Guest post by Shane (@oranje_1979)
If you enjoy playing futures soccer markets and would like a bet that will run throughout the season, then why not have a go at predicting what teams will finish in the TOP 4 through a season handicap process!
There are plenty of sports books that will service you this bet up until the kick off the new EPL Season this Friday (Man Utd - Leicester 8pm UK BST). This bet will appeal to betting fans who like attractive odds and generous place terms.
One sports book to avoid doing this bet is with Betfair sportsbook as they are only offering 3 places and 1/3 of the odds, as opposed to the traditional 4 places each-way. For our American betting friends, William Hill do offer odds on this market, however from scanning the other books, please be aware you may not get the same handicap team number offered with the majority of the books.
What does it take to win this market?
After a bit of digging around on Google, I found some past historical trends that suggest you want to be backing a team that is going to finish between 5th and 12th place. So its not just a case of backing the best team in the Division like Man City and see them cruise through the league like last year. Albeit Man City were a bit a trends buster last season hitting the 100 points mark, and this number is usually high enough to beat the rest of the field with the handicap score applied.
We also want to be looking at teams that are not involved in Europa league or Champions league competition. As we all know squad rotation will hamper your teams domestic progress from time to time throughout the season.
Due to the generous odds offer from a place perspective, this allows us to back three or four teams for small stakes each way, with a scratch position if only one team make the the Handicap TOP 4.
Historically Promoted teams from the English Championship have done well in filling at least one of the top 4 places. And this season I quite like the look of Fulham FC, who are back in the big time of the English Premier League season.
Fulham are give +45 handicap point start on the rest of the field, and Fulham Manager Slaviša Jokanović will be looking to secure at least 40 points to ensure safety. But many experts and UK pundits like the look at Fulham’s pedigree and speculate that with a good run Fulham maybe better than your average promoted team, and secure a TOP 10 Spot also available at odds of +500. With the points combined, Fulham +45pts and season range of 40 -55 pts) That puts Fulham right in the mix to land a TOP 4 handicap spot.
Promoted Teams Joining the Premier League
Promoted Teams have won this market 3 times out of the last 8 Premier league seasons and also been placed 4 times, giving a healthy 50% strike rate. The Promoted teams that fared the best in the top flight are typically teams that have had previous exposure playing at the highest level. Handicap mark offered for new 2018 /2019 Season:
- Fulham +45
- Cardiff +50
- Wolves + 34
Personally speaking, I think Wolves are rated by the books a little too highly, Yes they won the Championship 2017/2018 by a canter and effectively had the division wrapped up by Christmas. But the the Premier League is a different beast altogether and I don’t they will score as many goals as they did in the Championship. So to take +34 on Wolves doesn’t really entice me.
As regards the other promoted team. Cardiff City, I think they will struggle, and some algorithms have projected that they will take less than 35.5 season points, which will not be enough to get in the TOP 4.
Generally speaking we are looking for a combined score total to hit the 90s for a chance to land the nice +1600 odds.
So lets eliminate some of the field…
Scratch off Europa League teams, Arsenal and Chelsea, Burnley (in qualifiers) Cardiff City for reasons above, Watford who I think will be relegation candidates, they may not get to the safe 40 point zone. Everton I don’t like, they haven’t strengthened that well and are without big goal scorer.
Another method is draw up your own list of teams, who fills the league positions from 1-20, and closely analysis who fills your positions at 5 -12, and the add the handicap marks. If your tissue hit 95+, they maybe a team to bet!
I have included some historical trends of the past markets to inform you, and as you can see Teams filling final table positions, 7 and 8 and 11 have a good record.
So my three teams at 1 unit each way are:
- Fulham +45
- Brighton +45
- Crystal Palace +45 ( if they can hold onto Wilfred Zaha)
Remember this is a futures market, and will be suspended by kick off the season first game, so get your betting boots on….