Having toppled Manchester United and Chelsea as part of a run of form that culminated in the resisting of Leicester (with ten men, no less) last time out,Bournemouth have drifted out to 6/1 to be relegated this season.
After a slow start that saw them shrivel into odds-on for demotion, the Cherries’ upturn in fortunes saw them pull clear of the drop zone, prompting a dramatic swelling in their price for demotion that punters can’t afford not to capitalise on.
Here’s why Eddie Howe’s men being summoned back to the Championship remains a shrewd bet…
Their form spike has hit the ceiling.
They may have lost just once in eight games (which came with the mitigation of being away at Arsenal), but Bournemouth are winless and without a goal in their last three outings.
A lack of know how in the final third has haunted them all campaign – they were unable to notch more than once in any of the eight games that fell between their 2-0 win over Sunderland and 2-2 draw at Swansea – and their most recent results suggest this isn’t an issue they’ve overcome.
Their run in is brutal.
Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and West Brom are far from ideal adversaries to face in the final four home fixtures in a season of attempted drop defiance.
Tough trips to Tottenham, Everton and Manchester United punctuate these difficult Goldsands games, while they must also travel to Aston Villa, who they somehow contrived to lose to in the season opener.
They struggle against their rivals.
In seven fixtures against sides currently stationed in the Premier League’s ‘bottom third’, the Cherries have won just twice, losing four times.
Their seven points amassed from these sides is the second lowest in the division, while every team can beat their goal haul of six.
They’re only four points clear of danger.
Without question the most decisive factor behind the value in Bournemouth’s sky-high relegation price is the fact that the nearest bottom three-dweller looking to catch them needs only a win and a draw to do so.
Both Newcastle and Sunderland, the two drop-zone occupiers capable of escaping doom, boast coaches with greater experience in this situation than the Cherries’ boss, while the pair have access to first-team resources of comparable, if not greater, ability to help them rein in south coast side.