Punters' Guide: How to find those magic beans when sizing up footy market
Saturday 15 August 2009
The giant is coming down the beanstalk again – after a few months when tennis, golf and cricket have held sway, the Premier League returns, crushing all in its size 12 boots. And as far as betting is concerned, it has now swatted aside punters' more traditional pursuits – horse racing, greyhounds, golf. For in the nation's high-street bookies today, the bulk of the money going down will be football bets, and their ever-increasing "derivatives".
There are at least a hundred available for the new season. You can back a team for the worst disciplinary record with Skybet (Stoke City are 7-2 favourites); you can bet on an away side getting a penalty at Old Trafford (yes 4-7; no 5-4); you can guess who'll be bottom of the table at Christmas (11-4 Burnley).
But what most punters are interested in is who wins. Chelsea have edged ahead of Manchester United as market leaders – 21-10 with Boylesports and 5-2 at Ladbrokes respectively. Liverpool are 4-1 with Coral and Betfred, while Arsenal are a general 10-1.
And then it's big spenders Manchester City at 14-1 – next are Spurs, way out at 80-1. So City are in the top five as far as the bookies are concerned. Unfortunately, their manager, Mark Hughes (left), is second favourite to get the chop (11-2 behind Portsmouth's Paul Hart, 5-1) such is the pressure at City.
United have an easy start but may struggle with injuries; Chelsea have muscle but not age on their side; Arsenal will please the eye but fail again; take Liverpool to win (especially at United-supporting Betfred), but back Wayne Rooney, the ultimate pantomime "Jack", for the Golden Boot (12-1).
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Latest in Sport
Everton vs Wolfsburg match report: Tim Howard hands Everton clear advantage
Think before you ink: Manchester United fan gets Sir Alex Ferguson tattoo - and will regret it for the rest of his life
Paul Scholes column: Rio Ferdinand and John Terry row was bad but they could have kept playing for England
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'