Already ¼ of Premier League season has passed and the title favorite before the start of the season, Manchester City, has now become even a bigger favorite to win the title. How can analysis of football stats at the beginning of the season help us find value for our Premier League bets?
Is Manchester City worth this title?
Manchester City was undoubtedly the best team of the previous season, according to the statistics and the expected points at the end of the season, although Chelsea eventually won the championship. However, it seemed that the team was in very good shape as it scored much more goals and conceded fewer goals than would normally be expected. This form continued also in the current season, and the result is that Manchester City is winning one match after another.
The team’s statistics are still the best in the league and based on that, if we make a league simulation, Manchester City wins the title in 90% of the cases, which shows us that the team is performing even better than last year. Manchester City is very creative and effective, with Silva and De Bruine (0,7 and 0,6 assists per game respectively), and Aguero scoring the goals (0,53 assists and 1.03 goals per game). City’s defensive performance is also great, even more stable than last year. So it is not surprising that Manchester City is the huge title favorite, with odds of just 1.10 or below offered by most bookmakers for winning the Premier League title.
The best of the rest
Last season Chelsea won the league title with 30 wins in 38 league games. However, this is not the case this year, as we can see from the smaller sample of matches so far. Chelsea has managed to open the score in 7 out of 11 matches, but the worrying thing about the champions is that they have 0.5 fewer goals per match than last year, which is very high. The team’s appearances so far are among the worst of the “6 big teams” and even if Chelsea is able to find its form, it still seems to have a significant disadvantage compared to the rest of the main contenders of the title.
Manchester United and Tottenham are the best teams regarding the rest, based on the predicted goals model. Tottenham’s real performance is very close to its predicted performance, with 20 goals instead of the estimated 18.69 goals. As far as Manchester United is concerned, we should mention that there is something particularly remarkable about its defense. Mourinho’s team has so far conceded 0.4 goals per game, but the truth is that it has given its opponents opportunities that correspond to 1.1 goals per game. This means that the team is a bit lucky and that it is very likely that if this continues, Manchester United will start conceding more goals.
Of the other contending teams in the league, Arsenal has improved slightly both in attack and defense, whereas Liverpool continues to disappoint as always. Liverpool has an estimated number of goals per game of 1.3 but actually concedes even more than that, which typically puts it out of the fight for the title.
Battling to avoid demotion
While Manchester City has already created some distance from the other contenders for the title, at the bottom of the scoring table, things are more difficult to predict.
Crystal Palace finally got its first win against Chelsea. According to the team’s statistics, Crystal Palace would normally be expected to finish somewhere in the middle of the scoring table. The team has lost 5 games with a score of 1-0, and was particularly unlucky losing two of its most effective attackers, Bendeke and Zaha with injuries.
The two newly promoted teams in the Premier League are Brighton and Huddersfield, both of which are at this point above the average potential for newly promoted teams, since usually these teams do not get more than 1 point per match during their first season in the Premier League. The start was quite strong, but it is very likely that this will not continue. Brighton seems to have overtaken the defensive expectations in terms of expected goals that the team should have gained so far, while nearly half of the goals have been achieved with counterattacks, with the help of Pascal Gross.
These tactical methods make the teams who use them, stay between the limit of staying in the league and being relegated, and we believe that both teams, despite their good start, are likely to end up within the relegation zone.
Do Premier League odds have potential for bettors?
Apart from the “6 top teams”, the quality of the other teams does not differ much. Therefore no team should feel safe regarding relegation this season. Simulations show that only Southampton, Leicester, Newcastle and Watford have finally finished in a position that does not lead to relegation in more than 10% of the simulations.
Burnley once again is not impressing people with its achievements, particularly defensively, as it receives 1.6 goals per game, when expected goals are only calculated to be 0.9 per match. Exactly the same as last year, we would say, despite its particularly compact defensive line tactics.
Premier League Betting: Betting on Surprises
One of the championship surprises is Everton. Of course, the performance of the team was already problematic even pre-season,. The team seems to have failed to replace Lukaku in the attack and its defense also appears to be aging. The high number of matches in domestic completions and Europa League seem to have tired Everton, and as a result its performance is not the one we would expect. The team’s schedule, however, seems as though it is becoming easier as we approach Christmas and our prediction is that Everton at the end of the season will be much higher, perhaps just below the middle of the league table.
The rest of the teams, Stoke City, West Ham, Swansea and Bournemouth in particular face considerable problems in their attacks and their defense is much more “generous” to their opponents than we would expect according to the expected goals model. All of these teams concede 1.7 goals per game and as newly promoted teams have already made a good start, this will not be easy.
As we approach Christmas, it is very likely that we teams that are under performing or over performing to move more towards the expected average. This creates good opportunities for bettors in Premier League betting. Study the league carefully and find the right deals for you with value bets.