English Premier League Championship Race Wide Open For the Upcoming 2016/17 Season
The 2016/17 English Premier League will be playing its 25th season and is scheduled to begin play in exactly two weeks with Matchweek 1 kicking off on Aug. 13 and with the 38-match season running through May 21, 2017 and Matchweek 38. Last season’s 18th-place (Newcastle United), 19th-place (Norwich City) and 20th-place (Aston Villa) sides were all relegated from the Premier League and properly replaced by promoted sides Middlesbrough (1,500/1 to win EPL, Totesport), Burnley (1,500/1 to win EPL, Bet365) and Hull City (1,500/1 to win EPL, Bet365). Oddsmakers in the United Kingdom—as well as here in Las Vegas—have again made GK Joe Hart, Sergio Agüero (+350 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, William Hill) and Manchester City (+260 to win EPL, Betdaq) odds on favorites to win England’s top flight of Football next season with with new Swedish centerpiece Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain), new Manager José Mourinho, Wayne Rooney (40/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, Bet365), Juan Mata and Manchester United (+360 to win EPL, 188Bet) second favorites at historic Old Trafford.
The Premier League’s other two perceived heavies, Londontown inhabitants Arsenal (13/2, Bet365)—with GK Petr Cech, Alexis Sánchez (22/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, Paddy Power) and Mesut Özil—and 2014/15 champions Chelsea (7/1, Bwin)—with new Manager Antonio Conte and Eden Hazard, Diego Costa (16/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, Ladbrokes) and GK Thibaut Courtois—are the oddsmakers next two choices. But taking a chance on a more promising outright like the more value-laden Liverpool (9/1 to win EPL, Betway)—which has a great Manager in Jürgen Klopp and some decent attackers in Striker Daniel Sturridge (25/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, Bet365), playmaker Philippe Coutinho (140/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, 888Sport) and up-and-coming 24-year-old Senegalese Winger Sadio Mané (66/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, Betfair)—seems to be a little more prudent. The Reds finished at 18-8-12 (52 GF-48 GA) and in 6th place in the EPL last year and qualified for a UEFA Europa League spot, but Liverpool will have to play a bit better on the Road away from Anfield and play better Defense in front of GK Simon Mignolet to make a run at the crown.
For now it seems maybe United could get off to the best start with The Special One now in charge of the Red Devils but this race is really wide open with even outside clubs like Everton (100/1 to win EPL, Coral) and Romelu Lukaku (12/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, Bet365) and maybe even Stoke City (750/1 to win EPL, SkyBet) potentially having a shot should they get off to good starts in the Fall. Coutinho and Liverpool will play Lionel Messi and Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona in the 2016 International Champions Cup on Saturday (Aug. 6) at Wembley Stadium in London (17:15) while EPL titlists Leicester City and Manchester United and Spanish GK David De Gea will meet at Wembley Stadium the following day on Sunday (Aug. 7) in the FA Community Shield. So get ready for Soccer to continue its last week’s build-up to all of the different European league seasons which will all start play in August.
Highest Current Outrights Odds—English Premier League (July 30—Oddschecker)
Manchester City 13/5 (Betdaq)
Manchester United 18/5 (Sportingbet, 188Bet)
Chelsea 6/1 (Several places)
Arsenal 13/2 (Bet365, 188Bet)
Liverpool 9/1 (Betway, 188Bet)
Tottenham Hotspur 10/1 (Sky Bet, 188Bet)
Leicester City 41/1 (Betfair Exchange)
West Ham United 80/1 (Almost everywhere)
Everton 100/1 (Almost everywhere)
Southampton 200/1 (Sky Bet, 188Bet)
Stoke City 750/1 (SkyBet, Totesport, Betfred)
Crystal Palace 1,000/1 (Totesport, Betfred)
Swansea City 1,250/1 (Totesport, Betfred)
Bournemouth 1,500/1 (Totesport, Betfred, Betway)
Burnley 1,500/1 (Bet365, Totesport, Betfred, 888Sport, Unibet, 32Red)
Hull City 1,500/1 (Bet365, SkyBet, Totesport, 888Sport, Unibet, 32Red)
Middlesbrough 1,500/1 (Totesport, Betfred, 888Sport)
Sunderland 1,500/1 (Totesport, Betfred)
Watford 1,500/1 (Totesport, Betfred, Betway)
West Bromwich Albion 1,500/1 (Almost everywhere)
Hammers Seeing Some Futures Money and Who May Hold Some August Value
West Ham United (80/1, Bet365) has received its fair share of money at sportsbooks this Summer with the odds on Frenchman Dimitri Payet (100/1 to be Top Goalscorer, Unibet) and the Hammers going from (a high of) 100/1 most places down to the 80/1 where it now sits. Jamie Vardy (18/1 to win EPL Top Goalscorer, 188Bet), Riyad Mahrez (66/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, Paddy Power) and defending EPL champions Leicester City (43/1, Bet365) have seen their odds drift some, rising from 33/1 around a month ago to 41/1 (Betfair Exchange), so if you think the Foxes can repeat their miracle of last season, now would be the time to act but remember Leicester City—which really hurt European sportsbooks last season, forcing them into record payouts after opening as high as 5,000/1 to win the Premier League last year—will catch nobody by surprise in the 2016/17 EPL season and the Foxes will also have to play in the prestigious UEFA Champions League tournament which requires much Travel, Time and a theoretical uptick in the quality of the club’s players to try to accommodate this new responsibility for the smallish-sized club now thrust onto the big European soccer stage.
Backing Harry Kane (7/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, Bet365) and Tottenham Hotspur (10/1, Sky Bet) seems like a great value bet as Spurs should be in the race all season with French GK Hugo Lloris and a promising young player in 20-year-old Midfielder Dele Alli (150/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, William Hill). And another EPL long-shot worth maybe putting a small ($5, £5) sum on (besides the aforementioned Hammers of West Ham) is Southampton (200/1 to win EPL, SkyBet), who simply has some perceived value at this lofty 200/1 level. The Saints (18-6-14, 54 GF-33 GA, 60 points) finished in an impressive 7th place—just off a UEFA Europa League berth—last season but did lose their big gun when Striker Graziano Pellè decided to sign with Chinese side Shandong Luneng, so, current Southampton Forwards like Jay Rodriguez, Charlie Austin and Shane Long (70/1 to be EPL Top Goalscorer, Unibet) will all have to really step up. And once again, in this particular marketplace it may may be wise to let the league play six to eight fixtures (August, September) before making a move in late September, October or maybe even November as with so many new Managers and so much Change, it really does seem that about half the Premier League could win despite the oddsmakers making the two Mancunian super clubs the big favorites, as expected, heading into this coming 2016/17 English Premier League season.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE FUTURES BOOK PICKS: Liverpool 9/1 (Betway), Tottenham Hotspur 10/1 (Sky Bet), Leicester City 41/1 (Betfair Exchange)
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE FUTURES BOOK LONGSHOT PICKS: West Ham United 80/1 (Bet365), Southampton 200/1 (Sky Bet)