So, with this Futures market finally one worthy of chirping about with maybe six clubs who have a legitimate shot to win the title, is now the perfect time to make a Futures soccer pick?
EPL Futures Book Marketplace Finally More Than Just a One- or Two-Club Race
When we last talked English Premier League and the winners Futures Book marketplace in that high-profile European Football league, two big-name clubs were tabbed as decent odds shots to replace defending champions and currently 14th-place Chelsea (5-5-9, 23 GF-29 GA), who have gotten off to a horrific start and had 9 Losses before Christmas and sent the so-called Special One, manager José Mourinho, on his merry way. Should auld acquaintance be forgot and anyone still thinking there is some miraculous value in backing the Blues (250/1, BetVictor) need to really think about the mathematical probabilities and of they are simply betting the long odds and/or with or his/her heart. What the defending champs need to worry about is staying up, currently sitting just 3 points (17) above the Relegation Zone (20). So we can toss out Chelsea, but does that mean there is finally some value in this Futures Book marketplace where traditionally one or two clubs have fought for the crown, or run away with it early on, completely making the end of the 28-season a bit dull? Yes, there is much perceived value, as it seems much can happen in the remaining 19 games and that six or seven clubs may have a shot.
At the halfway point, Arsenal (12-3-4, 39 points, +15 GD) were the EPL leaders, but only on sheer Goal Differential over 2nd-place and surprise Leicester City (11-6-2, 37 GF-25 GA). The Foxes were one of three promoted clubs to England’s top flight of football this season, and with current high odds of 16/1 (WillHill, many others) Leicester City and the prolific Jamie Vardy (EPL-leading 15 goals), seem worth maybe a $10-20 shot simply because it’s a wide open season, the Foxes are sitting on just 2 Losses, they’ve played well on the Road (6-3-1, 21 GF-12 GA) and 16/1 is 16/1, my friend. Arsenal (+137, Coral) seems like it can possibly finally win one with former Blues GK Petr Cech, Alexis Sánchez and the magical Mesut Özil (Most Assists, -4,100, 888sport), but history reminds us how the Gunners fold often in the Spring months. Despite the short odds, 3rd-place Manchester City (11-3-5, 37 GF-20 GA, 36 points) is probably the smartest bet in all honesty, with the Sky Blues (+162, BetVictor) easily having the strongest overall Roster and GK Joe Hart. But we’re seeking a weird mix of Value and Fun here, dammit. So that makes 4th-place Tottenham-Hotspur (11/1, 10Red) and stud Harry Kane the surprise pick here in this weird Wintry mix of Mancunians and Londoners and Newbies which may just be the perfect storm for Spurs and French GK Hugo Lloris. Tottenham has allowed an EPL-low 15 goals to date, Spurs have just 2 Losses and aren’t scared of anyone in the league. Tottenham is probably also sick of dancing in the UEFA Europa League and would love to show fellow London giants Chelsea and Arsenal what’s up once and for all. But it won’t come easy.
Another smaller London club worth throwing maybe $2 to 5 on is Crystal Palace (550/1, 10Red), and this soccer pick is part math (value) and part Palace’s spot in the current Premier League table, where the Eagles sit in 5th place with 30 points—9 off the lead—with a 9-4-6 record (23 GF-16 GA). The 16 Goals Allowed by the Eagles and GK Alex McCarthy is the 2nd best mark in the league behind Spurs (15), but this Palace team will need to get more scoring and knock off at least two of the perceived Big Four or Five clubs in the 2nd Half to get to this miraculous story. Whereas the $5 would pay $2,750 at current high odds should the Eagles soar above all others in this strange season, then both money and big bragging rights for Life would be yours but there’s a reason this one’s categorized a longshot. Scaring the pack and milking the $5 bet for all it’s worth may be the ride. And lest we end without mentioning those 6th-place Mancunians of the cherry red variety, Manchester United (8-6-5, 22 GF-16 GA), who aren’t worth the shot as the Red Devils will likely part with Manager Louis Van Gaal in the near future and they score goals like they hurt. For such a talent-laden and expensive Roster, United (33/1, Sky Bet) should be higher in the table, but this team does have a good GK (David De Gea) and some very good skill guys (Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney), but like Real Madrid, are suffering the consequences of just letting Mexican Javier “Chicharito” Hernández go.
Highest Current Odd For English Premier League
Arsenal +140 10Red
Manchester City +162 BetVictor, Ladbrokes
Tottenham 11/1 10Red (Last story: 150/1, bet365)
Leicester City 16/1 William Hill (Last story: 2000/1, Coral)
Liverpool 30/1 10Red (Last story: 66/1, Paddy Power)
Manchester United 33/1 (Last story: +800, 888sport)
Chelsea 250/1 BetVictor (Last story: 22/1, SkyBet)
Crystal Palace 550/1 10Red (Last story: 1,000/1, William Hill
Everton 1,000/1 Sky Bet
Watford 1,500/1 bet365 (Last story: 6,000/1, Ladbrokes)
Stoke City 2,000/1 Sky Bet (Last story: 5,000/1, Ladbrokes)
West Ham United 2,000/1 Sky Bet (Last Story: 5,000/1, Sky Bet)
Southampton 2,000/1 Sky Bet
Bournemouth 5,000/1 Coral
West Bromwich Albion 5,000/1 Ladbrokes
Aston Villa 10,000/1 Ladbrokes
Newcastle United 10,000/1 Ladbrokes
Norwich City 10,000/1 Ladbrokes
Sunderland 10,000/1 Ladbrokes
Swansea City 10,000/1 Ladbrokes
Conclusions, a Biscuit and Why the Unlikely Spurs, Foxes and Eagles?
Unlike so many other previous Premier League 1st Halves and the (Champions) Futures Book marketplace, this year not only has six or seven legitimate clubs who could accidentally or mathematically finish on top should Arsenal or City flounder, but the odds have changed dramatically for so many clubs—even since the last assignment in this market—that it is very refreshing and if there ever was a season that a Spurs, a Leicester City, a Crystal Palace or maybe even a longer, longshot like Stoke City (29 points) or West Ham United (29 points), this is that year. Finally. And it should be a fun ride, Bubba. Each coming month will separate the pretenders from the contenders and these 19 remaining matches will determine who the new Premier League champions will be. As you can see, the odds for Tottenham, Leicester City, Stoke City and some other clubs dropped sharply while the odds for heavies Manchester United and Chelsea plummeted as both historic clubs had problems scoring goals, playing as a unit, having solid starting XI’s and, of course, with their Managers. In the end, it seems trying to overcome Manchester City will be the big thing for the other five or six discussed here, as with the additions of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, the Sky Blues should be able to play through any injuries and get the necessary scoring and they are loaded with expensive stars like star Sergio Agüero, playmaker David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Yaya Touré, Wilfried Bony, and aforementioned GK Hart. But with just a high (current odds) price of +162 (Ladbrokes), backing the Citizens and Manager Manuel Pellegrini just doesn’t seem value-laden and entertaining enough to warrant saddling up for the next five months, so let’s take an honest, true-believers chance on Kane (11 goals), GK Lloris and that other club from North London—Tottenham—to make a run at the silverware this year while the soccer odds are still worth it.
EPL Futures Championship Pick: Tottenham Hotspur 11/1
EPL Longshot Futures Picks: Leicester City 16/1 & Crystal Palace 550/1 at WillHill