Premier League Ante-Post Preview

The new Premier League season is upon us, which is the prefect time to make some long term predictions that will keep you going through those cold Tuesday nights in Stoke and bear fruit in the glorious South London sunshine come May.

Away from the talk of who’s going to win the title, Manchester City in my opinion if Pep Guardiola doesn’t tinker with his starting eleven too much, there’s hundreds of other markets where there’s plenty of value to be had.

On my numbers the team that offers the greatest potential upside this season is Southampton. Things didn’t go particularly well for them last season, but I believe a lot of that can be put down to bad variance. They finished the season in 7th for Total Shots For and 7th for Total Shots Against. Those numbers put them 7th in the overall Shot Difference table, ahead of Everton. Looking at Shots on Target they ranked 8th in SOTs For and 6th in the SOTs Against Table.

On my adjusted numbers Southampton ranks as the 6th best side in the league. The reason they didn’t hit those heights last season was due to them;

a) Conceding from 37.50% of the Shots on Target they faced, only Swansea were worse.
b) Only 22.91% of their Shots on Target turned into goals, a league low.

Both of these numbers were out of line with league averages and are similar to what we’ve seen from Aston Villa and Sunderland in the last couple of seasons. Southampton are better than both of those sides, they won’t be finishing cut adrift at the bottom of the league and their underlying shot totals back that up.

The best was to side with them in the ante-post markets are as follows;

Back Southampton +28 points in The Season Handicap market at 17.0 (Betfair Sportsbook)

Back Southampton To Finish Top Six at 8.50 (Betfair Sportsbook)

Back Southampton To Be Top At The End Of August at 14.0 (Betfair Sportsbook, Paddy Power)

On paper, well Excel Spreadsheets, they have the easiest start to the season. Home games against, Swansea and West Ham along with a trip to newly promoted Huddersfield who posted less than impressive shot numbers and a negative goal difference in The Championship last season. They should be taking nine points from those three gamesĀ and if they did it’ll come down to goal difference.

With my expectation that they will benefit from good variance this season I fully expect all of the above three bets to give a good run for the money.

At the other end of the table it’s simple for me, Burnley are awful. They were fortunate to stay up last season after conceding 667 Total Shots and 211 Shots on Target. Tom Heaton won’t be able to reproduce a save rate of 73.93% again. That number left him third in the save table behind Lloris and De Gae, I don’t believe he’s that good. If he drops to league average and Burnley concede the same number of shots then he will concede close to 70 goals this season. As far as I’m concerned Burnley are down.

The other two sides who I believe will be relegated are Brighton and Huddersfield. Both of these sides produced shots stats that were inferior to Newcastle last season and in the end both finished below the Geordies. Despite the signings they’ve made, at this time I don’t see either of them finishing above Newcastle. With Watford and Swansea both picking up 40+ points last season, even a 10% drop off this term should be enough to keep them up. Brighton and Huddersfield are so far behind the rest of the league in terms of generated revenue to date, experience and expected goals that I struggle to see either of them getting beyond 36 points.

I make the relegation treble of Brighton, Huddersfield and Burnley sub 8.00, therefore the 17.0 you can get with Bet in their respective ‘Relegation Treble’ markets is one of the best bets of the season for me.

Back Relegation Treble Burnley, Brighton Huddersfield at 17.0 (Bet 365)

This season I’ll be putting up some syndicate bets via Colossus Bets. They are a pool betting based company, offering a product similar to the Scoop Six in horse racing. It’s and interesting way to be involved in winning some big pots of money for limited stakes. If small stakes accumulators are you type of bet then you should check it out. The bets that I put up can be found here.

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