The dog days of summer are soon behind us with the beginning of the English Premier League season on the horizon. With a little less than 2 days before kick off, let’s jump into the state of the league as well as some preseason futures and week 1 picks I am eying.
The Title Race:
There is not much to add that most don’t already know. Manchester City (-250 to win the league) and Liverpool (+175) are the kings of the castle and it would take quite a drop in quality from both sides and a big step up from someone in the form of Chelsea (+1600) or Tottenham (+1200) for there to be a big surprise. City and Liverpool have only improved in the offseason with some class signings. Nothing of value in the numbers here as things stand.
The relegation battle is always an intriguing one for me. So many dynamics can change throughout 9+ months of football with some of these smaller clubs that it can prove a thankless task to guess who could be going down on the final day of the season.
That being said, I do find Everton +300 to be an intriguing one. Frank Lampard still doesn’t have the full grasp of being a top flight manager and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is sacked by Boxing Day. The squad as a whole doesn’t inspire much confidence, either. The most recent loss of Richarlison is brutal and there is still no replacement for Lucas Digne at LB, both integral parts in recent years. The Toffees needed a near miracle to stay up this past season and they’ve only got worse in the summer. This feels as if it could be value as things are just in complete disarray in Merseyside.
Golden Boot Race:
One of the most exciting storylines to follow each season is the top goalscorer in the Premier League. Always value to be had in this market and there is one player I’m eyeing here in particular.
Jamie Vardy, the ageless wonder, is my favorite Golden boot pick going into the season. Depending on where you shop around, you can still find him at 34-1 to be the most clinical in the league. Vardy hasn’t stopped finding the back of the net for nearly 7 years in the top flight. He has scored at least 15 goals in the league for 6 of the last 7 campaigns with 20+ in 3 of those. Plenty of competitors here for this award but at 34-1, it is worth a small wager.
Week 1 Picks:
Leeds/Wolves 10am ET
The missing pieces for both sides is the story here in the first match of the season for Wolves and Leeds. Several key outgoings for Leeds in Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips along with injuries around the predicted starting 11 spell trouble. For Wolves, Raul Jimenez is out for the foreseeable future up front. Wolves will look to play on the counter with their strong defense while Leeds lacks quality around the pitch to really capitalize being on the ball for extended periods. All this to say, the U2.5 (-120) is my favorite play in this one.
Newcastle/Nottingham Forest 10am ET
Newcastle’s new ownership hasn’t used their endless funds to strengthen the squad quite yet with FFP regulations etc. but they’re primed for a season that could see them finish in the top half of the table. With Nottingham, they’re the newcomers in the Prem and have lost plenty of key pieces heading into the season. There isn’t much to this pick, Newcastle are the better side and should be priced a bit higher than the -155 to -165 range. Newcastle -165 to win is one of my favorite plays and if you’re feeling lucky, I don’t mind Callum Wilson Anytime Goal Scorer at +150.
That is all for this week but look out for picks coming up every week of the Premier League season. Let’s cash!
This is an article written by Pat Taylor
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