Alas, time marches on and more often than not, the favourites for outright glory before the league commences do eventually triumph, which is just one factor that makes this year’s Premier League so fascinating from a sports betting perspective.
So, with no further ado, we thought we would consider the likelihood of every team – that’s right, every team – claiming the ultimate accolade in English football next May.
It’s not surprising that many bookies have given the Citizens the most favourable odds for title glory this season – they now have no less than the most sought-after coach in world football at the helm in ex-Bayern Munich and Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.
The Spaniard has already had to recruit to refresh an ageing team, with such acquisitions as Borussia Dortmund midfielder İlkay Gündoğan and £37m winger Leroy Sané especially helping to justify the 5/2 and 9/4 odds widely quoted by the leading betting portals.
If any manager stands any chance of spoiling Guardiola’s quest for league glory at the Etihad Stadium first time out, it has to be his fiery former adversary in Spain’s La Liga, Jose Mourinho, so it’s just as well that the Portuguese has now been handed the top job at Old Trafford following Louis van Gaal’s exit.
Although the Red Devils were far from their fluent best for long periods in their Community Shield win over Leicester City, they have sent a strong signal of intent in their transfer business, with the confirmation of £89m-rated Juventus ace Paul Pogba’s arrival imminent at the time of typing. 3/1 and 7/2 are typical odds that you can expect for the club’s first title win since 2012/13.
While many at Stamford Bridge will be relieved by the news that Antonio Conte is now in the Blues hot seat after Mourinho’s dramatic exit in December, questions remain over how far up the table he can take this proven squad after the worst title defence of any Premier League champions.
With the club’s acquisitions during the summer including £33.2m Marseille forward Michy Batshuayi and Leicester City’s N’Golo Kanté for £32m, the bookies have been confident enough to give such odds for title success as 11/2 and 5/1.
The Gunners’ last-minute clinching of the runners-up spot in May shouldn’t disguise their serious staffing worries ahead of this season, with Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka their only truly big-money signing so far this summer. Arsene Wenger’s men are widely quoted at odds of 6/1 and 13/2.
Jurgen Klopp’s squad could be better prepared than any other to start the season impressively, his seemingly very astute purchases from the Bundesliga including centre-back Joël Matip and winger Sadio Mané. They are generally fifth favourites at the bookies, at odds like 6/1 and 13/2.
There aren’t many managers in English football that face as tough a test this season as Mauricio Pochettino – can he rouse his troops after their underwhelming end to what had been an enthrallingly title-challenging season last term? Odds of 7/1 and 17/2 have been offered by bookies.
With few of last year’s title-winning talents in the Foxes’ squad lost over the summer, and new stars added like Nampalys Mendy and Ahmed Musa, Claudio Ranieri’s men could remain a feel-good story this term. That said, they are only fancied at odds of 25/1 – at best – to repeat their 2015/16 heroics.
After bidding a fond farewell to their historic home of Upton Park, the Hammers will play this term for the first time at the Olympic Stadium. They’re eighth favourites for the title, attracting odds no shorter than 66/1. Former centre-back and current boss Slaven Bilić will hope for a tighter defence than the one that shipped 16 more goals than fifth-placed Manchester United in 2015/16.
Never before have Everton had such a healthy transfer budget in the wake of billionaire Farhad Moshiri becoming the club’s majority shareholder, and Toffees fans will hope that new manager Ronald Koeman makes good use of it. You can expect 80/1 or 100/1 odds for a title win.
Koeman’s old side are looking vulnerable after the exits of Graziano Pellè, Victor Wanyama and Mané in addition to their high-profile managerial loss, while new boss Claude Puel is unproven in the Premier League. The focus for the Saints, then, will presumably be on avoiding a slide down the table. Their shortest odds to win the championship are 100/1.
With Leicester having lifted the trophy last year after only marginally escaping relegation the season before, there will be plenty of clubs further down the table with hopes of creating their own fairytale against the odds.
Those clubs will include Stoke City, Crystal Palace and Swansea City, for which you can expect the shortest odds to be 250/1, 500/1 and 500/1 respectively. Meanwhile, up in the North East, newly-promoted Middlesbrough and recently-appointed England boss Sam Allardyce’s former employers Sunderland – now in David Moyes’ capable hands – are attracting 750/1 odds.
The chances of the remaining clubs in the league – Watford, Bournemouth, Burnley, Hull City and West Bromwich Albion – are mostly rated at 1000/1 by the bookmakers. But these are all still pretty short odds compared to what those having a flutter on Leicester would have been offered this time last year, showing just how anxious the leading sportsbooks are to avoid a second painfully huge payout in as many years.
If you would like to help yourself to a betting windfall next May, you could – of course – put a sizeable sum on your own club coming out on top this term. Alternatively, there’s always the option of signing up to a matched betting site like Profit Accumulator to engage in a truly risk-free form of betting that could give you an additional £1,000 to £2,000 in your bank account every month.
Whatever happens, the 2016/17 Premier League promises to be both enthralling and painful for many sports betting aficionados!
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