The Premier League 2017/18 season starts on the 12th August and although there is probably little value to be found backing a team on the outright winner markets, there are other bets you can do. One option is the season handicap bet where a lot of the betting firms will offer over 14/1 the field by allocating a points head start to what they consider the inferior teams.
In most years since the Premier League started it has been won by one of the favourites, Leicester being the exception in 2015/16. So if you fancy one of the favourites to win the title you can get good value by backing them each way in the season handicap market and you get 4 place terms with that.
Last year’s handicap was won by Chelsea, 2nd were Tottenham, 3rd West Brom/Burnley and they were all 16/1 with SkyBet. It is therefore a good idea to back one of the favourites alongside a second bet, chancing a team who the bookies have underestimated. So whoever you think will win Premiership, and I’m guessing you’ll be choosing from Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, one of those would be your first handicap each way bet.
At the current prices, Man City, Chelsea and Man United are all under4 /1 and not that appetising so it’s definitely worth taking them on the handicap instead. Chelsea won the handicap title with their +5 points last season and 16/1 was a hell of a lot bigger than you would have got on the standard outrights.
Man United look strong this season. The addition of Lukaku will have an incredible effect and Mkhitaryan looks like he is starting to show some of the consistency that lead him to become a star in the Bundesliga. Even Martial looks full of confidence so far in pre-season. United are just 10/3 on the outrights but Bet365 are offering 15/1 for them to win the handicap market with a +2 points head start.
For me though, Arsenal are a slightly better proposition due to them being the only one out the big 6 teams not to be in the Champions League and with the few bookmakers who’ve opened up betting on oddschecker, they are getting an 8 points start. Lacazette loos like he’s going to be a massive addition for the Gunners and his goals per minutes stats were better than Alexi Sanchez’s last season. Remember, they wouldn’t necessarily need to win the league for this 16/1 bet to be a winner.
When looking at an underestimated lively outsider, teams that have been promoted from the Championship usually offer excellent value and so check what they have been handicapped at. Look for teams who have improved their squad in the transfer market or who have brought in a new manager and could be the surprise package that might be worth an each way bet.
Out of the underestimated teams I am choosing between Newcastle and Crystal Palace who have huge points head starts. At present I am just favouring Crystal Palace who can be backed at 15/1 with a 38 point head start (Hills) but I will be keeping a close eye on the transfer market.Things can obviously change quite significantly if they lose key players or bring players in.
Palace have a lot of quality in their side in players like Zaha, Cabaye, Townsend and Benteke. They clearly underperformed for a lot of last season but had some impressive of the big teams to keep them safe. I think they could surprise a few under Frank De Boer.
Win or lose, the season handicap bet is certainly a fun one that will keep you entertained the whole season long. Good luck to anyone betting and I hope you have found this useful.