LONDON (Reuters) - The unpredictable nature of the Premier League, as well as its extreme predictability, were both highlighted by English bookmakers' latest odds on Monday following Southampton's 8-0 thrashing of Sunderland at the weekend.
Just weeks after being priced a short 3/1 for relegation, the Saints were installed 8/1 to finish in the top four and clinch a Champions League spot.
"Southampton have defied expectations - we expected them to be relegation contenders and they are anything but," said Rupert Adams, of British bookmaker William Hill.
"They will do well to keep the run going and a top half finish is more realistic but their results have been little short of miraculous."
In the arena of sport, both perceptions and realities can change quickly -- but not that much, it seems: pre-season favourites Chelsea and Manchester City remain almost certainties for silverware.
City are priced at a relatively skinny 5/2 while Chelsea are already 4/9 odds on favourite to win the league, after only eight matches.
Editing by Alan Baldwin