Following Part One of our Premier League 2013-14 Season Preview yesterday, a look at other markets to find value for betting. These include Top Goalscorer, Relegation, Handicaps and First Manager to be sacked

Recommendations

Top Goalscorer Christian Benteke 18/1 each way Paddy Power and  Wilfried Bony 50-1 each way Paddy Power

Relegation Stoke City at 100/30 Ladbrokes

Handicap Cardiff City +47 15/1 BetVictor

Next Manager to leave Post Chris Hughton 16/1 William Hill

 

Top Goalscorer

Available prices for some of the leading candidates to be this season’s top goalscorer are as follows

Van Persie 7/2

Aguero 9/1

Rooney 16/1

Suarez 16/1

Benteke 18/1

20/1 Bar

Van Persie looks a very solid favourite here. 26 goals last season and barring injury can be expected to repeat that this season. Aguero’s campaign last season was interrupted by injury and of course this time round should be in a side challenging for the title again. The downside is the sheer range of options Pellegrini has up front and the spectre of squad rotation particularly if Manchester City’s European season is more successful than last

Rooney and Suarez’s prices are of course informed by speculation about transfers, and backing either has risk-reward attached. Either could be playing abroad in September, or first choice for Arsenal or Chelsea.

As a value alternative to Van Persie, Christian Benteke is the price that interests me. 16 goals in his first season for Aston Villa in a struggling team. Clear first choice and will play every game if fit. Aston Villa should be stronger this season, with the younger players more experienced. Benteke would need to hit 20 goals plus for the each way portion of a bet to come in, but I think that is likely. 18/1 each way, paying over 4/1 for being a top four goalscorer by the season’s end is very interesting

Finally in this category, an outsider. Wilfried Bony has come to Swansea City from Vitesse Arnhem, where he scored 32 goals in 31 games last season. In early Europa League games Laudrup has played Michu in behind Bony, a finisher and poacher. Again, like at Aston Villa, squad rotation at Swansea is less of an issue than for the biggest clubs and at 50-1 generally Bony is worth a small investment given the potential shown so far

Relegation

At the start of any season the starting point is the three promoted teams such is the gap betweent he Championship and the top flight. This season is no different with both Crystal Palace and Hull City odds-on for relegation before a ball is kicked. This could be right, but I prefer to look for value elsewhere. I will address Cardiff City in the handicaps section to follow, as I doubt they are relegation candidates despite being priced as such.

Looking for other candidates then, I alighted on Sunderland, Fulham and Stoke. Fulham a possibility, especially if Berbatov was unavailable for a length of time but a watching brief for me pending clarification of the new ownership’s plans for investment. Sunderland could break either way under Di Canio, who is in the midst of changing the team’s style to become more expansive. That comes with risks, on top of those associated with his own management style.

However my selection is Stoke City at 100/30. I fear for their prospects under Mark Hughes, which is not a negative view on Hughes per se, more the adjustment they are likely to face in style of play compared to Pulis, and the changes from that different approach given their current squad personnel

Handicap

Last season’s Handicap markets were won by West Bromwich Albion or Swansea City scoring 49 and 46 points respectively and being given 45-50 point handicap starts pre-season. As ever, spreads look a little tighter this season and our task is to find this year’s “springer” who, unfancied, can obtain 45-50 points over the season when expected to do substantially worse. The short-list for me is Southampton, Norwich City and Cardiff City. Southampton’s boat has sailed thanks to last season’s performance. They are generally priced +35. The league will be won with 90 points, approximately, so Southampton would beed to be obtaining 55 points to win this. Possible, but unlikely

Norwich City +44 points is a possible, with the squad investment they have made over the summer giving them the chances of the 45 points plus needed here. However there is a stand out price, which is Cardiff City +47 points at 15/1.

Cardiff come up with a very miserly defence that will win them points from draws where other promoted teams will struggle. They have boosted the squad with interesting signings such as Caulker, the Danish striker Cornelius and Seville enforcer Medel for a combined cost of £28m. The Malaysian owners will invest again.

With a 47 point start the bar is not set too high here. The squad is under-rated and already better equipped for the top flight than many realise, the potential is high and prices suggesting that the side will flirt with relegation are too pessimistic.

Next Manager to Leave Post

Alan Pardew of Newcastle is a prohibitive favourite here at 2/1. Again, I look to a value alternative in Chris Hughton. Norwich City’s board have spent over £22m net this summer on Gary Hooper, Ricky Van Wolfswinkel and Leroy Fer most notably.

This is a big spend for a medium sized club albeit with new TV contract revenues underpinning it. In addition this is a signal that the team is changing style. Defensive solidity led by Sebastian Bassong was the watchword last year and these signings signal more attacking intent which has risks attached

Whilst I hope Norwich are successful, the gamble of higher spending and the change in approach, with associated more ambitious targets makes the 16/1 available in this market on Chris Hughton, very nice guy that he is, look tempting should the club suffer a rocky start.

Recommendations

Top Goalscorer Christian Benteke 18/1 each way Paddy Power and  Wilfried Bony 50-1 each way Paddy Power

Relegation Stoke City at 100/30 Ladbrokes

Handicap Cardiff City +47 15/1 BetVictor

Next Manager to leave Post Chris Hughton 16/1 William Hill