Premier League Season Handicap Betting Preview 2012/2013
Writer. 23. Mainly DailyMirror & Mirror Football but also Guardian Sport, ESPNFC and Betfair Sports. Surname rhymes with Galleon.
Which Premier League clubs will perform greater than expectations in 2012/2013? With the new season just a matter of hours away, today on the blog Ed Malyon takes a look at the season handicap betting market.
The idea of the Premier League as some sort of perfectly even competition is a fascinating one - if not a lamentably impossible one - and for the punter that prides himself on correctly assessing the quality and strength of a squad, the handicap betting market presents the perfect opportunity to flaunt these capabilities.
Marking out the potential overachievers and underachievers is something that can be hugely profitable, and with Betfair the most popular provider of the market it has become a very healthy trading market.
Last year’s great overachievers were Newcastle, probably not a huge surprise, but the fact that Manchester City came second shows just how incredible their final points tally was.
Below are last season's handicap results thanks to the Racing Post.
|Club||Handicap||Total Points With Handicap|
Last year’s biggest underachievers were Wolves, although even after a disastrous finish to the season under Terry Connor they were still only a single handicap point behind Liverpool at the end of the campaign. Chelsea too were disappointing, having been considered only two points worse than Manchester United in August and four points better than eventual winners Manchester City.
Everyone will have their own view, and as evidenced by last season’s result it would be foolish to rule out Manchester City. Their points tally in winning their maiden Premier League title was very high and with their squad brimming with quality they almost look slightly underrated.
Newcastle are an interesting prospect, predicted to be twenty-six points back of the Sky Blues. Alan Pardew’s job last season was remarkable, and principally a result of making some superb signings on the back of a diligent and far-reaching scouting process.
This summer has seen very few significant arrivals though, and while twenty-six points seems a generous head-start for the Toon, it clearly takes into account their squad being spread over both domestic duties and a Europa League campaign. The African Cup of Nations could hit them hard, with either Ba and Cissé or Cheik Tioté destined for the competition in January 2013.
Nonetheless, if Mathieu Debuchy or Douglas were to arrive (as consistently linked) to further strengthen the squad then their mark looks too high and they could be one of the teams to consider.
Villa & QPR
Further down the list, Aston Villa and QPR are the most tempting. Villa have brought in an excellent manager in Paul Lambert, whose ability to change his team’s formation to such effect with Norwich will be an even more valuable gift with a more able squad. They may still lack some quality in places, but Karim El-Ahmadi will prove to be a class act in midfield, Brett Holman will be a consistent performer and Ron Vlaar is a classier upgrade on James Collins at the heart of the defence. If Darren Bent stays fit, they will be able to turn some of their seventeen draws (!) last season into victories and they are worth a look.
The Hoops have spent plenty in further upgrading their squad from one of upper-Championship/lower-Premier League standard to one that should comfortably be able to survive in mid-table.
Robert Green is a direct improvement on Paddy Kenny, Andrew Johnson is better than Heidar Helguson while Hoilett, Park, and Diakité enhance their midfield notably. Furthermore, the return of Argentine pass-master Alejandro Faurlin to the centre of the park will – to invoke the cliché – be akin to a new signing after seeing his first Premier League campaign destroyed by injury after a very promising start.
Mark Hughes has an up-and-down record in management but possesses some terrific players at his disposal and thirty-seven points seems overly generous for the West Londoners.
Rangers are clearly fancied in this market as their price has been pushed in to 13.50 on the Betfair market. Behind them is Manchester United +3 points at 14.50 and, interestingly, Arsenal – who are +12 points at 15.00.
That the Gunners are so fancied, despite losing top-scorer and captain Robin van Persie, is testament to how well Arséne Wenger has bought this summer. Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud are undoubtedly class acts, while Lukas Podolski is a good addition too. RvP's departure will most likely entail a slight change in the way that the Gunners attack teams, playing both off Giroud and through Cazorla to provide an interesting double threat.
Nineteen points off the top last year, their mark of twelve this year is an interesting prospect that merits consideration even with the loss of their skipper.
1.5 points QPR +37 at 14.5
0.5 points Aston Villa +34 at 25.00
0.5 points Newcastle +26 at 21.00
Follow Ed on Twitter : @eaamalyon
You can read more of Ed's thoughts at The Mirror
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