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2019-20 Premier League Odds Show Definitive Tiers
The 2018-19 EPL season saw one of the closest title races in recent memory with Manchester City edging Liverpool by a single point on the final matchday of the season.
City and Liverpool finished with 98 and 97 points, respectively, while third-place Chelsea was a chasmic 25 points back of second place with just 72 points.
According to the Premier League futures odds, the 2019-20 season is going to witness something similar.
Online sportsbooks have given Manchester City -160 odds to win the 2020 English Premier League title, according to the odds tracker at SportsBettingDime.com. Liverpool is next at a respectable +230, but after the Reds, there is a steep drop off to Tottenham at +1600, Man United at +2500, and Chelsea at +2600.
Why is Liverpool So Far Behind City?
Given that last season came down to a single point, it may seem incongruous for Liverpool’s title odds to lag so far behind City’s, even though the Reds are miles ahead of Tottenham and the rest of the Big Six.
But a deeper look at last year’s statistics shows why oddsmakers have positioned City well ahead of Liverpool.
The Reds’ strikers did a phenomenal job of capitalizing on nearly every opening last year. City did a far better job of controlling play and generating chances, and unless Mo Salah and Sadio Mane continue to finish at the same historic rate as last year, Liverpool’s goal total will decline.
The success of their counter-attacking style of play hinges on being highly-efficient in front of goal, and there is less room for error with that approach compared to City’s all-encompassing on-ball domination.
The numbers calculated by UnderStat.com show that Liverpool scored 10 more goals than you would expect based on the number of and quality of chances that they generated, while finishing with 13.5 more actual points than “Expected Points.”
The Big Two are Clearly a Cut Above
Even though the Reds are likely to regress a little compared to last year, they are still clearly a cut above the other 18 teams in the Prem by those same metrics. Their Expected Points (83.5) was 12 points better than third-place Chelsea, and none of the secondary contenders (Chelsea, Tottenham, Man United, and Arsenal) has done enough on the transfer market to close the gap.
Man United’s addition of defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka is underrated, but won’t boost their mediocre attack. Tottenham is running it back with the same squad, save Fernando Llorente, whose 8 goals are currently available to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, Chelsea is losing leading scorer Eden Hazard (21 goals, all competitions) while Alvaro Morata (9 goals, all competitions) is heading out on loan to Atletico Madrid.
In all likelihood, the race for the final two Champions League spots is going to be a more interesting battle than the league title competition. The second-tier title contenders in the Premier League are going to be firmly tested by up-and-coming teams like Wolverhampton and Everton.
Case in point: Wolverhampton has better odds to finish top-four (+1400) than Tottenham, United, and Chelsea have to win the title.