Chelsea

Manchester United, Chelsea odds move in Premier League futures

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While one matchweek is the ultimate in small sample sizes, the outcomes have made oddsmakers adjust their prices in English Premier League futures significantly.

Manchester City remain at the top of the board, listed at +130 to be the EPL outright winner at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The big mover was their cross-town rival, as Manchester United have come down slightly to +275 after a four-goal victory in its opener, while Chelsea have doubled to +650 after an embarrassing stumble in their opener at Burnley.

Tottenham Hotspur (+800), which coincidentally will host Chelsea on Sunday, still have an attractive price for bettors looking for the higher-risk but higher-reward play; all the chatter about how they might be less offensively potent whilst displaced to Wembley Stadium overlooks their defense.

The board will be volatile early in the season, especially week to week. If one believes Man United and Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba are for real, now might be the best time for believers in Jose Mourinho’s men to get down since the Red Devils won’t face another big power until mid-October.

Conversely, a scan of the fixtures list shows Manchester City will have some big matches in September, including being home to Liverpool and a trip to Chelsea. A stumble might lead to an artificial price rise. Chelsea do present a buy-low opportunity, but they are working without their first-choice starting 11 and have some tough early-season tests.

Among this week’s Premier League fixtures, Manchester United (-275) face short-staffed Swansea (+900, +370 draw) on Saturday. The Red Devils are +105 on the goal line and winning by two should be doable.

Liverpool (-270) host Crystal Palace (+800, +400 draw) in a matchup of teams which each conceded three goals in their openers. The total is an even 3, which means playing the over offers a push as cushion.

On Sunday, Tottenham (+105) host Chelsea (+265, +245 draw). With suspended Gary Cahill off the back line, Chelsea might have trouble containing both Harry Kane and Dede Alli, but with their 0-1 record it will be desperate to batten down and try to get the draw and valuable (in the long run) point.

Newly promoted Huddersfield Town (+140) are still offering plus money for its home opener against Newcastle United (+210, +220 draw) on Sunday. Newcastle had a desultory opening loss, so riding with everyone’s new second-favorite team on sentiment makes some sense.

The matchweek wraps with Manchester City (-355) hosting Everton (+950, +450 draw) on Monday. Everton have won the last three matchups between the teams and offer some upset potential, especially if midfielder Idrissa Gueye contains playmaker Kevin de Bruyne.

Chelsea’s dominance of Premier League forces bettors to seek out other futures props

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Do not think for a second that Chelsea running away from the pack has dashed all betting potential on the English Premier League futures board.

With their double-digit points lead and two months left in the season, manager Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side is now a -800 betting favorite to win the league, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Only Manchester City (+1200) and Tottenham (+1400) are being given any chance of catching Chelsea.

That will force bettors wagering on how the final weeks play out to look elsewhere, and fortunately soccer is distinct from North American leagues in that regular-season finish means everything.

First off, there is the prospect of relegation, since the three worst teams will be sent to the second-tier Championship for the 2017-18 season. Sunderland is the favorite, in a matter of speaking, to go down at -300 (as well as the +165 favorite to finish bottom, or dead last). Beyond Hull City (-125) and Crystal Palace (-110), that board has some value.

Last season’s Cinderella story, Leicester City (+250), is scrambling for points but also has Champions League games on their plate. Bournemouth (+700) has lost striker Callum Wilson for the season with a ruptured ACL in his left knee and not having his finishing ability could cost them vital points.

The top four finishers qualify to ‘play in Europe’ in the Champions League. The aforementioned Chelsea (-10000), Tottenham (-500) and Man City (-500) are overwhelmingly minus-money favorites, with Arsenal (-110) and Liverpool (-110) at around even-money. Missing out on Champions League would be utterly humiliating for Manchester United (+125) and manager Jose Mourinho, and at this point they offer a decent price.

The real value on that board lies with Everton FC (+5000), which is in seventh place but has much tighter defense this season under new manager Ronald Koeman. Everton also had one of the best records in the EPL during the month of January.

While there is no Leicester grabbing the attention of fans across the world, one lower-profile squad that has endeared itself are Burnley, which was one-and-done in 2014-15, the last time it played in the Premiership. Burnley is listed at +500 to finish in the Top 10 (or top half) of the league, with Stoke City (+120), Watford (+275) and Bournemouth (+350) all having greater than even-money odds.

Manchester City, Man United headline odds to win Premier League title

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With Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho coming in as managers, rivals Manchester City and Manchester United hold down the top two spots on the odds to win the Premier League championship at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com at the outset of the season.

The 2015-16 season was the most uncharacteristic in recent memory, with Leicester City winning the league after most experts had them marked for relegation. The underdog team winning kick-started an active offseason, which has led to Manchester City being installed as a +250 favorite (bet $100 to win $250), with Manchester United, at +300, sliding in as the second favorite.

Chelsea (+550) and Arsenal (+650) are also high up on the board, which has a big drop-off after the +800 odds on both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Leicester City sits at +3000

Manchester City, after barely finishing fourth last season, brought in Guardiola, a recent FIFA world coach of the year whom it has coveted for years. Adding John Stones, late of Everton, should solidify the Sky Blues’ back line, while Guardiola has a total of eight newcomers to work into an improved lineup.

Manchester United opted more for the big names, with Mourinho, 34-year-old Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (a non-factor at Euro 2016), and star midfielder Paul Pogba coming into join veteran Wayne Rooney. The Reds are an on-paper power, but there’s reason to wonder how all those egos will co-exist.

Arsenal might be worth a longshot play. Manager Arsene Wenger is in a contract year, which means he could go all out to revamp his attack and central defense for a run at finishing on top.

Man City’s Sergio Aguero and Tottenham’s Harry Kane are respectively listed at +350 and +500 on the top goal scorer board. Everton’s Romelu Lukaku is listed at +1200, but that reflects on the quality of his team, which seems intent on keeping the Belgian striker.

Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez (+2000) is also in a situation where he could cash in from his team having a big year. Ibrahimovic is listed at +900, but it seems far-fetched he would be the leading scorer in his first season in the league.

The three worst teams at the end of the 38-game regular season are relegated to the Football League Championship. Understandably, the three teams that have come up have the lowest odds to be low on the table. Hull City is listed at -150 odds, with Burnley at -110, and Middlesborough at +150.

Keep in mind that Hull City won promotion through a special playoffs, as opposed to being a top-two team over the entire season. Crystal Palace, which flirted with relegation last winter, is listed at +400 on the prop wager at the sportsbooks.