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Premier League Odds Without The Top-6: Which manager represents the best value?

David Moyes is enjoying another cracking season at West Ham
David Moyes is enjoying another cracking season at West Ham

Just as we had started to enjoy a blockbuster three-way battle for the Premier League title, Pep Guardiola went and ruined everything. Thanks Pep.

The Man City manager, winner of three of the last four titles, has overseen an electric run of form which has opened up a double-figure gap at the summit of the table.

We’re now only just past the half-way stage yet Guardiola’s juggernauts have already been shredded to as short as 1/16 to successfully retain their trophy. On current form they could well romp home.

While we won’t give up hope that either Jurgen Klopp or Thomas Tuchel can breathe fresh air into the title race, for the moment we’ve turned our attention to an intriguing betting market.

If we put aside the traditional 'top-six' - we’re talking the above three clubs plus Man Utd, Arsenal, and Spurs - who could finish top of the Premier League this season?

It’s always an interesting one to debate especially given the exciting cluster of teams in the mix, so let’s take a look at the odds. But first, here's what the table would look like:

Premier League Table W/O the traditional top-six - correct as of 7th January 2022

1. West Ham: 34 points from 20 games

2. Wolves: 28 points from 19 games

3. Brighton: 27 points from 19 games

4. Leicester: 25 points from 18 games

5. Crystal Palace: 23 points from 20 games

6. Brentford: 23 points from 19 games

7. Aston Villa: 22 points from 19 games

8. Saints: 21 points from 19 games

9. Everton: 19 points from 18 games

10. Leeds: 19 points from 19 games

11. Watford: 13 points from 18 games

12. Burnley: 11 points from 17 games

13. Newcastle: 11 points from 19 games

14. Norwich: 10 points from 19 games

David Moyes is proving that last season was no fluke with his brilliant West Ham side 5th in the actual table - ahead of Spurs and Man Utd - through to the last-16 of the Europa League, while an FA Cup run could be on the cards.

They’ve beaten Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, thrashed Leicester and Aston Villa, and stunned both Manchester clubs in the League Cup. Their confidence is sky high and there’s a real belief that they can shake up the order and claim a stunning top-four finish.

In our table without the traditional top-six - see above - it’s Moyes' men who are in pole position with 34 points; and priced at 2/5 in the betting having been available at 8/1 at the start of the season. They have a six point gap over Wolves, are seven points over Brighton, and nine points better off than Leicester who have won this particular market in each of the last two seasons.

Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes face a tough task to complete the hat-trick this term. Inconsistent results and defensive blunders have plagued them this season, while it’s just been announced that star striker Jamie Vardy is out for two months at least. 6/4 frontrunners in August, they have since drifted to 5/1.

Wolves, fresh off that excellent win at Old Trafford, can be backed at 10/1. At the time of writing they are six points behind the Hammers but with a game in hand.

As has been widely discussed, they have scored the second-lowest amount of goals this season (14) yet their measly defence has only allowed 14 goals to pass through at the other end. It's pretty remarkable and it will be interesting to see if boss Bruno Lage can find a way to spark his frontline into life without compromising the defence.

Only the top-three of Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool have lost fewer league games so far this term than Graham Potter's Brighton who have only been beaten four times in 19 matches. They have the joint-fifth meanest defence (20 goals) and have just hit form again following a return of seven points from their last three games.

If Potter can find a way to make his attack more ruthless - just 20 goals have been scored - while simultaneously converting draws, of which they've had a joint-high nine, into wins then the Seagulls have an excellent chance of finishing in the top-10, at the very least.

At the moment they are seven points behind West Ham - having played one game less - and have been handed odds of 14/1 to scoop the 'best of the rest' title.

If you're after a particularly tasty price then Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa are the outside bet to contemplate at 20/1.

13th-placed Villa may currently be a sizeable 12 points adrift of West Ham - they've played a game less - but the Midlands side have turned a corner since switching Dean Smith for Steven Gerrard who has claimed four wins from eight games and has just showcased the club's ambition and intent through the loan signing of Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho.

Would Villa have been able to attract a player of this calibre without Gerrard as manager? Probably not.

The former Rangers boss has an exciting array of players in his ranks, particularly in attack, and the early signs since his appointment have been promising. A dozen points is a pretty hefty margin but it's a challenge Gerrard will relish as he bids to propel his troops up that table.

Elsewhere, Rafa Benitez's struggling Everton are priced out at 66/1, Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace are 90/1, and Ralph Hasenhuttl's Southampton are a three-figure price of 100/1.

Full odds below...

League Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD PTS
1. Man City 38 29 6 3 99 26 +73 93
2. Liverpool 38 28 8 2 94 26 +68 92
3. Chelsea 38 21 11 6 76 33 +43 74
4. Tottenham 38 22 5 11 69 40 +29 71
5. Arsenal 38 22 3 13 61 48 +13 69
6. Man Utd 38 16 10 12 57 57 0 58
7. West Ham 38 16 8 14 60 51 +9 56
8. Leicester 38 14 10 14 62 59 +3 52
9. Brighton 38 12 15 11 42 44 -2 51
10. Wolves 38 15 6 17 38 43 -5 51
11. Newcastle 38 13 10 15 44 62 -18 49
12. Crystal Palace 38 11 15 12 50 46 +4 48
13. Brentford 38 13 7 18 48 56 -8 46
14. Aston Villa 38 13 6 19 52 54 -2 45
15. Southampton 38 9 13 16 43 67 -24 40
16. Everton 38 11 6 21 43 66 -23 39
17. Leeds 38 9 11 18 42 79 -37 38
18. Burnley 38 7 14 17 34 53 -19 35
19. Watford 38 6 5 27 34 77 -43 23
20. Norwich 38 5 7 26 23 84 -61 22
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