The 2015/16 English Premier League campaign is just seven games old but already the betting markets have been shaken up by the thrills and the excitement experienced to date.
Perhaps the biggest change is in the Outright Winner market, where reigning champions Chelsea have tumbled to as long as 9.00 with some bookmakers after an unconvincing start to the campaign in which they have taken just 8 points from a possible 21.
Jose Mourinho’s men are already eight points behind current leaders Manchester United, who look a tempting 6.00, whilst Manchester City – despite a 1-4 thumping at the hands of Spurs on Saturday – head the market from 1.91. And Arsenal, who sit just three points off the pace, look menacing from 5.00.
At the other end of the league table, things are looking rather more straightforward in the race to avoid relegation. Sunderland (1.25), Aston Villa (1.91) and Newcastle United (2.38) have been installed as the early favourites by virtue of the fact that they all currently sit in the bottom three, but you could easily make a case for each to face the dreaded drop.
Sunderland have looked poor under Dick Advocaat this season, and with only two points gained – and 16 goals conceded – from just seven games it’s no wonder they are favourites for demotion. Aston Villa only maintained their Premier League status last season courtesy of the goals of Christian Benteke, and the jury is out as to whether Rudy Gestede is an adequate replacement. And Newcastle have looked toothless so far under Steve McClaren.
It’s hard to find value elsewhere, although expect Norwich City (5.00) to be dragged into contention by the end of the campaign.
The Race Nobody Wants To Win
The Managerial Sack Race market is one that no gaffer wants to win, but with the shelf life of a boss getting shorter and shorter these days it is inevitable that a sacking will occur within the next few weeks or months.
Brendan Rodgers (3.00) was the favourite here prior to the weekend, although a 3-2 win over Aston Villa has seemingly given him a stay of execution. So bookies favourite Dick Advocaat of struggling Sunderland appears the smart bet at 2.25. For value hunters, Stoke’s Mark Hughes – having claimed just one win from seven – is tempting at 51.00.
A market that offers some brilliant value is that of Top Goalscorer. Last year’s winner Sergio Aguero is again favourite at 4.50, but the Man City forward is already five behind current market leader Jamie Vardy, and with such a chequered injury record is perhaps worth avoiding here.
Instead, take a look at the Arsenal pair of Olivier Giroud (34.00) and Alexis Sanchez (15.00), who have already notched three goals each this season. If Daniel Sturridge (17.00) can stay fit he is more than capable too – as his double against Villa on Saturday showed, whilst Harry Kane opened his account for the campaign on Saturday and at 29.00 looks brilliant value considering his 21 goal exploits last year.
By: Craig Simpkin