The answer probably lies somewhere in between. Certainly Newcastle have visibly moved up several gears following a disappointing start to their season and are now even money favourites (Bwin) to be crowned champions.
They faced a potential banana skin at Loftus Road but skated around it with the panache of Torvill and Dean at their zenith, boosting their goal difference by six goals in the process. Impressive stuff.
Not surprisingly, therefore, bet365 install the Magpies as 4/6 favourites to take three points when they host Wolves (also battered at home on Tuesday) on Saturday.
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Frankly, while Wolves’ 11/2 odds will appeal to contrarian types, bookies have priced the contest as though a comfortable home win is a foregone conclusion, despite the fact that four of the pair’s last half dozen duels have finished level. Betfred post 3/1 about it finishing all-square.
Wolves were woeful as they succumbed to a 4-0 defeat by Barnsley at Molineux and Newcastle can expect them to have been given a rocket and extra training this week.
Punters anticipating a response from Wolves may know that they secured a point in a 2-2 draw on their last visit to St James’s Park in February 2012; a repeat of that result is rated a 14/1 shot according to internet bookie Marathonbet.
However, if Newcastle can replicate the performance they gave in west London earlier in the week they could win with plenty to spare.
Punters who concur can get 13/5 (Paddy Power) against United winning when kicking off with a one-goal deficit. In the same market, Coral chalk 6/1 against a home win when Newcastle start two (artificial) goals behind.
Winless Sunderland head to White Hart Lane on Sunday for a fixture they start as Unibet’s massive 11/1 underdogs. Those odds are explained by the fact that the Black Cats have not beaten Spurs since April 2010.
Nonetheless, Spurs’ 1/3 odds (Bwin) to make it ten wins from 13 duels with Sunderland are entirely understandable.
Sunderland succeeded in holding Everton for an hour on Monday and Ladbrokes chalk 21/10 against the scores being level at 60 minutes on Sunday.
When handed a two-goal start by Skybet, Sunderland are 4/5 to win and they’re more than 8/1 with 188bet to retain a clean sheet.
If that type of contrarian wager appeals, it’s definitely worth considering a modest punt on BetVictor’s 28/1 posted in favour of a 1-0 Sunderland victory.