Sydney FC's unbeaten streak is heading into its 19th week with a seemingly straightforward home match against the Wellington Phoenix on Thursday. A win or a draw will see the Sky Blues move one step closer to invincibility.
Sydney have faced the two teams placed directly below them on the road over the past fortnight and have come away with a crucial four points, which has consolidated their spot at top of the table
They are now $2.40 (AUD) to win the championship according to AustralianGambling.com.au, as short as they have been all season, and should not have any issues with Wellington. Sydney start the shortest-price favourite for the week's fixtures at $1.45.
The Phoenix have not lost an away game against Sydney since April 2014, but their recent form is just too horrible to contemplate the $6.75 for an upset win. They have lost two of their past three and are in danger of losing touch with the fight for the final six. Those fancying a draw in this match will get odds of $4.33.
The most important match of the round comes on Saturday night, when the third-placed Brisbane Roar travel to fourth-placed Melbourne City, who have been decimated by suspensions to key players.
Marquee pair Tim Cahill and Bruno Fornaroli will sit this one out, as will Manny Muscat, Osama Malik, Fernando Brandan and Luke Brattan.
As a result, Brisbane, who haven't won away to City since November 2010, start $2.50 favourites, with the home side at $2.60 and the draw at $3.60.
The Roar are coming off a creditable draw against Sydney, while City will seek to bounce back from a heartbreaking 2-1 derby loss to Melbourne Victory.
Speaking of Victory, they play Newcastle Jets away Saturday afternoon in a match they must win to have any serious hope of catching Sydney, who are nine points clear.
Victory were a little fortunate to get the three points last week but are unbeaten in their past four against the Jets, who haven't lost in their past four at home. The visitors are $1.91 to win this, with the inconsistent Jets at $3.60 and the draw at $3.75.
Perth Glory may have surged back up to fifth off their 3-2 win over the Jets last week, but they travel to Adelaide United on Friday night looking to end an eight-match run without an away victory.
As such, the Reds, who have just two wins for the entire season, go into this match as $2.20 favourites, despite last week's loss to the Central Coast Mariners. The Glory are $3.10 and could prove the value of the round should the mercurial Diego Castro get a hold of this game. The draw is also worth thinking about at $3.50.
The final match of the round on Sunday sees Western Sydney Wanderers start as $1.45 favourites against the Mariners, who are $6.25 despite winning back-to-back matches for the first time this season. The draw is $4.75.