NEWLY crowned English Premier League champions Chelsea have been installed as $2.50 favourites for next year’s title by online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au.
But punters think the real value lies with Arsenal, with the bookie’s Will Byrne telling AustralianGambling.com.au that the Gunners are nearly equal in the betting with Chelsea, despite being on the fourth line at $6.
Despite a lacklustre season, Manchester City are still second favourites at $3.75, while Manchester united are $5.50.
“Chelsea and Arsenal nearly equal in early betting and Manchestr United are third,” Byrne said.
“There’s been no love for Manchester City as yet.
“The $12 for Liverpool, though, looks value as surely they will have a better season than this one and have money to invest.”
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho lauded his charges after their 1-0 win over Crystal Palace sealed a 10 point gap on second placed Arsenal and gave them their first title in five years.
“I am very happy and very proud of the boys,” Mourinho said.
“New group, new team a lot of players without a Premier League title.
“With the heavy weight of succeeding a fantastic generation that Chelsea had.
“No more Frank Lampard, no more Ashley Cole, (no more Michael) Essien – all these big boys that were crucial in the last decade.
“New team, new people, new kids and so, so much work we did together in the last two years and obviously I am so happy but, as I was saying, when I was asked what I would do after the game – go home.”
He might have gone home, but the Chelsea boys partied hard.
The Gunners are a good bet for next season if you ask manager Arsene Wenger.
He told reporters his charges were title contenders next season and would focus on giving the Blues a run for their money, following the team’s 3-1 win over Hull City yesterday morning.
The Gunners have won nine of their last 10 league matches and Wenger hopes they can carry that superlative form into next season.
“I feel that we have made progress,” Wenger said.
“Chelsea have won the premiership because they have been the most consistent but let’s prepare well for next season and give them a good fight.
”We have to finish well but the basis is there.“
Wenger said he would have an eye on bringing talent to the squad during the transfer window.
”We do not need to buy numbers, if we find top world class players we look at it but we have a very good squad in numbers,“ he said.
Meanwhile, there are still a few things to be decided in the Premier League this season.
Byrne reports there is a stack of cash on Manchester City to finish second – 10 times more than next best Arsenal – despite the fact they’re a $2.75 outsider. Arsenal has a game in hand on the Sky Blues and a relatively easy run home. both teams are equal on 70 points, with City holding a two goal advantage on goal difference.
There is also the matter of the Golden Boot, with City’s Sergio Aguero the hot favourite at $1.20.
But Byrne reports Harry Kane’s recent goal scoring drought for Tottenham is doing it a big favour, with the young English striker at one stage $51.
“Aguero is a short $1.20 but he’s actually the fourth best backed,” Byrne said.
“Kane is a horrible result, having been $51 at the start of the season and is the best backed, with Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez also in the market.”
Kane and Aguero went head to head on the weekend, with Aguero finding the net, while the former missing two golden chances to draw level with the City superstar.
Aguero leads the Premier League with 22 goals, two ahead of Kane, with Costa, who might have cost himself the Golden Boot due to injury, one back on 19. Sanchez banged a double on the weekend, but he still only has 16, one behind Queens Park Rangers stud Charlie Austin, on 17. Those two would need a miracle – or injuries at the top – to somehow take home the league’s top goal scoring award, considering how far back they currently sit with such a short period of time to go before the end of the season.
Despite leading the league in goals, Aguero – who has battled injury this season – was somehow left out of the PFA Team of the Year.
And that did not sit well with team mate Eliaquim Mangala.
“Kun is amazing. He shows us every week what he is like in the Premier League and Champions League – he is so important for us,” Mangala said.
“His goal against Tottenham was another big one.
“I am surprised he wasn’t voted into the best team – I see him every day in training, and in every game, and he has so much quality.
“He has scored a lot of goals for this club, but will score a lot more.”
As far as the relegation battle goes, there are still eight teams who are a mathematical possibility of going down, but you’d be silly to back West Bromwich Albion at $276.
Both Burnley and Queens Park Rangers are all but dead, $1.005 to make the drop.
It gets interesting after that, with Sunderland $1.67 to be the other team to fall, and then Hull City ($4.50) and Newcastle United ($5.50) next on the line of betting. Leicester City are $8.50 and Aston Villa is $14, but both are tipped to stay in the top flight next season.
2016 English Premier League title market
Manchester City ($3.75)
Manchester United ($5.50)
Hull City ($501)
Crystal Palace ($501)
Aston Villa ($501)
Newcastle United ($501)
Leicester City ($501)
Stoke City ($501)
West Ham United ($501)
Swansea City ($501)
West Bromwich Albion ($501)
* Odds provided by sportsbet.com.au
Other notable Premier League markets
Queens Park Rangers ($1.005)
Hull City ($4.50)
Newcastle United ($5.50)
Leicester City ($8.50)
Aston Villa ($14)
West Bromwich Albion ($276)
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) ($1.20)
Harry Kane (Tottenham) ($4.33)
Diego Costa (Chelsea) ($21)
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) ($51)
Charlie Austin (Queens Park Rangers) ($81)
* Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au