Manchester United won and Manchester City didn’t play, so little has changed in the Premier League title betting market, but elsewhere it was a dramatic weekend of top-flight action. The battle for Champions League places between Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal looks to have taken a decisive turn, while Reading are the new relegation favourites ahead of Queens Park Rangers, Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic and Southampton.
United extended their lead at the top of the table to 15 points with a routine win over Norwich City at Old Trafford.
A Shinji Kagawa hat-trick helped Sir Alex Ferguson’s men to a 4-0 win over the Canaries and they remain 1/50 for the title. City, who play Aston Villa tonight, have been pushed out to 16/1 as a result.
And if the bookies think the race for the title is over, they seem to think the same about the battle for the top four.
Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 derby-day victory over north London rivals Arsenal, helped by yet another Gareth Bale goal, saw Spurs remain in third and open up a seven-point gap to the fifth-placed Gunners.
As a result, bwin go 3/10 (from 1/2) that Andre Villas-Boas’ side finish in the Champions League places, pushing Arsene Wenger’s men out to 7/4, from 6/5.
Arsenal are five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who saw off West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at Stamford Bridge despite the continued rumblings of discontent over manager Rafa Benitez. The Blues remain 1/5 to finish in the top four.
At the other end of the table, Reading are the new favourites for relegation after suffering a 3-1 defeat at Goodison Park against Everton. The Royals are 1/5 for the drop, from 3/10.
Part of the reason for that is because QPR won just their third match of the season to suddenly give themselves a realistic chance of survival with ten games left.
Harry Redknapp’s new side beat his old one, Southampton, 2-1 at St Mary’s and are now just four points from safety.
The Rs have subsequently been cut from 3/25 to 3/10 for relegation, while the result leaves the Saints three points above the drop zone and an 11/4 chance to go down, from 9/2.
Wigan are 4/5 (from 19/20) to be playing Championship football next season after being thumped 4-0 by Liverpool at the DW Stadium.
The Latics are out of the bottom three on goal difference, but will slip back into the relegation zone if Aston Villa avoid defeat at home to Manchester City tonight. Paul Lambert’s side are 3/4 to be relegated.