The Premier League 'Run-in' betting: The value plays in three unique markets
The traders at William Hill have put together 10 fresh markets specifically looking at the Premier League run-in, taking the remaining matches in isolation as a mini tournament.
With the Premier League title potentially just days away from being won, and Liverpool given a 1/2000 chance to win it for the first time, we’ve looked at three of these special ‘Run-In’ markets specifically to see if we can eek out some value.
Are City a shoo-in for league winner?
First up, the ‘Run-In league winner’. So it’s no secret that the football trading fraternity absolutely love Manchester City. Remember, it wasn’t until eight games into the season that Liverpool actually went to favourites in the Premier League winner betting, at which point they were eight points ahead of City and at one point City were still an 8/11 chance to win despite being five points behind!
Reason? City blow the rest of the league away when it comes to expected goals, or Xg. Xg is the metric which measures the quality of the shot based on a number of variables, such as shot angle, distance from the goal and whether it was a header or big chance. City have an Xg this season of 73.08, compared to Liverpool’s 61.03. The pair are well clear of the rest of the league with Chelsea next best at 56.09, but football traders use the Xg metric to give a guide on how well a team may be performing against their results, taking a view that over the long term the team with the better Xg will come out on top. Find out more about Xg in this informative video from Opta.
City are 8/13 to win the league in this imaginary ‘Run In’ scenario, a really short price. The Cityzens do have an advantage given they have an extra match to play over the likes of Liverpool (3/1), but the market has these two teams very much at the centre of things.
City do have the distraction of both the FA Cup and Champions League (we assume) to be played to a finish, so with Liverpool winning the league, which will be a formality they may take their foot off the gas domestically to concentrate on the two cups.
Does that make Liverpool value? Klopp’s side have shown little signs of let up in recent seasons and will want to chase down the 100 points so we can see them keeping up their motivation levels, plus they’re also much better than the rest of the teams of course! Their run-ins are quite similar, but considering City could have a three-point head start if they beat Arsenal on Wednesday, City also have six of their remaining ten games to be played at home, opposed to Liverpool having just the four games at Anfield.
Both teams have to play Brighton, Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle and they face each other at the Etihad on July 2nd.
If you’re looking for a bit more value, the race for top-four brings the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Wolves into the frame. United are the shortest price of these three at 12/1; Chelsea are a 14/1 chance, with Wolves at 33/1. With the games coming thick and fast you’d expect the bigger squads to be better equipped, look at the respective run-ins.
Looking at the run-ins United do have a pretty favourable list of fixtures, already having been backed into 7/5 to win at Spurs (2/1) on Friday night, only their last match of the season against Leicester would be where they don’t go off a short priced favourite. United would be the pick at the prices, 12/1 with William Hill.
Chelsea must play City and Liverpool whilst Wolves have Arsenal and Chelsea amongst their remaining fixtures.
Tottenham’s look attractive if they can get off to a winning start against United, with only the north London derby on July 11th where they wouldn’t go off big favourites. That said, it would be a huge leap of faith, even with a fully-fit squad to pick from.
If you fancy one of the teams looking to avoid relegation to put in a mighty effort in these last nine games and ‘out-point’ those at the top, you can take your chances with 100/1 for the lot, from Brighton down to Norwich.
Two value plays for the Run-In top scorer
Is Harry Kane a bit of a forgotten man? Okay, Hills have him as a second-favourite at 11/2, but he was as short as 11/4 at the beginning of the season, albeit there’s no each-way betting available in this run-in market. Having shrugged off injury Kane is once again Tottenham’s main man and if Spurs can start to get something going on the pitch under Mourinho - they were horribly dysfunctional before the break - Kane will be their main goal threat as always.
Kane takes penalties and is Spurs’ only out-and-out number nine at the club outside of youth players. You could also take a flyer on Son at 40/1, this nine game sprint might be just up his street, although the South Korean does tend to perform better in front of goal when Kane is absent.
Sergio Aguero heads the market at 9/2 and whilst he’ll get an extra game than most, against Arsenal on Wednesday night, there is the chance of some squad rotation for the reasons explained earlier, and he’s easy to pass over.
The real value comes in the shape of the two players currently heading up the scoring charts.
Jamie Vardy is top scorer on 19 goals but can be backed at 14/1 for the run-in, yes please!! Like Kane, Vardy is his club’s main man in front of goal and Leicester, without the distraction of Europe or the FA Cup and with the relative pressure of sitting safely in third-place in the PL, he looks a cracking price for a run at this.
The Leicester marksman is a best price 2/1 to win in the proper Premier League top goalscorer betting market with William Hill, rating him a 33% chance of winning the golden boot with only a slender two goal lead from our next fancy.
The same could be said of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is also a 14/1 shot. Arsenal still have a slim hope of finishing in the top-four and the 30-year-old has been banging them in this season, scoring 17 in 26 games for the Gunners. He’s also on penalties and a real threat, especially in what looks like a favourable run-in.
With the likes of Raheem Sterling (10/1), Gabriel Jesus (7/1) and Mo Salah (13/2) sharing the goals out for their respective teams we like the look of dutching Vardy and Aubamewang at 14’s.
Who can win their first three games back?
We’ve taken a sample of five teams at different prices to win their first three games back, essentially avoiding any of the top-four.
The shortest price to win their first three games are Man City at 11/4, but with Arsenal, Burnley and Chelsea to take on the price looks a bit on the short side. Liverpool are second in the betting at 5/1 but must travel to the Etihad in their third match back plus have a Merseyside derby to successfully navigate.
So we start with Manchester United at 6/1 to win their first three matches back. 7/5 to beat Tottenham on Friday with a fully-fit team to pick from, they’ll go off odds-on at home to Sheffield United and then away at Brighton.
At 15/2, Wolves look good value to dispose of West Ham, Bournemouth and Aston Villa. Squad size may be an issue with the quick turnarounds but they got to grips with the demands of the Europa League following a slow start and are gunning for a top-four finish as motivation.
Leicester at 17/2 have three very winnable games in the shape of Watford, Brighton and Everton, whilst if you wanted to look at a couple of teams at bigger prices, you could dutch Newcastle and Bournemouth for a small outlay; both have tricky games but will have benefited massively from the lay-off in terms of their injury lists, plus they play each other in their third game’s back, so it’s a little like two bets for the price of one if splitting your stake.
Its Leicester though at the prices. Be sure to check out the 'Run-in' Premier League markets at William Hill.
The Premier League is back properly on Wednesday, so make sure you gamble responsibly and enjoy the rest of the season!