Before the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season kicks off, the bravest of punters are making their long-term predictions. Everyone knows just how tricky it is to predict how the transfer dealings will impact each team. Even some of the most expensive signings can turn out to be total flops , whilst some clubs manage to find real gems who take the competition by complete surprise. Here, we’re taking a look at a couple of the pre-season Premier League betting markets to ponder what might be…
Top Goalscorer Market
The usual suspects in Aguero, Rooney and Costa are of course in the mix again to score the most goals in 2015/16. But there are some other good prospects to win it for the upcoming season.
Following their stunning strikes in a pre-season friendlies for Liverpool and Spurs respectively, we think that having a bit of Christian Benteke at 16/1 or Harry Kane at 12/1 look like pretty good value.
Benteke’s record for Aston Villa speaks for itself: 42 goals in 89 appearances over 3 seasons. One would have to imagine that the Belgian will receive much better service at his new club, so the chances of him bettering his debut 2012-13 season at the Villans (19 Premier League goals) where his contribution kept them from the relegation zone (they finished 15th), are high.
Whereas no Englishman has won the Premier League golden boot since Kevin Phillips in 1999/2000, there is a good chance that this could change in 2015/16. Harry Kane’s 21 goals in 34 appearances last season was a club record alongside the likes of Teddy Sheringham, Jürgen Klinsmann and the world’s most expensive player, Gareth Bale.
As the season wore on, Kane had to deal with a lot of extra attention from opposition defenders after it became clear that great goals against the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal, where Spurs recorded stirring victories, were no flash in the pan. Kane at 12/1 for top goalscorer looks to also be a decent value bet, even if it is a little short for our liking.
To Win Outright Market
To the question of who will be crowned Premier League champions, and at this stage most can only realistically see this being either Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City. Manchester United should be back in the mix after spending big yet again, but it would be an absolute delight to see the a non-fancied team spring a real shock.
So, if you were going for an outsider bet in order to take a punt on massive odds, would it be a total waste of time and money? Very probably, history suggests. Liverpool are a team that nearly managed to pull off such a shock a couple of seasons back, only to fall agonisingly short. The Reds are at 20/1 which shows how wary the bookmakers are of them doing something special again.
For the optimistic, Leicester City can be backed at 2000/1 and potentially higher at some bookmakers. The Foxes managed to beat the drop with a strong finish last season and a sustained, consistent continuation of that form would make for a huge payday.
For odds on teams with perhaps an even more realistic possibility of doing it, you could look to Tottenham (100/1), Everton (250/1) or Southampton (200/1). This is where the stars would have to align perfectly for one of those teams and the current favourites would need to all be taking points of each other. The issue that these ‘top 8’ teams have had since the Premier League began is consistency.
We know that on top form, these teams can beat any other in the Premier League. The problem is that no team can maintain top form over an entire season, what with the mix of injuries, suspensions, different conditions, bad luck etc. However, the top 3 or 4 teams always seem to have that extra bit of quality and squad depth that means that they’re able to win even though they aren’t on top form.
There are, of course, quite a few other pre-season markets to examine such as Relegated Teams, Top 3,4,5,6 & 7 Teams, Top Newcomer, TriCast and much more. There’s even a market on the Sides To Go Unbeaten in 2015/16’s Premier League, and Chelsea are 125/1 for example.
We’ve taken this market information online from bookmaker bet365, who have the most generous of all joining offers with a £200 deposit bonus (Find our review of their mobile app here.) As usual, we’ll be keeping track of football scores with great interest throughout the season to see how things develop.