Premier League best bets

We've shortlisted our selections for the 2019/20 Premier League season - includes top goalscorer, handicap and relegation betting.

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WINNER

Manchester City became the first team since their neighbours, United, in 2009 to record back-to-back titles in May, and the bookies envisage that becoming a treble, with Pep Guardiola’s men installed as their 1-2 favourites.

Some may see a 50% profit on their investment as decent odds considering how powerful Guardiola’s “win machine” have become, winning all of their final 14 games of the 2018-19 season.

Past Premier League winners

WinnersPrevious finishPrevious goalsPrevious lossesLast 10 games
2018-19Man City1st954W10 D0 L0 30pts
2017-18Man City3rd806W6 D2 L1 21pts
2016-17Chelsea10th5912W2 D4 L3 10pts
2015-16Leicester14th4619W7 D1 L2 22pts
2014-15Chelsea3rd716W7 D1 L3 22pts
2013-14Man City2nd666W6 D1 L3 19pts
2012-13Man Utd2nd895W7 1D L2 22pts
2011-12Man City3rd609W8 D0 L2 24pts
2010-11Man Utd2nd867W8 D1 L1 25pts
2009-10Chelsea3rd685W8 D1 L1 25pts

The manner in which the Citizens finished last season is always a good sign for the forthcoming campaign, and the fact City beat Liverpool – albeit by penalties – in the recent Community Shield another reminder of their will to pick up trophies. But, it wasn’t just City who finished with a wet sail last term, as Liverpool finished on their heels following a final flourish that almost took them all the way.

Last 10 games of 2019-20 season

TeamLast 10 games
Man CityW10 D0 L0 30pts
LiverpoolW9 D1 L0 28pts
ChelseaW4 D3 L3 15pts
TottenhamW3 D2 L5 11pts
ArsenalW4 D2 L4 14pts
Man UtdW3 D2 L5 11pts
WolvesW5 D2 L3 17pts
EvertonW5 D3 L2 18pts
C PalaceW6 D1 L3 19pts

Should the above pattern continue, with teams earning 19 points or more form the final 10 games doing well the following season, then only Manchester City and Liverpool can be considered as winners of the 2019-20 title. The only other team to finish with 19 points or more were Crystal Palace, but the fact they have lost Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be a concern.

As with last season, Liverpool are clearly the most realistic challengers to Manchester City’s throne, and there’s been plenty of interest in the 3-1 about them finally lifting the Premier League trophy. Jurgen Klopp hasn’t made many changes to his squad, but will need his Reds to perform at a similar level to last season in keeping tabs on City. That’s asking a lot, however, plus there will also be added pressure of defending the Champions League crown. It’s hard to see anything but City and Liverpool filling the top two places, and on that basis looking at the market for naming which teams could fill the first four places may offer better odds – in other words, a combination quadcast.

The bookies favourites are Man City/Liverpool/Man Utd/Tottenham at 7-2, with a repeat of last year, Man City/Liverpool/Chelsea/Tottenham, available at 13-2. There will be doubts surrounding Chelsea’s chances of repeating last year’s third, with newboy Frank Lampard taking over and no Eden Hazard on the field, suggesting a Man City/Liverpool/Tottenham/Arsenal combo could pop up at 11-1. There is also plenty of merit about Chelsea not finishing in the top six at 10-3.

Tottenham remain popular in the markets to make the top four, though winning the title looks beyond them. Spurs ran out of steam when it mattered last season, and Mauricio Pochettino will need to decide between Europe and the league – it may not be a coincidence that Manchester City went unbeaten after being knocked out of Europe last term, where as European finalists Spurs and Liverpool stumbled in the league.

Manchester United still appear dazed after losing Fergie and may spend a few more seasons rebuilding, though Arsenal could be in for a good season now that Unai Emery is used to the Premier League and has a top-notch striker in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gunners also splashed out over £100m on new signings and while they may not be good enough to challenge City, a top three slot wouldn’t be out the question, if improving defensively.

As for a team outside the big six muscling in, then Everton finished the season well and spent during the summer, along with Leicester who’ll look to make up for last season’s off-the pitch tragedy, while Wolves would’ve been candidates to break the top six but for their European campaign.

TOP SCORER

Last season’s Top Scorer was split three ways for the first time since 1999 when Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all scored 22 apiece.

Last four seasons

2018-19
22 Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
21 Sergio Aguero
18 Jamie Vardy

2017-18
32 Mohamed Salah
30 Harry Kane
21 Sergio Aguero
20 Jamie Vardy

2016-17
29 Harry Kane
25 Romelu Lukaku
24 Alexis Sanchez
20 Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero

2015-16
25 Harry Kane
24 Sergio Aguero
24 Jamie Vardy
18 Romelu Lukaku

Sergio Aguero (6-1) maintained his consistency in making the top four again, with Jamie Vardy also in the frame for a third time in four years. Mohamed Salah looks the one they all have to beat, and the Liverpool frontman is a tempting 5-1 shot, though the bookies favour Harry Kane regaining the crown he won in 2016 and 2017. The England captain fell behind last season owing to injury, but Kane’s worn his scoring boots in pre-season and heads the market at 4-1 – for the record, Kane was an 11-4 chance 12 months ago.

Player/Odds/Last four totals

PlayerOdds2018-192017-182016-172015-16
Harry Kane4-117302925
Mohammed Salah5-12232*15*14
Sergio Aguero6-121212024
P-E Aubameyang7-12210*31*25
Raheem Sterling14-1171876
Sadio Mane14-122101311
Jamie Vardy20-118201324
Alexandre Lacazette25-11314*28*21

*Non-Premier

One of last season’s joint-winners, Sadio Mane is as big as 14-1 this time around, with Raheem Sterling the same price having returned two similar totals of 17 and 18 the last twice, while it’s easy to see why each-way money has arrived for Jamie Vardy following his most recent haul of 18.

Another relevant factor involves the teams past winners of the Golden Boot represented, as of the 20 winners since 2000-01, the teams were as follows:

Golden Boot clubs
Arsenal (6)
Chelsea (4)
Man Utd (4)
Tottenham (2)
Man City (2)
Liverpool (3)

Arsenal lead the way having produced six winners of the Top Scorer accolade, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being the latest. The 30-year-old Gabonese striker looked the real deal in his first full season here, trebling his return of 10 from the previous season, and the fact he takes penalties makes him a serious contender once more. The market has also seen cash for Aubameyang, but he’s still around the 8-1 to 7-1 mark, which could be shorter if he starts well. The only off-putting factor is there may be competition/rotation for Arsenal’s lead role with big-money signing, Nicolas Pepe, arriving.

RELEGATION

Last season saw two of the Premier League’s three promoted teams drop back down in Cardiff City and Fulham, with Wolves heading in the opposite direction up the table. Indeed, Wolves were officially the best team promoted from the Championship during the last 10 years having finished seventh, but it’s hard to see any of this year’s candidates achieving such dizzy heights, namely Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa.

A glance at the last five years shows last term wasn’t a one-off either, as of the last 15 promoted teams, seven were immediately relegated. It’s a fact that will concern the respective managers of those three teams, Daniel Farke, Chris Wilder and Dean Smith, and the bookies envisage history repeating itself with United their 4-6 jollies to be relegated, Norwich next at evens and Villa on 2-1. Despite Villa being promoted via the play-offs, they are deemed as a bigger club boasting several star players, with more money to spend – which they’ve done during the summer – and in the bookies eye the least likely to go back down.

Of the clubs who survived last year’s drop, then Brighton are 2-1 to fall through the trap door next May, with Burnley and Newcastle also 2-1. The Clarets may do better than last season without Europe in the way, though Newcastle could be vulnerable having lost manager Rafael Benitez in place of Steve Bruce. As for Brighton, then they too go into the unknown under a new manager, and only escaped by two points last term so don’t have any room for regression.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if any of the aforementioned teams – bar Aston Villa – went down, with valid reasons for each, but sweating for nine months on a bet at around 4-6 to 2-1 suggests looking elsewhere for a more instant return. The alternative could be a relegation treble, with Brighton, Norwich and Sheffield United paying odds of 18-1.

SACK RACE

There are a host of household names heading the bookies’ lists for first manager to get the axe in the Premier League this season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (4-1), Steve Bruce (9-2, Newcastle), Roy Hodgson (6-1, Crystal Palace), Graham Potter (8-1, Brighton) and Frank Lampard (16-1, Chelsea), Daniel Farke (16-1, Norwich) and Chris Wilder (16-1, Sheff Utd).

There will be sleepless nights ahead for the aforementioned names that feature a former Champions League winner, a Premier League winning captain, a former England captain and a former England manager – not that any of those achievements will save them from the dreaded axe. Market leaders, Solskjaer and Bruce, will be hoping the stats are right with only three favourites obliging during the last 15 years – 50-1 shot, Slavisa Jokanovic, was the first casualty from Fulham last season.

In such an open market there are plenty of big prices about, but with only two of the previous 10 first managers sacked in August, it might pay to wait for clues – for the record, six of the 10 first managers sacked since 2010 were dismissed in October/November.

PFA PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Plenty of big names got their hands on this prestige trophy down the years, including back-to-back winners Thierry Henry (2003 and 2004) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007 and 2008) – Gareth Bale won it in 2011 and 2013. Liverpool’s, Virgil van Dijk, is 20-1 to join that exclusive club by following-up last season’s accolade, though this may be the year a Manchester City player wins he award for the first time since it’s inception in 1974, courtesy of Raheem Sterling (9-1), Kevin De Bruyne (11-1) and Bernardo Silva (11-1).

Past winners’ clubs

Man Utd (7)
Liverpool (4)
Arsenal (3)
Chelsea (3)
Tottenham (3)

With 20 of the last 22 winners coming via the above clubs, the likes of Manchester United’s, Paul Pogba (33-1), shouldn’t be ignored at big odds.

HIGHEST SCORING TEAM

Although Manchester City didn’t manage to break the 100-mark last time, they still bagged an astonishing 95 goals to emerge as top scorers for the third time on four years.

TeamOdds2018-192017-182016-172015-16
Man City4-9951068071
Liverpool3-189847863
Tottenham35-167748669
Chelsea40-163628559
Arsenal45-173747765
Man Utd55-165685449

There has to be some sympathy for Liverpool, who upped the number of goals season-upon-season to reach 89 last time, but that still wasn’t enough to topple City. The bookies are taking no chances, making the Citizens 4-9 to top score once more, with Liverpool on 3-1. It’s hard to see beyond the big two, with around 20 goals required by any of the chasing pack just to get close.

SEASON HANDICAP

Liverpool fans may be pleased to discover there was one area in which they managed to chin rivals, Manchester City, last season and that was in the handicap market – Wolves and Watford also made the frame. It’s worth noting the fact both Wolves and Watford made the frame last term, as backing a team each-way on the handicap offers terrific value.

If there is one team that stands out then it is Southampton. The Saints made progress under Ralph Hasenhuttl last term, rattling up 30 points from 23 matches under his regime, and with the addition of several key signings during the summer they could feature near the top of the handicap table with +44 points. At 11-1, Southampton look well-priced.

Manchester City again start off scratch (0 points) and are 14-1, with Liverpool an 11-1 chance granted +4 points on the handicap. Of the remainder, Arsenal catch the eye at 10-1. The Gunners did well in Unai Emery’s first campaign, and there has to be improvement to come both defensively and up front where they added further firepower to assist the world-class, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The north London side finished on 70 points last season, but could be around the 80-mark this time around, and with a +23 points handicap would see them over the 100-mark.

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