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The infant stages of the Premier League campaign suggest we are in for one of the most wide-open title races the top flight has seen since at least 2014.
Through seven matches, just six points separate first place from 13th, while Manchester City, Arsenal, and Manchester United all sit outside the top eight. Results have been erratic, and no club has managed to stand out among the rest.
Let’s take a look at how the first two months of the season have helped shape the Premier League oddsboard and go over some of the biggest movers thus far.
|Team||Odds (Nov. 3)||Odds (Aug. 31)|
Manchester City (+150)
City have provided one of the most polarizing starts to the campaign. Are we underreacting or overreacting to early results? It’s not often the Premier League favorite sits 10th after two months. Winners of just two of their last five league matches, we will get a much better sense of how legitimate City’s title bid is soon, as they host Liverpool on Saturday before visiting Tottenham in the first match back from the international break.
The defending champions and current league leaders being offered at +200 would, under normal circumstances, look like a gift, but there is cause for concern. It took Liverpool 28 matches last season to drop as many points as they have through just seven this campaign, and a season-ending injury to Virgil van Dijk leaves them thin in defense. Diogo Jota has been a sensation, but these next two months are crucial. If they can stay near the top until January’s transfer window, back-to-back titles will look increasingly likely.
Sitting just two points off the top, Spurs would be tied with Liverpool at the summit had it not been for a monumental collapse against West Ham. The fixture list has been friendly to Spurs thus far, though. We will learn a lot more about the strength of their title claim over the next month, as they’re set to face City, Chelsea, and Arsenal. Now is the time to buy in if you believe in the talent. With five or seven points from those matches, Spurs’ odds would be halved.
In stark contrast to their north London rivals, Arsenal have had a daunting fixture list thus far. They claimed just three points from matches against Liverpool, Leicester, and the Manchester clubs, but there were plenty of positives to take from them as well. It’s clear Mikel Arteta has the Gunners trending in the right direction, and a top-four challenge is in play this season, but there’s work to be done on this squad before we can talk about a title bid.
We are seeing the pandemic’s impact on this season as the congested fixture list offers no respite for Premier League clubs participating in Europe. This gives clubs outside the “big six” an opportunity to better navigate the domestic league schedule, and perhaps none of them are better positioned to take advantage than Everton. A busy summer paid dividends for the Toffees, and while they have come crashing back to earth a bit, they’re still within three points of top spot. The Red Devils’ visit to Goodison Park this weekend offers Carlo Ancelotti’s side a chance to make a statement of intent.
Leicester City (+3000)
Sitting in second place, one point back of Liverpool, Leicester currently pose the biggest threat to the Reds’ bid for back-to-back titles. A laundry list of injuries temporarily derailed the Foxes, but they’re back to full strength and are the proud owners of resume-boosting wins away to City, Arsenal, and Leeds. Leicester can score goals with the best of them; now it’s a matter of finding consistency.
Manchester United (+3000)
It’s been a miserable start to the domestic season for United, who sit 15th with just seven points from six matches and claimed just one from three against the “big six.” If it weren’t for a pair of excellent results in the Champions League, we’d be discussing how long Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left as manager. It’s become increasingly clear he’s not the right man for this job, and until he finds a way to consistently get his best players into the starting XI, the lack of continuity will continue to plague United in league play.
Leeds United (+4000)
A title bid is obviously out of the question, but impressive displays against Liverpool and Manchester City said a lot about the staying power of Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Leeds have proven their worth as a tough out on any given night, and this shift in odds is a testament to the club’s chances of finishing in the top half of the table while possibly even pushing for a European berth.
(Odds source: BetaSoccer Bet)
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for BetaSoccer. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.