Premier League Betting: Who are the 2017-18 favorites?
Published on June 05, 2017
Chelsea just wrapped up its second Premier League title in three seasons with one of the more dominant overall campaigns you’ll ever see. The Blues finished 30-3-5, good for 93 points. Tottenham Hotspur, the runners up, finished with 86 points, which would be more than enough to win the league in most seasons. Manchester City finished with 78 points, while Liverpool rounded out the top-four with 76 points of their own. By comparison, Leicester City shockingly won the 2016 Premier League title after accumulating just 81 points.
The season just ended two weeks ago, but it’s never too early to start looking ahead to next season. Premier League play gets underway in August, so there really isn’t much time to wait. Teams are already jockeying for position in the summer transfer window, and things should really start to heat up now that the Champions League Final is over with.
BetOnline is trying their hand at handicapping the 2017-18 Premier League campaign already. Somewhat surprisingly, the current title-holders aren’t listed as the favorites. Below are the championship odds for 19 English clubs heading into next season:
How about that? Betonline thinks manager Pep Guardiola will get everything in order this summer and deliver a title to Manchester. Let’s break down a few of the top contenders, shall we?
City still finished third in the league, but many consider their 2016-17 campaign to have been something of a disappointment. They made perhaps the splashiest move of any club last year when they lured the decorated Pep Guardiola away from Bayern Munich, and he promptly splashed cash on players like Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan and John Stones. All but Gundogan, who missed most of the season with injury, featured fairly heavily for the Citizens last season.
Jesus got off to a flying start before an injury cut his season short near the end, but the Brazilian striker looked right at home during his first taste of Premier League action. He only made eight PL appearances after coming over midseason, but amassed seven goals and four assists in that span. He is going to feature prominently in City’s attack next season, and many wonder whether his emergence will make . One would imagine it makes most sense for the team to keep both, though, and that’s likely what they’ll do. The tandem of Jesus and Aguero up front figures to be the most prolific two-headed attack of any team in England.
If they are to take the next step and claim the league title next season, City will need to fortify what was a rather leaky at times last year. Guardiola knows this, and he’s reportedly ready to spend a truckload of cash to try and rectify the situation at the back. Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna are all out the door, which means new full backs will come into the fold. They have been linked with Tottenham right back Kyle Walker and Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy, but nothing official has emerged as far as a transfer for either player as of yet. Walker and/or Mendy would signify a necessary youth movement at the full back spots.
They also figure to make a move at goalkeeper. Claudio Bravo failed to settle in after coming over from Barcelona last summer. While Willy Caballero has been a loyal servant of the club, this is another area in which City could stand to get younger. Jordan Pickford is the hottest keeper on the English market right now, and MC making a move for him would be the opposite of surprising.
It’s easy to see why City may enter next season as title favorites. With a few tweaks to the squad over the summer, they may be the most well-balanced club in England. However, there is also the matter of the team currently tabbed as the most well-balanced in the PL…
Oh yeah, there’s Chelsea. Remember them? The team that just breezed through the league and won the title without so much as breaking a sweat after October? What reason do we have to believe they’re going anywhere next season? Sure, we do have some recent evidence that suggests they may be in for something of a tough ride. Chelsea won the 2014-15 Premier League title and then stumbled to an eighth place finish in their title defense season that ultimately cost manager Jose Mourinho his job.
However, there’s reason to believe that lackadaisical season was an aberration. Mourinho clearly lost the respect of his players in ‘14-’15, but Antonio Conte seems like a far more player-friendly manager. Conte’s exuberance and brilliance was on display throughout last season, and it’s tough to imagine the players tiring of his act as quickly as the more sour Mourinho.
One thing that could certainly hamper the squad early in the season is the likely absence of Eden Hazard. Hazard reportedly while training with the Belgian national team, which will rule him out of any international competition over the summer. He will miss an estimated three months, which will take him off the pitch for the first few weeks of the Premier League campaign. Hazard was arguably the most dangerous attacking midfielder in the league last season, so clearly the Blues will miss him if he’s gone. They have capable backups, but obviously no replacement can replicate all that Hazard does for Chelsea’s attack.
That could certainly put a damper on the title defense. Dropping points in any week can be a death knell for a championship run, and if Chelsea straggle to the back of the field in the early stages they may not have enough time to recover. The Hazard injury may well be enough to put Chelsea on the outside looking in on the top two or three. We obviously think this team is capable of great things at full strength, but City look like a better title prospect.
We were a tad surprised to see the Red Devils listed so high by Betonline. This team enjoyed a long unbeaten run in the middle of last season, but that still wasn’t enough to even lift them into the top-five. United finished sixth in Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge, though they will be playing in Champions League in the fall thanks to winning the Europa League. They have an injury concern of their own, as striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will almost surely miss the first chunk of the season as he continues to recover from an ACL tear.
Spending record amounts of money to bring in guys like Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and others didn’t have the desired effect in year one. Mourinho and company still have plenty of holes to fill, and apparently just spending more money than any other team isn’t always a formula for immediate results.
United just couldn’t score enough goals to get the job done last year. Despite having talented goalscorers like Ibrahimovic, the end results left much to be desired in front of the net. They were reportedly attempting to rectify that situation by showing interest in Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann, but their interest in the Frenchman has reportedly cooled over the last week or so.
One would imagine they will now to targets like Romelu Lukaku or Alvaro Morata to try and find their No. 1 striker. Lukaku would cost United a pretty penny, but it seems as though they could get their hands on . He’s shown that he is capable of scoring goals at any level of competition, and he’d be a solid fit for what Mourinho wants to do up front.
The Red Devils are already stellar in defense, thanks in large part to the continued efforts of star keeper David De Gea. The Spaniard is arguably the finest goalkeeper in England these days, and he will reportedly stay in England rather than move to Real Madrid over the summer. As long as he’s between the sticks, United will likely be in the mix.
We need to see what Manchester United accomplishes in the transfer window before jumping on their title chances at +350. Those odds seem too high to us at first glance. Check back when we see who they add this summer.
Tottenham have been chief title challengers for two years running. As mentioned earlier, we’ve seen league champions finish with fewer than the . So, seeing them way down at +700 was quite the surprise. This is phenomenal value on a side that looked like the best team in England for long stretches of last season.
One would imagine the relatively low odds have something to do with what their rivals do over the summer. If teams like United and Liverpool are going to splash the cash around in their attempts to overtake the current champions, Spurs are going to need to do some business of their own just to keep up. This team as is, though, is plenty good enough to win the Premier League in most years.
Harry Kane continued his stellar play up front, leading the league in goals with 29 last year. Considering Spurs led the Premier League in both goals and goals conceded, there isn’t much work for Mauricio Pochettino to do this summer. He could field the exact same squad next season and many would still consider them to be favorites. We really don’t need to waste much more time talking them up. If you can really get Tottenham at +700 to win the league next year, that’s a bet you jump on immediately. This is hands-down the best value on the board.
Liverpool barged their way into the top-four last season thanks to what may have been the league’s most fun-to-watch and prolific attack. Adding Sadio Mane and Gini Wijnaldum to a core that already featured Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge in attack was legitimately overwhelming for opponents at times.
There’s still work to do if the Reds are to make a legit challenge for the top spot. They have already reportedly taken a step in the right direction. Many reports indicate that they are , who will step in and immediately prove to be a stellar partner in the middle with either Joel Matip or Dejan Lovren. Defending has been the Achilles heel for Liverpool for the last several years, and adding a player of van Dijk’s caliber will immediately stabilize things at the back.
There is also the matter of what to do with Daniel Sturridge. Sturridge has often found himself either injured or out of favor in Jurgen Klopp’s side, which has cast some doubt on his future with the club. The line would form to the left of interested teams if LFC do decide to sell him, with West Ham being the most oft-mentioned side linked to the talented striker. Even if Sturridge leaves, though, Liverpool have no shortage of players capable of putting the ball in the back of the net.
They could probably stand to upgrade the keeper, but there is optimism around Simon Mignolet after he played very well down the stretch of the season after taking over for the struggling Loris Karius. LFC will need to add some depth in order to deal with the PL season and Champions League play, and that will likely be Klopp’s primary area of focus as he scours the transfer market over the coming months.
With van Dijk in tow, we are really optimistic about Liverpool’s chances next season. They showed no fear of the league’s top teams. It really came down to losing too many times last season in games against beatable opponents. If the Reds come out and actually beat the teams they should beat while continuing to hold their own against the title challengers, why can’t they rise all the way to the top?
LFC are a phenomenal value bet at +1200.
Arsenal could also factor into things at +1000, but these six teams are likely to be the only six capable of threatening to win the Premier League in 2018. In terms of the aforementioned odds, here’s how we rank them by the combination of betting value and likelihood: