Soccer season is here! Arsenal and Brentford kick off the Premier League season at 3 PM EST on Friday afternoon and then there’s no turning back until May. It’s a crazy long season to have your money tied up for so I don’t like betting toooo many futures on the Prem but there are a few things looking through that I’m comfortable tossing some cash on. Soccer is one of the most fun sports to bet on in my opinion and I’m trying to get better at it all the time, but I did have some success with my futures last season including betting City to win the League. Without further ado, let’s get into the picks.
Liverpool to win the League (+550)
City are the heavy favorites to repeat as champions and deservedly so, they added Jack Grealish and possibly Harry Kane to an already championship level team and will be competing for the title (and could very well win it). However, I don’t think there’s any value in their juiced number so you then have to look at the only other team that could realistically win the league and that is Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United. All three of those teams have 10/1 odds or better to win the league and then it drops off to 50/1 for anyone else to win so there is a very clear top four this season. Of that group of three outside contenders, Liverpool clearly has the best manager in Klopp and that is so important to a season long competition like the Premier League. He has proven (with their Prem title in 2019-20) that he can get his guys ready to go on a weekly basis and not take any games off which is how you win this league. Chelsea and United have certainly added more flash this summer but I don’t think that will directly translate to results. Don’t be surprised if one or both of those clubs drop some points early in the season as their teams attempt to gel.
People seem to forget this is a Liverpool side that scored 97 points in 18/19 which would win the league in almost every other year in history, won the league in 19/20, and had the most devastating injuries I have ever seen last season and still found a way to finish in the Top Four with teenagers playing center back and missing key MFs most of the season. LFC is seemingly healthy now and has better team cohesion than any other club at the top of the table. I think if anyone is going to keep up with City and have a shot at winning the league, it will be Liverpool.
Brighton to Finish Top 10 (+150)
Brighton had a heartbreaking season last year. They have some great attacking players and a competitive midfield and played a lot of great soccer last year but just seemed to have the worst luck. They lost a lot of close games and the advanced metrics say they had terrible shooting luck both for and against them. I think Graham Potter is a great manager and I think the middle of the table is WIDE OPEN this year and Brighton will be able to finish ahead of the Villas and West Hams of the league.
Everton to Finish Bottom 10 (+125)
As a Liverpool supporter, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Rafa Benitez. However, I don’t love the hiring from Everton and we have seen Rafa struggle early in his tenure with clubs before. Everton finished exactly 10th last season and that was with one of the best managers of all time leading the club. I don’t think they’ve done much to improve while other clubs have and with Rafa at the helm, I think they could drop down the table this season.
Watford (-110) To Be Relegated, Burnley (+220) To Be Relegated
Watford is the worst team in the league. Straight up. I like their roster top to bottom the least of any of the three newly relegated teams and I don’t rate their manager, Xisco, very highly and would be surprised if he survived the season. This team just doesn’t have the talent to survive the season. Burley is the one longer shot I like to go down. Sean Dyche has survived a long time in this league with his boring packline defense and they finished 17th last season, only one spot clear of relegation. I think this is a team that could lose faith in their controversial manager and lose a lot of 1-0, 2-0 games this year and see themselves relegated.
Golden Boot: Diogo Jota (+2500), Mo Salah (+400), Heung-Min Son (+4000)
I love the Golden Boot market. You get to root for goals all season! What’s more fun than that?? I’m rolling with one favorite in Mo Salah who I think should be THE favorite. If Harry Kane moves on to City then he will have his goals chewed up by other players whereas no one is taking Mo Salah’s spot on the RW for LFC. Since coming to the PL in 2017 Mo Salah has scored the most goals in the Premier League. He won the Golden Boot in 17/18, tied for it in 18/19, finished 5th in 19/20, and finished just 1 goal away in 2nd last season. He has been the height of consistency and is also the LFC penalty taker which is big in the Golden Boot race.
Secondly, I’m going with his teammate Diogo Jota. When Jota came to Liverpool last season he was an instant game changer. He became the one guy, other than Salah, that just had a knack for finding the back of the net and that’s something you can’t quantify. He only started 12 games for LFC and still finished with 9 goals on the season. He is expected to take over the starting striker role from Bobby Firmino this season and has already impressed with goals in preseason. Don’t be shocked if this guy lights the league on fire this year with his goal scoring ability.
Finally, I’m going with Sonny. He is one of my favorite players in the league and if Kane departs from Tottenham, Son will become the leader of that attack. Despite being teammates with the Golden Boot winner last season, Son still finished fourth himself in the GB race with 17 goals. Without Kane, all of those goals have to go somewhere and I think a good portion of them go to Son. I think this number is inflated right now and if Kane leaves it will drop dramatically. This is a great value play on my boy Sonny.
That’s it for the Prem preview! It should be an awesome season of footy and if you haven’t got involved from a betting or even viewing perspective before, make this the season you do because it’s the second best professional sports league in the world (after the NFL, duh).