Arsenal (+100) at West Ham (+265), Draw (+240)
Arsenal currently sit third in the English Premier League table, but they’ll need a miracle to hoist the trophy at season’s end, trailing first-place Leicester by 11 points with just seven matches to go. While the title may be out of reach, the Gunners have to finish the year strong or they could find themselves outside of the top-four and watching next season’s Champions League from afar.
West Ham is one of the teams looking to bounce Arsenal from a Champions League spot, and the Hammers will have a great chance to make up some ground this weekend when they host the Gunners at Upton Park (7:45 AM Eastern, Saturday, April 9).
West Ham find themselves a surprising sixth in the standings, sitting on 51 points, seven back of Arsenal and just three behind fourth-place Man City. Even if they don’t reach the top-four, they’re two back of Man United for fifth-place, which comes with a ticket to the Europa League. The Hammers haven’t been in the main draw of a major European tournament since 2006-07.
They’ll come into Saturday’s game riding a seven-game unbeaten streak (3-4-0), though they’ve only taken a single point in their last two, drawing Crystal Palace (2-2) and Chelsea (2-2).
Arsenal, on the other hand, took the full six from their last two matches, taking down Everton (2-0 away) and Watford (4-0 home). The win at Everton notwithstanding, the road hasn’t been kind to the Gunners this year; they have won just two of their last seven away games (2-3-2).
They’ve been solid at home, as usual, but did drop their earlier meeting with the Hammers at the Emirates (2-0) back in August. Cheikhou Kouyaté (43′) and Mauro Zárate (57′) tallied for West Ham.
At this point in the year, both teams are playing well, but neither is on exceptional form. It’s hard to think West Ham will sweep the series; the draw looks like the best play here.
Pick: Draw (+240).
(Photo Credit: Ronnie Macdonald (Community Shield 31 – Celebrating Giroud’s goal) (CC BY 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons).)