In his weekly column, Alan Alger reveals what impact the weekend's results had on the Premier League outright markets, including the race for the title and top four.
After this weekend’s matches in the Premier League, which included victories for both Liverpool and Manchester City, our traders are slightly more certain that the title will be heading to either Anfield or the Etihad.
Before a ball was kicked, Manchester City and Liverpool took up 88.66 per cent of our Premier League title market, but convincing wins in relatively difficult games for both sides mean that figure increased to 90.91 per cent over the weekend – combined odds of exactly 1/10.
The dominance of both sides is such that a club like Arsenal must wonder what they have to do to enter the reckoning in the betting. Despite consecutive wins at the start of a Premier League season for only the second time this decade, the Gunners still drifted for the title from 22/1 last week, back out to – not far off the 33/1 they started off at.
That Arsenal title price also shows how much base ratings of teams and expected goals (xG) impacts on the market.
Mikel Arteta’s side were 2-1 winners against West Ham, but the figures produced from the game suggested that scoreline should have been reversed. Casual observers didn’t need the difficult calculations from analysts to know that the Hammers had been hard done by. The warning from the market for Arsenal was that they can’t keep getting away with that kind of game.
The updated markets tell us that one of the big overreactions from week one might have been Tottenham’s alterations in various markets.
That opening weekend defeat to Everton sparked enough of a panic about Jose Mourinho’s boys to see their price to be relegated collapse from 500/1 to 66/1. Written like that it seems a huge price cut, but it’s important to remember that it’s just an alteration of 1.29 per cent of chance. Their 5-2 win at Southampton pushed those odds back out to .
And what of the Saints? Mentioned last week as one of the dark horses for a top-half finish, or maybe better, they now sit second-bottom of the early table with no points from their opening two matches. They remain at a single-figure price for relegation, with a large correction in their price to be best of the rest ‘without the Big Six’ – now from 10/1.
The ‘without the Big Six’ market is by far the most competitive of all our Premier League long-term offerings – Wolves are all co-favourites of three. The Toffees were the biggest movers again as they continue to shorten from a pre-season price of nearer 6/1 in that market.
In the bottom half of the division, Crystal Palace fans can see just how vital that win at Old Trafford was for their chances of staying in the division. Unexpected points are best for the kind of market moves that see them quoted at a calming for the drop – that’s from a price of just 2/1 earlier in the month.
Of course that win came at the expense of Manchester United, who opened their 2020/21 campaign with a defeat that stretches them to for the title. That leaves them fifth in the pecking order for that market, with Chelsea and Arsenal leapfrogging them.
With a glance at the ‘bottom-half finish’ prices, the Red Devils show at just 14/1 from 25/1. Next up for Ole’s squad is a testing trip to Brighton, who impressed the market enough with their 3-0 win at Newcastle to be cut to to finish in the top 10.
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