The start of the 2013/14 Premier League season begins on August 17th and matches will be played across the weekend. The super Saturday start sees seven fixtures on the cards which presents some betting opportunity, with two further matches on Sunday and a Monday night special to round off the complete first round of fixtures. Some of the big feature matches will be Manchester United’s trip to League Cup winners Swansea, and the newly promoted Crystal Palace getting to host Tottenham in their opening match of the season.
But beyond simply taking a look at the ten matches which will be on the Premier League coupon for the opening weekend of the season, there will be great alternative markets to look at. These alternative betting markets can add a touch of fun as well to the first day of football betting on the new season as well. There are some great options when you look outside the regular box for the opening day of the season. You can look at everything from the amount of goals which are likely to be scored, to how the Big Six or the newly promoted teams will fare in their openers.
How many goals will find the back of the net on the opening ten fixtures of the 2013/14 Premier League season? On average last season, over the course of the entire campaign, there were 2.8 goals per game. That naturally lends itself to the bracket of 27-31 goals inclusive being the favourite option in the Total Goals on the opening weekend. Squads of course aren’t settled and who knows what striker will be playing for who, but asking for the field to produce 32 goals or more (at odds of 15/8) does look like a long stretch. Assessing the fixture list will be key here, because there are some tight looking matches.
Really only the Chelsea v Hull match has the promise of being a heavily one-sided game, with the Blues strong favourites at Stamford Bridge to run up a few goals against the newly promoted side. So much so, that Jose Mourinho’s men are 9/2 favourites to be the highest scoring Premier League across the first weekend. Manchester City, who have been offensively active in the summer transfer market are at 6/1 as they open against Aston Villa who were flirting with relegation last season. Liverpool, maybe without Luis Suarez are heavy favourites to beat Stoke at Anfield and are a 9/1 to be the top scorers for the first set of fixtures.
How will the newly promoted trio of Crystal Palace, Hull and Cardiff get on in their respective opening matches? Hull, as mentioned have an ominous task at Stamford Bridge, while Crystal Palace get to host Tottenham, who may be going without Gareth Bale, if Real Madrid get their way and sign the Welshman. Cardiff, who won the Championship last term look as if they will get embroiled in a gritty battle away at West Ham for their opener. There is a market from the Promoted Teams All To Lose their opening matches and was an option to be taken at around 16/5.
There will be heavy scrutiny on the Big Six to get off to strong starts and odds of 19/2 were being touted around for all six to open with victories. Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City do all get home matches to kick things off with, while Spurs and Man United have to deal with fixtures on the road. New Red Devils boss David Moyes does look to have the toughest call, as he takes on Swansea in his first Premier League match in charge of the Old Trafford club. There are even markets on offer for Premier League opening day betting to predict how many home wins, how many away wins and how many draws there will be exactly.
Barclays Premier League Forecast betting could bring some great value to your betting. This is naturally going to be best from a long term bet, and patience could pay dividends here. Naturally the starting place is going to have to be who you think are going to be the two main title contenders for the season. The Premier League forecast bet is predicting who will finish first and second overall in the correct order. There are, realistically only three teams who are going to be in the title hunt, so that will be a great place to start things off with here. Then for longer value you could start considering a longer shot. But at the head of the field are Chelsea, Man City and Man United.
With most people expecting the title race to be a three way race, here is where you start looking at things in a little more detail. Who do you fancy as winner? All three clubs have different managers from last season, and it is only Chelsea who has a man who has tasted Premier League title winning glory before. Will the experience of Jose Mourinho be a huge factor in the title race this season, going up against Manuel Pellegrini in his first taste of top flight English management with Man City, and David Moyes who is now in charge of the defending champions Mancehster United?
The off-season during the summer could offer some clues. Chelsea have looked pretty settled and happy with their squad, bringing in Andre Schurrle and chasing Wayne Rooney, if for no other reason that to hassle Manchester United. But if they don’t sign anyone else, Mourinho is happy with his troops. Manchester City have taken long strides to become an even bigger attacking force, brining in Alvaro Negredo and Steven Jovetic alongside Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko. So the Citizens want to become more of a flair side and they have taken positive steps towards that. As for Manchester United, they took a fairly quiet approach to summer spending as well.
Because of all this, bookmakers have been leaning slightly towards the title going to either Chelsea or Manchester City. So they are the top two options in a forecast bet. Taking the two either way round is being offered at odds of 13/2 to come out. It doesn’t look to be too bad of a roll of the dice really on that one. The same antepost Premier league betting odds can be taken on Manchester United getting into the mix as well. Taking the Red Devils to win over either City or Chelsea, or David Moyes’ men finishing second to one of the other main title contenders is all being offered around the same odds.
The longer value comes in when you simply look at the chances of Arsenal getting their noses into the top two mix. Arsene Wenger’s men fell short with a fourth place finish last term and that is the general perception of the way things will be for the 2013/14 season as well. The big difference for them could all depend on whether or not they can get their hands on their big target, Luis Saurez from Liverpool. Just about all they were missing last season was a prolific, out and out goal scorer to push them deeper into the title race mix. Arsenal finishing second to United, City or Chelsea can all be taken around 20/1 ahead of the new season in Premier League Forecast betting.
Who will be finishing in the bottom half of the Premier League next season? It is a Premier League betting market which gets overlooked, but there could be some value in it. No-one really expected Newcastle United to be struggling so badly last season after finishing 5th just the season before, for example. So surprises do happen, and so it could be worth looking around and trying to pick up some value for your Premier League betting here. Naturally you are going to count out, probably around seven sides, with Mancehster United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton likely having enough resources to book themselves a top half of the table finish. But if you count out the seven spots, then that only leaves three other openings spare.
So the best value will be all around the teams who could flirt with a top ten finish. This is probably going to be the teams like West Brom and Swansea City. They are the kind of teams who are on the cusp of going either way. Swansea City though look as if they have bolstered their chances of booking a solid top ten finish by bringing in Wilfried Bony to play alongside Michu. They could have the guns to go a lot stronger even than their 9th place finish last season. But on the flip side of that, they could have to deal with a long Europa League campaign which can often be very draining and it is something which effects league form.
West Brom booked themselves a top ten finish last term, but then Steve Clarke’s men were helped out tremendously by the goals of the on-loan Romelu Lukaku. However, the Belgian striker is likely to be sticking around with his parent club Chelsea next season, which could leave the Baggies desperate for goals. No-one else broke double figures for West Brom last season, and that could have a major effect on their finishing position. There does seem to be a bit of positively around Southampton, with Mauricio Pochettino looking to drive the Saints upwards. They took only 14th place in the league last season, but they produced some good football, with Rickie Lambert shining up front for them.
Fulham couldn’t manage a top half of the table finish last season in the Premier League and could offer some value again, and we mentioned them before and we return to Newcastle as well. After a horrific season last term, surely their fortunes have to get better. Some terrible away form helped see them flirt with relegation for most of the season, so will it just be baby steps for them in terms of just securing a bottom half finish but away from the drop zone more comfortably? Perhaps though the biggest value of all is in another previously mentioned team here, and that is Everton.
With former Wigan manager Roberto Martinez now in charge, there could be some hesitation over them. Could they be contenders for a bottom half of the table finish? Martinez has brought with him Arouna Kona on a three year deal, so the former Latics man will need to impress alongside Nikica Jelavic and Kevin Mirallas. David Moyes made Everton such a strong team in the Premier League, will Martinez be able to at least solidify their position in the top half of the table?