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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Top 10 betting tidbits for English Premier League

13 Aug 2018

By Dan Ippolito
The 2018 World Cup was full of excitement as France came out on top to win it all over Croatia. Last Friday, the 2018-2019 season of the English Premier League kicked off with Manchester United besting Leicester City, 2-1. Manchester City dominated the league last season with 100 points, winning the EPL by 19 points over Manchester United.

As the new season gets underway, here are some things to keep an eye out for when placing your bets:

10. Team to finish at the bottom
Most fans want to talk about who is going to win the English Premier League and who will finish in the top four to go on to the Champions League. However, don’t forget about the teams who are fighting to not be relegated. Someone has to come in last, and there are several teams in the conversation for that.

West Ham United is currently at the bottom of the table after losing its opening game to Liverpool, 4-0. Liverpool is a very tough opponent, so don’t see this as a common trend for West Ham, who is currently 40-to-1 in this category at Paddy Power Sportsbook.

Cardiff City is near the bottom as well, after losing 2-0 in the opening game of its season to AFC Bournemouth, which is also projected to finish toward the bottom. Cardiff is the favorite to finish in last, at 9-to-5 at Paddy Power sportsbook, and may be the way to go when betting on this after a poor performance against a mediocre team.


9. Teams that won’t be relegated
This may be one of the easier bets to place on the English Premier League. The bottom three teams in the league get relegated each season to the English Football League Championship. The top two teams in the English Football League Championship are automatically promoted to the EPL, and the next four compete for the final team to be promoted.

At bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook, Everton has the best odds in this category at 1-to-250, which offers zero value at that price. The only team with better odds than 1-to-1 is Cardiff City at 11-to-8, but as we just discussed, that may not be the team to pick.

Leicester City lost its opening game to Manchester United and is listed at 1-to-25 in this category. Still not great payoff odds, but Leicester City miraculously won the Premier League at 5,000-to-1 odds back in 2016 and has talent. Keep in mind, the season-opening loss came to one of the best teams in the league. Taking them to not finish in the bottom three seems like a safe bet. In this category it is difficult to receive big winnings, because it is typically on the easier side to win.


8. Teams to be relegated
Of course, you also have the other side of that story, which may be a little more difficult to pick. As mentioned before, the bottom three teams at the end of the season are relegated for the following season. Cardiff City is 4-to-7 in this category at Paddy Power sportsbook, but we already talked about them. My personal pick for this category after the opening matches would be Southampton at 5-to-1. Southampton was at home in its opening match, resulting in a 0-0 draw against Burnley, which has 7-to-2 odds as well. When you start the season at home, you should come away with three points. Leaving the game with a tie (1 point) against a team that isn’t likely to have a successful season does not look good on a team. It doesn’t get easier for Southampton, as they will be away against Everton in the next match on 18 August.


7. To win without Manchester City
This is an interesting bet and category. Since Manchester City dominated the Premier League last season, you can pick the winner of the EPL not including Manchester City in the running. Therefore, if Man City won, the second-place team would be considered the winner in this category. Liverpool is the favorite at 10-to-11 at bet365 after finishing last season in fourth place, good enough to qualify for the Champions League. However, the team to watch here is Chelsea at 5-to-1. Chelsea finished just outside of the Champions League in fifth place last season after winning the EPL two years ago. They opened this season with a 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town. To finish outside the top four was a very disappointing result for Chelsea after winning the Premier League. Look out for them to come back this season with a vengeance.


6. Teams not to finish in top four
This is another category that may not pay out as well as others. The only way to have some solid winnings in this bet would be to focus on the teams that are usually near the top of the table. Cardiff City, the favorite to finish in last, has the best odds here at 1-to-3000 at bet365 to not finish in the top four. There are more crazy low odds like that until you start to look at the top seven or eight teams in the EPL.

Manchester City has the highest odds at bet365, but I'm not sure I would pick them to not make the top four after the season they had last year. I would focus more on Tottenham at 11-to-10. It may not be the best payout, but after the opening game I'm not convinced from the Spurs. They defeated Newcastle on the road, but that's not a very good win, because it's against a team picked to finish near the bottom. Many, including myself, expected at least a two or three goal win from Tottenham on Saturday, but didn't get one. They do have an easier game next, with Fulham being their next opponent at home. It will be interesting to see if the Spurs can have a commanding win or if they will barely sneak by again.


5. Teams to finish in top four
The top four teams in the English Premier League qualify to play in The Champions League. Last year, those teams were Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool. It is something that every team strives for, along with winning the EPL.

Arsenal has decent odds in this category at 2-to-1 at Paddy Power sportsbook, but it's a tougher bet than it looks. Arsenal was home against Man City in the opener and lost 2-0. Man City is the defending champ, so it is understandable not to come away with a win, but to not even get a point in your home opener definitely hurts. On top of that, the next match for Arsenal is away against Chelsea, who has always been a top-tier team. It is a long 38-game season, but Arsenal needs to come away with at least one point, because going into game three with 0 points is already a big hole for teams.

The team I look at here is Manchester United at 8-to-15 at Paddy Power sportsbook. Again, not a lot of value here, but because of the team’s success in recent years it is still a solid bet. United won the first game of the season 2-1 over Leicester City at home. They came in second place last season and show no signs of slowing down in the early stages of this year. It would be a major shock to see Manchester City not make the top four after last year’s performance so really you are picking the three remaining spots if you look at it that way.


4. Team to go unbeaten
This is where the odds are in your favor if you are willing to take a shot. There is really only one team I would consider betting on to not lose a game in the season. Manchester City, the favorite to win the EPL and the favorite in this category at 33-to-1 at bet365, only lost two games out of 38 last season. It is possible to do, but extremely difficult and even harder to predict. The closest odds behind them is Liverpool at 100-to-1 and they lost five games last season, so it is a tough time to convince yourself to be on them. Man City really is the only bet if you even are thinking about this category. They won its first game of the season 2-0 against Arsenal on the road. Only 37 more games to go.


3. Top goal scorer
Now, let’s delve into some of the more popular categories to bet on. The top goal scorer of the English Premier League is something every player dreamed of being when they were growing up. Last season, Mohamed Salah of Liverpool took home this great accomplishment with 32 goals, beating Tottenham’s Harry Kane by two goals. Kane and Salah are the favorites to win the top goal scorer this season. Kane is +325 at bwin Sportsbook & Racebook with no goals through the first game, and Salah is +400 at bwin with one goal. The next highest goal scorer last season was at 21 goals, nine behind second place. It is tough to pick anyone but these two after last season.

Kane is my pick at +325, but it is not because he is listed as the favorite. In the 2018 World Cup, the Golden Boot is given to the top goal scorer of the tournament. Kane took that home after scoring six goals in the World Cup. He had impressive match after impressive match, and I see him carrying that into this season as well.


2. Player of the year
Last season, the player of the year was awarded to Mohamed Salah after leading the EPL in goals. He is the second favorite to win at 7-to-1 at bet365 behind Manchester City’s midfielder Kevin De Bruyne at 6-to-1. While both of these players are great candidates to place your bets on, I am going in a different direction. Eden Hazard of Chelsea is listed at 12-to-1 and is a gifted player. Last season, Hazard finished with 12 goals, but it isn’t just about goal scoring. He creates chances, and whenever he receives the ball there is a great chance for his Chelsea team. The combination of his speed and skill is dangerous for defenders, so look out for him to make a run this year.


1. Winning the English Premier League
Finally, we talk about the EPL title itself. Manchester City won the title in commanding fashion last year and is the favorite to be a repeat at -167 at Intertops Sportsbook. It is tough to repeat because everyone wants to beat the champion and knock them off the throne. I look to Liverpool at +350 at Intertops to be the team to do so. They had the most dominant victory in the first game of the season so far. Liverpool took down West Ham United 4-0 with a pair of goals from Sadio Mané. They will look to ride that momentum as they go on the road to play Crystal Palace on 20 August. Having last season’s leading goal scorer of the EPL on your team is great, and pairing that with a goalkeeper who had 10 clean sheets last year is even better with Loris Karius in net. Look for Liverpool to give Man City and the other top teams a run at the title this season.

 
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