Betting on Premier League: 2021/22 Futures

Betting on Premier League: 2021/22 Futures

This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.

Not many things are expected to change in the new Premier League season, as Manchester City are a sizable -165 favorite (at DraftKings) to win the title again. If you're not about betting a -165 favorite in a 38-match season, there are a few different ways to go and you wouldn't be crazy to take any of them.

There's no question Man City are good after winning the league by 12 points last season, but it's rare when a team wins back-to-back titles by double-digit points. Only five years ago, Man City followed their 19-point title-winning campaign by beating Liverpool by one point the next season. And, of course, Liverpool won the season after that (2019/20) by 18 points.

There's almost no reason to take Man City at -165 to win the Premier League. In their first seven matches of the season, they face Tottenham, Arsenal, Leicester City, Chelsea and Liverpool. After that run, they'll either have a huge leg up on everyone else or be somewhere in the middle of the table. If the latter is the case, it's likely their odds to win the league will be different.

That's why I'd rather bank on something like Liverpool at +500 or Manchester United at +750 to win it all. Liverpool have to be the most enticing bet because even though they finished 17 points behind Man City last season, it was arguably the worst season they could've had. Virgil van Dijk was lost to injury early and they never looked like the same team as prior seasons. Add a full campaign with Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara, along with the addition of Ibrahima Konate on the back line, and they should be more competitive with Man City. That's on top of what should be a healthier season for Jordan Henderson and gradual improvement for youngster Curtis Jones. It almost makes no sense that you can get them at +500 given last season's injury issues.

Manchester United are in that same vein, though I'm not sure how much they can improve from last season when they finished second, five points ahead of Liverpool. They added Jadon Sancho, but Marcus Rashford will miss the first couple months of the season and they didn't lose many minutes to injuries. There's a chance Raphael Varane is the missing piece on the back line and they allow fewer goals than Man City, but I'm not ready to bet on that.

Chelsea are +500 to win it, similar to Liverpool, but I don't think they'll be consistent enough to take down Man City or Liverpool. While they won Champions League last season, they also lost to Arsenal when they needed points late and had numerous weird games, namely when they gave up five goals to West Brom in April. A full season of Thomas Tuchel may also help, but I'd rather bet on Jurgen Klopp because he's done it recently.

Another bet that stands out, which can be found at DraftKings, is Leicester City at +150 to have the most points outside of the big six. That means they're competing with Everton, Leeds, Aston Villa and West Ham, along with the rest, to finish highest in the table. They finished fifth in the table last season, one point ahead of West Ham, and I think there's a decent chance they finish in the same spot.

While Leicester have some questions on the back line, they added Patson Daka to the attack and get back Harvey Barnes with a hopefully healthier James Maddison and Ricardo Pereira. They battled big injuries last season but still managed to finish fifth, while it was almost the best-case scenario for West Ham, who probably won't have Jesse Lingard again this season. 

I'm definitely avoiding Everton at +500 under Rafa Benitez, and Leeds at +550 seems like a trap. Everyone loves to watch Leeds, and they were impressive last season, but consistency and depth remain an issue. At one point in February, they lost four of five matches. 

Aston Villa will get attention at +600, but the inevitable departure of Jack Grealish makes that a number to avoid. They're adding players and could have a similarly good season, but they aren't the same team without Grealish. There's a small chance Grealish stays, but if that was the case, they'd probably be closer to +300 or +400.

Golden Boot Futures

As of early August, there aren't a ton more things to bet in terms of Premier League futures, though that should change in the final week before the season. If you aren't confident in Liverpool winning the league, Mohamed Salah is +400 to win the Golden Boot. Even in a somewhat down season, he scored 22 goals, one fewer than Harry Kane last season.

Even if I don't like Kane as much, and that he has constant ankle issues, getting him at +300 with the possibility he ends up at Man City is a viable bet. If he goes to City, he could be set for 30 goals if Pep Guardiola gives him consistent minutes. Then again, there's a chance Kane gets rested more with City than ever at Tottenham because of the players around him. 

The other one I'd monitor is Bruno Fernandes at +2500. It was a similar situation last season in the odds and then he scored 18 goals, third-most in the league. Then again, you're almost betting on Man United to rack up 20 penalties and for Fernandes to take them all.

I'd consider Kelechi Iheanacho at +2800 as a long shot after he closed last season with 11 goals in 12 matches. He won't keep up that pace, but I think his playing time continues because Jamie Vardy's days as a top striker are slowly coming to an end, as he'll turn 35 in January.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam, a 2019, 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's soccer editor. He also runs RotoWire's Bracketology, as well as writes on other various college basketball content. He has previously worked at ESPN and Sporting Kansas City, and he is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.
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