With the second half of the English Premier League season about to begin, we analyze the best opportunities on the open markets.
Halfway through the EPL season, oddsmakers are uniformly in agreement that Liverpool will be 2020 EPL Champions. Currently sitting at the top of the table with a cushion of 13 points and a game in hand on second place Leicester City, Juergen Klopp’s tenacious club are the overwhelming favorites to lock up the title in May. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the best value plays to make on the EPL this year.
Top Goal Scorer
At age 33, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy is having another wonderful season. He currently sits atop the league leaderboard with seventeen goals scored in just nineteen games. As well, his goals per ninety minutes and shots on target per ninety minutes have both increased year over year. As such, oddsmakers have Vardy as their favorite in this category.
However, with so much quality talent in the EPL, the title of top goal scorer is far from assured at this stage in the season.
As the race to clinch a top four spot heats up, pressure on the top seven ranked teams specifically, and top talents like Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang generally, will increase. Good value can be found on every mainstream betting site with odds of eight to one and above for almost all of the lead goal scorers not named Jamie Vardy. If you are convinced that Vardy can keep his lead, bet365 and betway have the best odds currently of five to four for Vardy as top Goal scorer.
With only three wins apiece and a goal differential of -eighteen and -nineteen respectively, Watford and Norwich City are the two clubs presently in the most danger of being relegated. That said, the bottom five teams are only separated by eight points which complicates picking relegation teams correctly.
Norwich City's last five home games at HT:— bet365 (@bet365) January 1, 2020
Norwich 2-1 Arsenal
Norwich 1-0 Sheffield United
Norwich 1-0 Wolves
Norwich 1-0 Spurs
Norwich 1-0 Crystal Palace
They've managed to take just three points from those games…
Watford and Norwich will certainly have difficulty improving their standings and at this point can be counted on to be relegated. Bet365 and Unibet will have the best odds for these picks. The final relegation spot will still be in doubt for a few more weeks. William Hill presents the best odds for a riskier play on Brighton, while skybet has decent value at five to two for West Ham to be relegated.
Who will make top 6?
The race for top 6 will be intriguing to watch over the final half of the season.
While Liverpool, Leicester, and Man City are comfortably in the top three, clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Wolverhampton, and even Sheffield will all be jockeying for position. Only six points separate these teams.
The Wolves finished last season in seventh place but have the potential to break through this year. They sit tied with Chelsea at thirty points apiece and have salvaged points by playing opponents closely; gathering nine draws in the process. Ladbrokes has the best value on Wolverhampton at two to one. For a riskier pick, consider Everton who are only five points out of sixth place. William Hill currently provides odds of twelve to one on Everton.
Next manager to be fired?
In order to give their clubs an extra “bounce”, EPL clubs are prone to change managers rapidly when results don’t live up to expectations. Having lost four of their past five games and currently sitting in the relegation zone, oddsmakers are betting Aston Villa Manager Dean Smith will be the next manager to go.
👕 Next Premier League manager to leave odds:— Oddschanger (@Oddschanger) January 2, 2020
∙ Dean Smith = 5/2
∙ Eddie Howe = 5/2
∙ Daniel Farke = 4/1
∙ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer = 6/1
📉 Solskjaer went into the Arsenal game as high as 10/1. pic.twitter.com/aIKCzklgZD
If Aston Villa fail to secure points in their next match versus Burnley, the team may lose confidence in Smith and allow oddsmakers prediction to come to fruition. Similarly, if Norwich cannot salvage a win in their match with Crystal Palace, manager
Dean Farke’s time may be up. Bet365 has two to one odds on smith as the next to be sacked, while William Hill provides good value on Farke at five to one.