Arsenal v Man United, Sunday, 4pm, live Sky Sports 1
MAN UTD wrapped up the Premier League title last Monday night and punters have been rushing to back top four-chasing Arsenal to win on Sunday afternoon.
There's been a bit of a gamble on Arsenal – and I think those backers might be on to something.
The thinking behind the bet is United will have a lost a little of their edge since achieving their last remaining major goal of the season.
From my experience it is an entirely human reaction to take your foot off the gas and relax a bit after winning the league.
United, of course, are chasing Chelsea's record points haul of 95, achieved in 2004-05 but that may not be such a strong motivator as winning a league title. We'll see.
Sir Alex Ferguson may switch the personnel around in a bid to keep his team fresh and playing at a high level but one man we will see is Monday night's hat-trick hero, Robin van Persie. The Dutch ace will relish going back to his old club and I suspect Fergie will play him if that is the case.
It would be nice to think he'll get a good reception from the Arsenal faithful after more than eight years of service in the shirt but there are a lot of bitter people in the stands because he left and, worse still, went to United.
For me, the way to go about it would be to give him a round of applause and get on with supporting your own team because a win in this match would go a long way to securing Champions League football next year.
With all due respect to the Gunners' opponents after this game – QPR, Wigan and Newcastle – they don't make the most intimidating fixture list.
Arsenal have done the hard work in the last few months, putting together a very strong run of results to sit in third place ahead of this game. They are in good form, score plenty at home and need the points more than United.
A fast start is essential on Sunday afternoon. If United's minds aren't focused, Arsenal could soon hold a lead and the extra desire should take them to a big win.
They'll have to do that without Oliver Giroud, who is suspended until the last game of the season, and I expect to see Theo Walcott up front. His pace is a huge danger to United and I fancy Theo will grab his chance to stake a claim for the forward role on a permanent basis.
His skills should contribute to an entertaining encounter and it's not hard to envisage the over 2.5 goal barrier will be breached.
Back Arsenal to win @ 2.28
Back Walcott to score @ 2.9
Back over 2.5 goals @ 1.8
Reading v QPR, Sunday, 1.30pm, live Sky Sports 1
I'M sure when the good folk at Sky decided to televise this match they envisaged at least one of these teams would still be in with a shot of survival.
Instead we are left with a scenario where any loser will be relegated, while the only reward for the winner is to survive for another week or two.
The worst result for all concerned is the draw, which could see both teams relegated if Aston Villa were to get a point on Monday.
All of which suggests a game where both teams will go at it with reckless abandon. The chances are they will both get relegated anyway so why not go down swinging?
Both sides teams are in shocking form considering they're meant to have been fighting for survival. In Reading's defence, they at least have the excuse their players really aren't good enough for the Premier League. Just one point from the last 27 is surely confirmation of this.
QPR have talent within their squad but the ill-considered way it has been put together has not been conducive to producing a team. They started March with back-to-back wins but have since lost four and drawn one of their next five games.
Where both teams have been consistent is the amount of goals their games have produced. Some 11 of Reading's last 14 games have produced over 2.5 goals while QPR have done likewise in four of their last seven matches.
With so much on the line it would be disappointing if both sides weren't throwing the kitchen sink at each other, so over 2.5 goals at 1.92 and the 1.71 for both teams to score, look like shrewd investments.
When it comes to who will score, the only player in any sort of form in front of goal is QPR's Loic Remy. Even so, the 2.3 on offer for the French striker to find the net looks a bit short. The 6.2 for him to score first looks a better bet.
Reading score a lot of late goals so it is QPR who are likelier to open the scoring and can be backed to do so at 2.1. The home side are priced at 1.95 to score the last goal.
It's really no wonder Reading are bottom of the league when you consider they have conceded the first goal in 21 of their 34 games. Given the season these two teams have had it would be no surprise if the produced the result that neither wants – a draw.
The half-time QPR/full-time draw double result is available at 15.0 and could be worth a small stakes bet.
Perhaps the most pertinent market to examine as these two scrap it out at the foot of the league is Betfair's Rock Bottom market. Reading are the 1.67 favourites, with QPR at 2.4.
While they're both level on points and are separated by just one goal, it is Reading who have the tougher fixtures, with their next home game against Manchester City. Therefore, the odds look about right.
All in all, this game probably has more meaning as a sort of pre-season friendly between two of the contenders for the 2013-14 Championship title, than it does over the relegation battle.
Back Over 2.5 Goals at 1.92
Back Loic Remy to score first at 6.2
Back QPR half-time/the draw full-time at 15.0