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The biggest betting stories in this year's Premier League

Southampton's Danny Ings was 200/1 to be crowned top-goalscorer at the start of the season
Southampton's Danny Ings was 200/1 to be crowned top-goalscorer at the start of the season

The Premier League season is finally over, 350 days after it began all the way back on August 11 2019. Liverpool claimed the elusive Premier League title they have been searching for whilst Norwich, Bournemouth and Watford all suffered relegation to the Championship.

Having a look into the betting markets, there’s been some pretty big stories this season of both teams and players who defied the odds, made huge market moves and gave punters plenty to shout about. 

Liverpool had been priced 4/1 before a ball was kicked last season to win the title and that price proved to be a gift as the Reds won 26 of their first 27 league games. Klopp’s side are now just 7/4 to repeat the success of this season in the 2020/21 Winner market with Manchester City still a rather short looking 10/11 with Betfair.

Golden Boot - Winner Jamie Vardy - Pre-season price 20/1

After winning his first Premier League top scorer award Jamie Vardy becomes only the second Leicester City player to win the coveted prize after Gary Linekar. At the age of 33 Vardy also became the only player to have won the Golden Boot in both the National Conference and Premier League. However, only one goal behind Vardy was Southampton’s Danny Ings with an outstanding tally of 22. 

Priced up at 200/1 with some firms before the off in this campaign, the 28-year-old has enjoyed a scintillating season on the south coast for the Saints. During November and December the forward scored in five consecutive games and going into the new-year his price had shortened right down to 16/1.

It wasn’t quite to be in terms of topping the scorer charts for Ings, even with a goal on the final day against Sheffield United. However, many punters will still be celebrating their each-way returns as most firms offered four places each way at 1/4 odds. This can often by a nice angle into this market and with Raheem Sterling (50/1) last season, and Danny Ings this season (200/1) both finishing in the top four scorers it shows it can be profitable to look away from the head of the market.

Top-four finish: Pre-season price - Man United: Evens - Chelsea: 17/10 - Leicester 20/1

If you’d have said to both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard at the start of the season that they would finish Champions League placed next season, they’d have both snapped your hand off. Joining both City and Liverpool in Europe’s premier club competition is a necessity in both footballing and financial terms for these global brands and I’d expect both of them to be a shorter price than they were this season to repeat that in 2020/21.

However, the real story in this season’s top-four market is Leicester City and how they have managed to miss out on Champions League qualification after being priced at 1/16 in January with Paddy Power. 

Priced at 20/1 pre-season the Foxes were quick out of the blocks, and by early October they had already been cut to 3/1 - giving them an implied chance of 25% of a top-four finish. They then beat Southampton 9-0 away from home in one of the highlights of the season, but since then Southampton have taken two more points than Leicester in the league and it could be argued that Hassenhuttl’s side have emerged as the moral winners of that clash.

January saw bush fires rage in Australia and the top-four race really began to hot up with Leicester priced at 1/16 before they would go on a run of just four victories in 17 games! Injuries to star players such as James Maddison and Ben Chilwell hindered the charge for the Foxes but ultimately it was the drastic improvement of both Manchester United and Chelsea in the latter stages of the campaign which prevented them from achieving their goal, with both teams putting together exceptional runs of form since the restart. 

Relegation: Prices Pre-Season - Watford: 7/1 - Bournemouth 9/2- Norwich 5/6

I’ve been pretty disappointed with Norwich this season after an encouraging start from Daniel Farke’s side. They picked up just six points on the road all season and it was no surprise to see them relegated after being the favourites to do so pre season.

Both Watford and Bournemouth’s five-year tenure in the top-flight came to an end on the final day of the season despite the latter beating Everton 3-1 away from home. Bournemouth’s major issue has been defensively they’ve shipped too many goals. They’ve conceded 60+ goals in all five seasons in the league and this season the attacking contributions from Callum Wilson and Josh King have dried up, resulting in relegation.

Including caretaker Hayden Mullins, the Hornets have had no less than four managers this season and cast your mind back to the start of the season with Javi Gracia in charge and things were rather positive, with odds of 7/1 showing only a 12% implied chance of relegation. Gracia was soon given the boot and in came Quique Sanchez Flores for his second spell at the club. 

He survived just ten games in charge and by Christmas, when Nigel Pearson took over the club, they were seven points adrift and priced at 1/4 to face the drop. Stern Nigel knocked together some excellent results, and by February they looked to be turning around their season with odds of 3/1 to go down.

Then the unthinkable happened for Watford fans, Pearson was relieved of his duties with just two games to go as the club sat three points clear of the relegation zone. They would lose their final two games and pay the ultimate price. 

In contrast, Aston Villa are the real heroes who defied the odds in this season’s relegation battle. Dean Smith’s side have looked shaky throughout the season and have been unfortunate to pick up injuries to key players such as Brazilian striker Wesley. 

With just four games to go Villa looked to be down and out with odds of 1/33 about for them to become a Championship club again next year. However, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work, and the men from the Midlands went unbeaten for their final four games, with crucial wins over Crystal Palace and Arsenal. It’s real credit to Dean Smith that he has managed to galvanise his team and produce a miraculous recovery in avoiding the drop this season and much thanks must go to local lad Jack Grealish.

Grealish has carried his team this season and having a look into his next club transfer odds, and Manchester United are the 13/10 favourites with Betfair to capture ‘Super Jack’ before the window closes. Arsenal have shorted from 33/1 into 10/3 to sign the lifelong Villa fan which is also a rather interesting move, with rivals Spurs a double figure price at 12/1 in the market.  

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