Premier League Betting Tips

The Premier League is one of the biggest football leagues in the world. It commands a massive global audience and whilst is based out of England, it’s one of the most diverse, with players from over 80 countries being represented within the league at some point.

The league has been the pinnacle of the English game since 1992 and has thrived in that time. The most recent television deal, said to be worth over £1.7billion, underlines just how popular the Premier League is and as a result, attracts the best players in the world.

Who Will Win The Premier League?

Premier LEague Trophy
UK in Japan- FCO, flickr (cropped)

It seems like only yesterday that Man City were being crowned 2017-18 Premier League champions. Blink once and it’s the Russia World Cup but blink again and that month-long football feast has passed and the countdown to the new league season is well and truly on. The big kick-off isn’t far away. All the usual names feature in the outright betting for the Premier League title but can City retain the title they won so easily last term? Can Liverpool, Man United or Spurs sustain a challenge through into spring? Or will new managers invigorate London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea and see them push Pep Guardiola’s side this term?

Manchester City – 4/6

It will be no surprise to anyone with even a passing interest in the Premier League that City are once again the favourites this year. They broke several records last term on their way to winning the title by a huge 19 points. It is hard to argue that Guardiola isn’t the best manager in the world and backed by the vast resources of Abu Dhabi, the Catalan is assembling one of the best squads in the world.

City were streets ahead of everyone in England last term and it’s hard to see how anyone can get the better of them. They have youngsters such as Phil Foden pressing for a place in the starting XI and have also signed Riyad Mahrez, with more big transfers likely. In addition, Guardiola has had more time to inculcate his ideas and the Citizens are undoubtedly the team to beat. Odds of 4/6 may seem short but many punters would back the champions at any price and it seems solid value to us.

Liverpool – 4/1

The Reds finished down in fourth after a stuttering end to their campaign but they did eliminate City from the Champions League. At their best they looked a match for the champions but defensive weaknesses, the occasional lapse in concentration and some inconsistency prevented them from challenging.

They have had a stellar transfer window thus far though and it is chiefly that which has propelled them into second favouritism. Naby Keita completed his move from RB Leipzig, Alisson should be a £67m remedy for their goalkeeping woes and Fabinho arrived from Monaco. With Xherdan Shaqiri also arriving Jurgen Klopp has splashed the cash and the Kop faithful will be itching for the season to get underway. After a summer which made many England fans dare to dream, there is no doubt Reds fans will be doing the same.

Manchester United – 7/1

The fans of United will be looking at their big North West rivals with great envy. Not only do City and Liverpool play more exciting football than the Red Devils, they have also been more productive in strengthening over the summer. Jose Mourinho’s men finished second last season but will need to make some serious moves in the market if they are to maintain, let alone improve, on that.

Fred will improve their midfield but they are short of a winger, at least two defenders and possibly another striker too. Mourinho is a brilliant manager but he is in danger of seeing Klopp and Guardiola make him look like yesterday’s man. Some big transfers could see the current odds fall but right now 7/1 doesn’t seem generous to us.

Chelsea – 12/1

Chelsea’s managerial roundabout keeps on turning and as one Italian has said arrivederci, another has said buon giorno. Maurizio Sarri has replaced Antonio Conte and Blues fans will be hoping the former Napoli man can return them to the top four at the very least. The bookies fancy he will be able to do that and he should also bring a more exciting brand of football to the Bridge.

Sarri clearly has a huge job to do but if he can hold on to Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois he may just have a chance. Chelsea were wholly 30 points adrift of City last term and bridging that gap in one season may be beyond the Blues. Jorginho has arrived from Napoli and more signings are expected but we suspect the top four is a more realistic aim for Sarri and co right now.

Tottenham Hotspur – 16/1

Spurs fans may well feel they offer great value at big odds of 16/1 but clearly the bookmakers think they face a stiff test to make the top four. Tottenham look set to hold on to most of their best players, including World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane. They are yet to make any moves in the transfer market though and given their wage structure, signing the sort of top, top player needed will always be difficult.

Mauricio Pochettino knows he will have to rely on up and coming talent and his own coaching ability, as well as the team spirit that exists within the club. The North London outfit will hope to get a boost from eventually moving into their new home but even so, it’s hard to see how they can get the better of all four of the sides priced at shorter odds in the title betting.

Top Four Finish

Champions League Logo on Carpet
katatonia82, Bigstockphoto

For many the race for the top four epitomises much that is wrong with football. The battle here is not for glory or silverware but simply for the “honour” – for which read riches – of playing in the Champions League the following season. Be that as it may, betting on who will make the top four is a fascinating market that should bring you season-long interest and excitement.

Interestingly there are five teams, the five key title contenders listed above, who are all odds-on to make the top four. City are available at just 1/16, with Liverpool 1/4, United 2/7, Chelsea 4/6 and Spurs 4/5. Five into four doesn’t go, which just shows how tricky things will be for the following would-be contenders.

Arsenal – 2/1

The Gunners played in the Champions League every year from when Arsene Wenger arrived in 1996 up to their failure to make the top four at the end of the 2016-17 season. They were sixth last term, recording fewer than two thirds of Man City’s points total. They are 2/1 to spring a surprise this time around but new boss Unai Emery is up against it. Replacing Arsene Wenger may prove a thankless task and Arsenal’s transfers to date seem to be quality over quantity in our eyes.

Everton – 20/1

The Toffees were genuine top four dark horses 12 months ago after heavy summer spending but apart from World Cup hero Jordan Pickford most of those signings flopped. The Mersysiders have another new manager in Marco Silva and have signed Brazilian youngster Richarlison for a whopping fee that could reach £50m with add-ons, but odds of 20/1, which equate to around a 5% chance, tell their own story. If Silva can prove worth his weight in gold they might well finish above the Gunners but even fifth may prove beyond them.

Leicester – 33/1

The Foxes’ odds of 33/1 are virtually an indicator of a banker when compared to the 5,000/1 price the East Midlanders made a mockery of when they won the title. That said, 33/1 is still a huge price – though nowhere near big enough to tempt us in. Leicester have lost Riyad Mahrez and could well see one or two other players leave. Claude Puel made a good start to life at Leicester but it will be interesting to see how he fairs this time around.

Wolves – 40/1

Some may be surprised to see Wolves on this list but such was their dominance in the second tier last term, many are tipping them to do well back in the Premier League. They have a good manager and plenty of cash to splash, not to mention huge confidence from the way they won the Championship. If they start well they could surprise a lot of people and they wouldn’t be the first team to overachieve coming back into the top flight. That said, if they were to finish as high as seventh it would be an amazing achievement and fourth is almost certainly beyond them.

Who Will be Relegated From The Premier League?

Dejected Footballer Sat on Pitch

Such is the competition in the Premier League that seeing one of our dark horses for the top four end up in the relegation dogfight would be a surprise, but not a shock. Some pundits argue that aside from the “Big 6”, every other side’s first target is survival. That might be overstating things but even so, there are lots of clubs who will very much be targeting 40 points first and foremost. We could easily list 10 sides here but we’ll focus on the six who are, according to the odds at least, in the most danger.

Cardiff – 8/11

Cardiff finished second in the Championship last term and were comfortable for much of the season. They have a hugely experienced manager and yet they are the only side that are currently odds-on for the drop. The Bluebirds are 8/11 for an instant return to the second tier and whilst sides such as Burnley and Huddersfield have shown minnows can survive, the Welsh club are rightful relegation favourites. Boss Neil Warnock created a record in taking Cardiff into the Premier League: it was his eighth promotion as a manager. However, the Sheffield man also has previous when it comes to relegation too and with a limited budget it’s hard to see his side staying up.

Huddersfield Town – 6/5

The West Yorkshire club defied the odds last term to finish 16th, four points clear of the drop. In David Wagner they have an impressive young manager and the club’s #NoLimits creed has proved to be more than just a marketing gimmick. The Terriers have a miniscule budget compared to almost every side in the top flight but they showed that team spirit can overcome financial constraints. The big question is, can they do it again? They have signed a number of interesting young players and if Wagner can help them adapt to life in England the likes of Terence Kongolo could prove key. Town are priced at odds of just 4/6 to stay up and whilst that looks short, we won’t be piling into them at 6/5 to be relegated.

Fulham – 15/8

Fulham played some of the Championship’s best football last term and it was enough for them to qualify via the play-offs after a terrible start to the season. The board should be congratulated for the loyalty and patience they showed towards boss Slavisa Jokanovic and it is to be hoped they retain that attitude in the Premier League. Fulham have already paid £27m for Jean Michaël Seri, smashing their transfer record. If they can complete a deal for Newcastle’s Aleksandar Mitrovic, who was so instrumental in their promotion when on loan last season, they should have a real chance of staying up. The other key issue for the Cottagers is to hold on to their best youngsters, with big clubs sure to be interested in Ryan Sessegnon and others.

Brighton – 2/1

Brighton are another small club that punched above their weight last term and managed to survive against the odds. They were organised and defensively robust, bearing the hallmarks of a Chris Hughton team. They recorded 40 points last term and would bite your hand - and probably your arm as well - off for that total again. Their biggest issue last term was scoring goals and signing forward Florin Andone from La Liga 2 side Deportivo La Coruna seems unlikely to solve that problem. At odds of 2/1 we would argue that the Seagulls may be the best bet when it comes to relegation and we predict a long season ahead for the Brighton faithful.

Watford – 2/1

Watford flirted with relegation for a time last season but ultimately were well clear of the bottom three in the final reckoning. They finished 14th, with a total of 41 points but they had a very strange season. They took 21 points, more than half their total, from the opening 13 games. Then, so the narrative goes, then-boss Marco Silva’s head was turned by interest from Everton. Watford’s form after that great start was awful, Silva was sacked, Javi Gracia replaced him and at one stage relegation looked a real possibility. After their fast start they accumulated just 20 points from 25 games and that is relegation form. Their transfer activity has been very limited and, as with Brighton, we feel 2/1 really could be great value for Watford to be relegated.

Burnley – 4/1

The last of our six chief relegation candidates is an interesting one. Burnley are rated by the oddsmakers as more likely to go down than teams such as Southampton and Bournemouth. They finished 10 places and 18 points above the former and five places and 10 points above the latter. However, the reason why the Clarets are 4/1 for the drop and the Saints and Cherries are 7/1 and 9/2 respectively is clear. Sean Dyche’s men face the dreaded Thursday/Sunday Europa League schedule. Assuming they navigate the qualifying rounds the North West outfit will find their small squad hugely tested by the extra games of midweek European action. That said, we have massive respect for Dyche and back him to find a way to cope. We don’t see them troubling the top eight but 4/1 is too short for them to be relegated in our eyes.

Premier League Top Goalscorer

Footballer Harry Kane Celebrating Scoring a Goal
vverve, Bigstockphoto

From Premier League betting markets where the team is everything to one that is all about the individual. The top goalscorer betting is always a fascinating market and with some big money moves the race for the Premier League Golden boot should be fiercer than ever this season. Can Harry Kane regain his domestic trophy to go alongside his World Cup Golden Boot or will Mo Salah go goal crazy again? Can one of City’s strikers deliver or will Romelu Lukaku come good for the red half of Manchester?

Harry Kane – 11/4

Harry Kane’s individual glory at the World Cup will have gone some way to easing the blow of England’s elimination. Having said that, there is no doubt that the Spurs man would swap both of his Premier League Golden Boots for a league title but whilst he remains at Tottenham it is personal triumph that seems most likely. Kane notched 30 Premier League goals last term despite his usual August drought and an injury towards the end of the campaign. He was two behind Salah but having won this award in 2016 and 2017 odds of 11/4 look like great value. He will be boosted by his six goals in Russia and some pundits feel the summer football will enable him to hit the ground running in August and get quickly off the mark this term.

Mo Salah – 4/1

Salah was, quite simply, a sensation last term. He adapted so easily to the Premier League and his pace, trickery and strength made him impossible to play at times. With Liverpool set to be even stronger this season the Egyptian is sure to tempt many punters in the top scorer betting. Odds of 4/1 may look big but there are two factors you should consider before piling in. Firstly, will he play as many games this term? He featured 36 times last season but injury and rotation could see him play fewer matches this time around. Secondly, was last season a one-off or can Salah hit those heights again? Kane is tried and tested and we can be almost certain he will deliver but there have to be some small doubts over the Liverpool man. That said, 4/1 seems a fair price and if Salah is at his best once more, the Reds could go all the way.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 7/1

We find the installation of Arsenal’s Aubameyang as third favourite in this market puzzling. The former Dortmund ace should be better having had his first season in English football and 10 goals in 13 games was an impressive start. However, Arsenal also have Alexandre Lacazette and, moreover, there have to be huge concerns about how the first season post-Wenger will go. Unai Emery faces a huge task and with Europa League football possibly Arsenal’s best bet of making the Champions League the following season, Aubameyang could even find himself rested from some league games. The Gabon man’s pace and finishing ability are unquestionable but for us, 7/1 looks a shade short.

Sergio Aguero – 8/1

Sergio Aguero is one of the Premier League’s most deadly finishers and his 26 goals saw him finish the 2014-15 season with the Golden Boot. 8/1 looks a decent price for the Argentine, who will be keen to put the World Cup behind him. That said, whilst City are a hugely offensive side, they tend to share the goals around and, in addition, there is a feeling that Pep Guardiola doesn’t quite see Aguero as his sort of player and may favour Gabriel Jesus. In addition to those doubts, Aguero’s explosive style of play has left him injury prone and whether he remains fit for the entire campaign is another question mark against him.

Romelu Lukaku – 9/1

Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku has been one of the most consistent goalscorers in the Premier League over the past five or so years. In 2012-13 he registered 17 goals in 35 games for WBA and the following season 15 in 31 for Everton. He then moved to the Toffees permanently and hammered in another 53 league goals in 110 games before notching 16 in 34 in his first season at Old Trafford. Odds of 9/1 seem worth considering, certainly each way, for such a proven goalscorer. Doubts remain over United’s defensive style and also about Lukaku’s ability to score against the biggest sides. However, if he is able to punish the lesser teams and develops a good relationship with Paul Pogba, he could certainly be the value bet here.

When the concept of a breakaway league from that of the English Football League came about in 1992, the name was decided on the FA Premier League. The organisation as actually set up as their own limited company and as a result, started attracting potential sponsorship deals to essentially do what they like with the name.

The first two years that the Premier League was founded, there were no sponsorship deals in place. It wasn’t until 1993 when the first deal was struck, with that of Carling, changing the name to the Carling Premier League.

Carling remained as the headline sponsor for the league from 1993 through until 2001. Whilst the naming rights were put for sale again, it was widely thought that the company wanted to move away from the promotion of alcohol and into something a little more mainstream.

A deal was then struck with that of Barclays bank, who used their sister company, Barclaycard, to promote the league from 2001 through to 2004, before then becoming the FA Barclays Premiership from 2004 to 2007 and later then Barclays Premier League from 2007 to 2016.

In a turn of events in 2016, the FA announced that they would not be seeking a lead sponsor for the brand and instead reverting to simply the Premier League. The idea was to create a clean brand moving forward, much as they do in American sports with the likes of the NFL, NHL and NBA.

Season Format

The league is made up of 20 teams in total and each team play each other both home and away. This will mean that each team will take part in 38 games throughout a single campaign. The games will be run for 90 minutes and 3 points will be awarded for a win, 1 for a draw and none for a loss.

The league is set up in a format that promotes both champions and relegated teams. The winners are that of the team that finishes at the top of the league after 38 games. There will be 3 of the lowest ranked teams in the league that will then be relegated to the Championship. If points are tied, the goal difference will be the deciding factor to sort which teams finish where.

European Qualification

There are several places up for grabs that allow teams from within the Premier League qualifying for the following seasons Champions League and Europa Leagues tournaments. The top four places in the league will qualify for the Champions League. It used to be that 4th place would need to play a play-off game to get their spot, but this has been changed for the 2018 season and onwards.

Qualification for the Europa League is a little less straight forward. In total, the Premier League are allocated 3 slots into the tournament; one for the team finishing 5th, one for the winners of the FA Cup and one for the winners of the League Cup.

But, if teams that have won either of the cups finish within the Champions League places already, then these places will be allocated to 6th and 7th in the league if needed.

Transfer Window

The transfer window is one of the most exciting times for Premier League teams. There are two windows that run from July 1st through to August 31st, then another in the new year, from 1st January to that of the 31st of January. Note that these dates may be extended or reduced by a day or so should they fall on a weekend.

This is the only time that teams are able to make changes to their squads for the whole year. If transfers are made outside of this timeframe, then the players can’t legally move to that club until the window reopens. It’s also worth noting that the Premier League often come down hard on clubs who fail to adhere to this by sorting deals in principle before the window opens, which is commonly referred to as “tapping up”.

Prize Money

As we’ve stated already, the money that is within the Premier League is quite staggering at the minute. To give you an idea of the gulf between the Championship and the Premier League, West Brom, who finished bottom of the Premier League in 2017/18 season, took over almost £94million from their dividend that is distributed by the Premier League. Wolves, who won the Championship in the same year, took a little over £7million.

The prizemoney is broken down into 5 categories:

  • Equal share of payments to each club from sponsors and TV money
  • Facility Fees
  • Merit payment
  • Overseas TV
  • Central commercial

For example, in the 2017/18 season £35,301,989 was paid out to all clubs as part of the equal share of payments that they receive. The facility fees are based on the number of times that they are shown live on UK television. So, the more games they have, the more money they will be entitled for this.

The merit payment is based on where each team finishes in the league. This has the biggest gulf in payments of any of the sectors. For example, Man City who won the league in 2017/18, were paid out over £38million in merit payments, whereas West Brom, who finished bottom, were paid just £1.9million.

Overseas TV money is the money that is brought in from broadcasting rights around the world and central commercial are from sponsorship deals done for the Premier League. These two are both equal payments for all teams throughout the league, something that many of the bigger clubs are actually lobbying against, due to them offering more appeal than some teams.

Key Stats

  • Manchester United are the most decorated team in the Premier League era, with 13 title wins to their name
  • Manchester united have the most consecutive Premier League wins with 3, running from 1998/99 season through to 2000/01 and the 2006/07 season through to 2008/09.
  • The biggest winning Premier League margin is that of 19 points, by Manchester City in 2017/18 season
  • The smallest winning Premier League margin is also Manchester City, winning the 2011/12 season by just goal difference of +8 goals
  • There have only been 6 ever-present teams since the league started in 1992. They are: Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur
  • Only 3 teams have avoided relegation from the Premier League after being bottom at Christmas. West Bromwich Albion (2004/05), Sunderland (2013/14) and Leicester City (2014/15)
  • Manchester City have scored the most Premier League goals in a single season in 2017/18, with 106 goals in total
  • The fewest was that of Derby County, with just 20 goals in the 2007/08 season
  • The highest scoring match came about in 2007, when Portsmouth beat reading 7-4.
  • The most decorated player in the Premier League history is that of Ryan Giggs, with 13 league titles, all for Manchester United.
  • Brian Dene scored the first ever Premier League goal playing for Sheffield United against Manchester United on 15th August, 1992.
  • Alan Shearer has scored the most Premier League goals, with 260
  • Gareth Barry has the most Premier League appearances, with 635
  • Ryan Giggs has the most Premier League assists, with 162

The History of the Premier League

The foundations of the Premier League were set about in 1992 by that of Greg Dyke. At the time Dyke was a managing director for a London television studio and it was his idea that a breakaway league, running as a separate entity to that of the Football League, could be massively beneficial for the elite clubs.

After many meetings, Dyke was eventually able to get the likes of the “Big Five” on board, which included Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal, who then agreed to form this breakaway league.

It was Dyke’s vision to get more games of the bigger clubs on national television, which would in turn allow the league to make more money through sponsorship deals and advertising. But, the whole deal was based on the pretences that the Football Association were willing to back to the deal. As they already held a rather frosty relationship with the English Football League, the backing was granted.

The first of the TV deals was headhunted by that of Dyke and his team, before securing a five-year deal with BskyB and a highlights package with BBC, for a fee reported to be worth around £304million.

The format of the league remained the same in that the teams that were in the old 1st Division were essentially invited into the Premier League, initially with 22 teams, before this number reduced to the 20 teams that we see today.