Soccer Odds – Will EPL have a new Cinderella?

After the incredible, year-long upset orchestrated by Leicester City last season, I’m sure the betting public’s interest in the upcoming Premier League season is higher than usual. The reigning champs were going off at 5000/1 odds at the beginning of last year. In fact, the Foxes were so discounted, they were still 100/1 favorites when they first surfaced at the top of the table in November and didn’t become the odds-on favorite until February.

As we turn our attention towards next season, oddsmakers appear to have learned their lesson, offering no higher than 1500/1 odds for any team out of the gate. Will any of those bottom-of-the-board squads be able to replicate the glorious run of Jamie Vardy and Leicester this time around?

Probably not.

Nothing is impossible of course, but I’d rather spend my time previewing the teams that aren’t captained by guys named Grant Leadbitter. So who are the teams to watch this year? No surprises, they’re the ones dropping a lot of pounds. (The currency, not excess body fat. As Wayne Rooney has proven, you can be fat and still play.)

So far, the favorites are cross-town rivals Manchester City and Manchester United. The two finished fourth and fifth, respectively, last season with an identical 66 points, spurring both sides into making some huge changes this summer.

Man City brought in Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola to take control of a squad that had the talent to win it all last year, but wilted in the second half. City returns a powerful bunch this year, led by  Sergio Aguero up front. Aguero finished tied-second in the EPL with 24 goals last season, and will once again be fed the ball by one of the top midfields in the Premier League: Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, and Raheem Sterling.

Man U also shook things up, staying outside the UK in their hunt for a manager and hiring the always polarizing Jose Mourinho. After that surprising hire, United went back to their old ways: acquiring past-their-prime talents like Zlatan Ibrahimovic. While this is a decent looking squad with Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, and Rooney already in place, fans of the Red Devils are still holding their breath that a transfer for French midfielder Paul Pogba will go through.

Another rivalry to watch this season will be the North London derby. Arsenal leapfrogged their hated rival Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season to finish as EPL runner-up (and, more importantly, finish ahead of Tottenham for the 21st straight year). The Gunners haven’t won a league title since the famous “Invincibles” team of 2003-04, but also haven’t finished outside the top-four since then. They should be near the top again, led by Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, and Alexis Sanchez.

For Tottenham, last season marked their highest finish in over 25 years, but there’s reason to think they can do more. Spurs have a young team, and possess one of the best strikers in the league in 22-year-old Harry Kane. The undisciplined bunch couldn’t close out last season, but perhaps this is the year they put it all together?

Liverpool and Chelsea are both expected to rebound from dreadful seasons and be in the mix, as well, but the team everyone wants to know about is Leicester. The Foxes lost N’Golo Kante to the Blues, but generally did a good job of preventing the richer clubs from tearing their roster apart, managing to retain the reigning Player of the Year, Vardy. Leicester won’t sneak up on anybody this time around, and the added grind of the Champions League may take its toll on a roster that isn’t exceedingly deep; but after last season, oddsmakers are giving them at least some respect.

Just how much? Find out below, as I set out the odds for the entire Premier League ahead of the preseason tournaments.


Odds to Win 2016-17 Premier League Title

  • Manchester City: 5/2
  • Manchester United: 7/2
  • Arsenal: 6/1
  • Chelsea: 6/1
  • Liverpool: 8/1
  • Tottenham: 8/1
  • Leicester City: 20/1
  • West Ham: 80/1
  • Everton: 100/1
  • Southampton: 100/1
  • Stoke City: 500/1
  • Crystal Palace: 750/1
  • Swansea: 1000/1
  • Middlesbrough: 1000/1
  • Sunderland: 1000/1
  • Watford: 1000/1
  • Bournemouth: 1000/1
  • Burnley: 1500/1
  • Hull: 1500/1
  • West Brom: 1500/1

Odds to be relegated to Football League Championship next season:

  • Hull: 5/6
  • Burnley: 5/6
  • Middlesbrough: 5/4
  • Watford: 2/1
  • West Brom: 2/1
  • Sunderland: 3/1
  • Bournemouth: 3/1
  • Swansea: 4/1
  • Crystal Palace: 5/1
  • Stoke City: 10/1

(Photo Credit: LIHD Leicester City (Originally uploaded to Flickr. Photo has been cropped.)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/])