The race for the 2016-17 English Premier League championship is the most wide open in recent memory, as six teams open with odds of 8/1 or less. That group does not include Leicester City, who claimed last season’s title after opening at 500/1 odds.
The season kicks of Saturday, Aug. 13.
Manchester City tops the oddsboard, listed at 5/2 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Winners of two of the last five EPL titles, City disappointed with a fourth-place finish last season, barely good enough for a spot in the Champions League. This is probably the most talented team in the league, and Pep Guardiola – who knows how to win championships – takes over as manager. Man City is getting lots of love among EPL prognosticators, and they are deserving of their status as favorites.
City’s inner-city rivals, Manchester United, are next on the oddsboard at 3/1. There’s new life at Old Trafford following a far-from-satisfying fifth-place finish last season, as stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba join the mix of men led by new coach Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho’s former club, Chelsea, enters the season as the third favorite. The Blues followed their 2014-15 championship season with a shocking 10th-place finish last season. Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard may be the best player in the EPL, despite his subpar performance last season. The team is also keen to acquire goal scorer Lukaku from Everton, although his current club maintains he’s not for sale. Chelsea should improve at the back (they allowed 53 goals last season) under the direction of Italian coach Antonio Conte.
Arsenal’s second-place finish last season may have been the result of a weak overall field. With the Gunners’ top challengers all making improvements this offseason, coupled with their failure to land a striker or central back, we’re not enticed by 6/1 odds.
Liverpool and Tottenham round of the top-tier of contenders. Spurs are interesting choice after a third-place finish last season, but we’re not sure 8/1 offers the necessary value. Likewise, Liverpool is too shaky on defense for our liking.
English Premier League championship pick:
We see a return to glory at Old Trafford this season. With the addition of the French and Swedish stars, plus a top-flight manager and no Champions League obligation, Man United has what it takes to come out on top this season.
English Premier League odds:
|TEAM||OPEN ODDS 5/29/16||CURRENT ODDS|