EPL Betting: The Big Numbers Point to Big City Win

Chelsea FC Players

Ed Hawkins

Friday, August 11, 2017 7:24 PM GMT

Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 7:24 PM GMT

The big one begins on Saturday. The return of the English Premier League. The glitz, the glamour, the excess, the scandals, the over-inflated salaries, transfer fees and egos. The bigger the better, they say.

Brighton Hove Albion FC vs Manchester City

And if money truly does follow money, then Manchester City will romp to the title under Pep Guardiola. City have spent more than any other team this close season. And that has inspired punters to punt with the most cash. They have been backed into +175 with William Hill, Ladbrokes, Betway.

It’s not a bad strategy. There are those who like to keep score on such things – in addition to keeping spreadsheets ticking over and algorithms well-oiled – that rather take the romance out of the game. Those who spend the most, win the most.

With that in mind, this scribe often goes to bed at night dreaming of chancing across the budgets for each team in the land. It would be the route to rich street with three- and four-time accumulators copping left, right and centre come May.

In the case of City, though, it is no secret that they have the biggest budget for the biggest players. Benjamin Mendy cost £52 million, Kyle Walker £45 million, Bernado Silva £43 million, Ederson Moraes £35 million, Danilo £26.5m and poor old Douglas Luiz, a pauper for just £10 million.

When you consider that their rivals have spent considerably less, it begins to feel as if this league is not even a level playing field. Chelsea, the champs, spent a mere £129 million, Manchester United £146m and Tottenham, third in the betting behind those two, absolutely nothing.

Chelsea are +400 with Paddy Power, United are +450 with Blacktype and Spurs, desperately channelling cash to their new stadium, are +1,000 with Bet365.

It is a crying shame that we can’t bet Spurs this term. Boy, did we want to. But how can we when they have failed to improve their squad? In the last 19 games of the season Tottenham were the best team in the league, outpointing Chelsea by three.

But the gulf between them and City now just looks epic, as it does between Pep’s men and Liverpool, who are all the rage for the value seekers at +1300 with Unibet. But if you bet Red you take an almighty risk that they hold on to Coutinho with Barcelona circling. And for the record, they’ve spent just £42 million on two players. One of them a defender from Hull City. Meh.

So City it is for us, chiefly because of the spurge but also because there is a bit of science behind the spend. This hasn’t been spending for the sake of spending. City couldn’t defend so well last term but still finished third. With their additions, they have emphatically solved their major problem.

Another which might weight heavily on them is history. City are aiming to become only the third favourite to cop in this league in seven seasons. Last season they let punters down, preceded by Chelsea in 2015-16. The Blues and City had stung the bookies in 2014-15 and 2013-14 but the last jolly winner before those was Chelsea in 2010.

Still, we are happy to take that risk. The last title in that part of Manchester was inspired by a chequebook. And we think the same will occur. We are very happy to take the odds.

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