Is There Going to be a Premier League Race in 2021-22, or Will Manchester City Win Easily?
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With the start of the new Premier League season just weeks away, the futures odds markets have been seeing some heavy action at sports books around the country.
Manchester City is the defending champion, while Manchester United was the runner-up in 2020-21. But Chelsea comes into this season as the reigning European champions, after the Blues knocked off Manchester City 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League Final. Do not forget Liverpool, which is a year removed from its first English title in three decades.
There is some other intrigue now around the start of the new Premier League campaign as well. Manchester City is under investigation for financial doping in the early years of the City Group’s ownership reign, with the whistleblower hacker from the Football Leaks allegations, Rui Pinto, set to hand over a treasure trove of documents. While this might not have much to do with the current Cityzen team, you would have to wonder if it would unsettle this squad as it prepares to go after a fourth title in five years.
Currently, Manchester City is priced at odds of about -140 with most sports books to retain its title in 21-22, and has odds of -1667 to finish in the top four. After the Cityzens, though, it gets interesting.
Chelsea and Liverpool are both +500 to win the title, with Manchester United, which looks to be strengthening its squad very impressively, fourth choice at +650. After those teams, though, the odds fall off a cliff. Tottenham is fifth choice at +4000, and might sell Harry Kane. Arsenal and Leicester City (which has finished fifth in each of the last two seasons and is also the defending F.A. Cup champion) are both at +5000, with Everton at +10000.
Basically, if you are looking to bet on a winner of the Premier League before the season starts, it would have to come from the first four teams.
Here is the thing, though, with futures odds: they can change during the campaign. Last year, Manchester City started the season as -125 favorites, then fell all the way down to almost +200 with a lackluster start, with Liverpool ascending to the top of the odds. But a run of 15-straight wins in the league basically locked up the title by March, and made winners out of everyone who backed the Cityzens, whether at -125 or +200.
Now, the opposite can be true as well. If City comes out and wins 15-straight to start the new season, those odds are going to plummet towards -500, and the value will be lost. The same can be said for Manchester United at +650: if the Red Devils (or Chelsea) tear up the Premier League for the first four months, those odds are going to drop very quickly.
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