English Premier League Futures Hedge Scenarios and Dark Horses
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
With the English Premier League due to begin in a couple weeks, many punters and players are looking for this years Leicester City. As we have highlighted many times, the Foxes won the 2015/16 English Premier League title in uncanny fashion. The Foxes laid waste to the league and as a 5000:1 play at the open of the 2015/16 season, they made many players that took that wager a hefty amount of money.
The phenomenon seemed biblical, written in scripture itself. A year prior the same cast of maligned footballers found themselves fighting to stay out of relegation. This same ensemble would turn around and author one of the greatest stories in sports history. Bookmakers were pummeled by the revelation of Leicester City and while some may have recovered some losses on those cashing out their bets early before their futures matured, many companies still took a whopping hit regardless. As a result, these books have now protected themselves greatly from exposed in the manner they were in 2015. Simply put, you will not got the same potential ROI on betting longshots thanks to Leicester, but there is still value in some clubs that bode potential as a hedge bet or even as a potential contender for the English Premier League. Here is the skinny on some potential sleepers in the English Premier League. You can bet all these futures plus the games all season long at our favorite soccer sportsbook 5Dimes
West Bromwich Albion 1500:1 - One teaching we can learn from Leicester City is the power of having one elite player on a seemingly docile and non-threatening side. West Bromwich Albion have a secret weapon of their own, his name is Saido Berahino. Berahino is a highly touted talent and one of the EPLs hidden gems. Berahino has found the back of the net for the Baggies on 27 occasions in his last two seasons and as a result of his prolific striking ability he has been courted by many teams all across Europe. The Baggies are offered with the highest ROI of all teams in the English Premier League and with such minimal risk required on this club, there is a potential for serious rewards. Will Berahino ascend to the level of Jamie Vardy? That is unfair speculation but he has certainly made an impact propelling the Baggies to acquire over 40 points in their last two campaigns.
Southampton 150:1 - Southampton is a menace. This team has emerged as a giant killer and they have fostered some impressive results in recent seasons against the cream of the EPL crop. Most notably in 2015/16, the Saints marched all over Manchester City when they took down the Blues 4-0 at home at the culmination of their 2015-16 campaign. The Saints are no longer a runt of the litter, in fact they are a true perennial contender for Europa qualification. In fact, Southampton has ascended to this level for the last two years and the price alone dictates a buy-in. Two years ago, the Saints got off to a tremendous start in the 2014/15 season and still managed to finish just outside of Champions League qualification regardless. There is no reason to suspect, this well-oiled machine cannot take advantage of unsuspecting and overvalued clubs in the opening stages of the 2016/17 campaign. At this price, Southampton does indeed offer value as a potential hedge bet and if they find themselves hanging around in the latter stages of the campaign, their price will certainly drop offering substantial dividends to any takers willing to take a plunge.
West Ham 80:1 - The Hammers are a team that should not be taken lightly, especially when they have world-class talent like Dimitri Payet at their disposal. West Ham United finished at a scintillating seventh in the Premier League Table while accruing 62 points in that process. Payet was the difference maker as he scored twelve goals for the Hammers and propelled them to a 20 point improvement when comparing the Hammers to their two preceding campaigns in 2013 and 2014. West Ham will look to enter this season with optimism and enthusiasm. West Ham qualified for a play-in position in the Europa League right behind Southampton and given the fact this team has buzzed around the top quarter of the table all throughout 2015 and 2016, there is huge potential on this team as well. As long as Payet wears West Ham colors, this team can play with any club in all of England.