With the dust beginning to settle after the most dramatic few minutes seen in the English Premier League for many years, it is time to reflect on the season just passed, and to look back at some of the predictions – and odds – published back in August 2011, to see if they can offer any help in forecasting what will happen in 2012/13.
Premier League Title Race 2012
Few will forget the way in which the Premier League was finally secured by Manchester City on May 13th 2012, but for those who predicted such an outcome at the start of the season, what sort of price would they have got back in August 2011, and who were others backing?
City were widely available at 7/2. Given the way the title race unfolded, that price evaporated pretty quickly, but it illustrates that before a ball was kicked, the Citizen’s lack of recent involvement in a title race was seen as a genuine barrier to them mounting a challenge. Despite the stellar names within their ranks, bookmakers still needed convincing that the City squad had the necessary experience to prevail.
The favourites were Manchester United at 7/4. The Reds can generally be relied upon to be at the sharp end of the table come what may, and what unfolded over the campaign more than justified that price. The surprise however, might be the odds offered on Chelsea. Seen as second favourites after the arrival of Andre Villas-Boas, the Blues were available at 9/4. It did not take long for pundits to suggest that Villas-Boas had a significant “rebuilding exercise” to complete at Stamford Bridge, but their ultimate finishing position of 6th, illustrates how far away from the expected title challenge Chelsea really were, not withstanding their successes in the Cup competitions.
Arsenal (7/1) and Liverpool (40/1) never really got involved in the title scrap, but at 50/1, Tottenham certainly would have made a decent profit for any traders who were wise enough to get out at the point at which Harry Redknapp was linked with the England job – the subsequent demise over the spring means that price now looks less surprising than it did back in January, when Spurs sat just 6 points behind the Manchester clubs with games in hand.
The Relegation Battle
The teams promoted from the Championship in 2010/11 were generally written off in the relegation betting market – they were already doomed before a ball was kicked as far the bookmakers were concerned. Norwich were 4/7 for the drop, and Swansea were 4/9. Only QPR were given hope of surviving (They were as short as 16/1 to qualify for Europe). Wolves could be backed at 5/2 to drop out of the top flight, Blackburn were as big as 7/2, and Owen Coyle and his Bolton Wanderers team were priced at 11/2 to end up in the relegation places. The historical Premier League statistics suggest promoted clubs struggle in their first season, but 2011/12 certainly bucked that trend and the ‘Handicap’ market highlighted how well they performed; Norwich finished 3rd with 92 points after their handicap of +45 was applied, Swansea were 4th on 91 receiving +44. (Newcastle “won” that particular market, amassing 102 points getting +37). Reading, Southampton and West Ham United will all look to emulate the Canaries and Swans, who finished 12th and 11th respectively, on 47 points.
Other Bets of Interest from 2011/12
Some other prices of interest from the start of the season include Newcastle at 10/1 to finish in the Europa League places and Liverpool being as short as 5/4 to finish in the top four. The ‘Sack Race‘ market was extremely accurate – the four shortest price managers were Neil Warnock (11/4), Steve Kean (7/2), Mick McCarthy (9/1) and Steve Bruce (10/1). Kean was the only man to make it through the season, and he remains under extreme pressure and may not see out the summer.
All prices quoted, and Handicap market details, were that of William Hill
The 2012/13 Premier League Season Betting.
There will doubtless be significant transfer activity over the Summer and perhaps even a managerial change or two, but as things stand, Manchester City head the betting for the 2012/13 title, available with BetVictor at a stand out 6/4. Rivals Manchester United are 5/2, and Chelsea 5/1, both with Stan James. Arsenal are 12/1 with Paddy Power, while Spurs are 28/1 and Liverpool 40/1.
In the relegation market, promoted clubs again head the betting; Reading are 11/10 at Bet365, Southampton are 5/4, Wigan 2/1, Norwich 9/4 and West Ham 5/2 (all Stan James). Swansea and QPR are both 9/2 with BetVictor.