 6-1 by Aston Villa three weeks ago, drawing both games since then and though they do have some notable scalps this season, namely Everton, Man City and a recent 3-0 drubbing of Newcastle to keep the fans somewhat happy, they are where they are, 17th, on merit.
Hoe win for me at 1/3 with bet365 the Half Time/Full Time correct score of 2-0/3-0 at 22/1 and Gareth Bale to score last at 5/2 with Paddy Power and the 6/1 with William Hill for a goal in the first five minutes and lastly, the correct score of 3-0 at 7/1 also with William Hill.