The 2016-17 Premier League season is only at its halfway point but many pundits are already certain about who will win and who will be relegated. But all good bettors should know that tides can shift extremely quickly in this game and it isn’t over until it’s over. With that in mind, here are three bets with great odds (as of 30/12/16) that could easily pay off.
Manchester City to Win the Title- 6/1
When Pep Guardiola (see video above) was instated at Manchester City everyone was sure that the “best manager in the world” would storm into the Premier League and continue his unparalleled success story. The Catalan has won league titles in six of his seven seasons as a manager, but the Premier League is proving to be a sterner test for the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss.
With Chelsea running away at the top of the league and Liverpool also looking like strong contenders, for those who still believe that Guardiola has what it takes to steer his side to victory, now is the best time to stake money on that outcome. At the beginning of the season bookies were offering odds of 13/8 for the Citizens to swoop for the title. They can now be backed at 6/1, which is great value for the side that still have the same credentials as they had at the start, and would be a great way to use a free bet.
At the turn of the year, City had only lost three games and drawn fewer than Liverpool. It was perhaps their exceptionally strong start to the season when they won ten games in a row that made their rough patch throughout October look worse. Recently they have started to look like a more cohesive unit, especially in the 2-1 win over Arsenal, and the reintroduction of Sergio Aguero will strengthen the side further.
Swansea City to Stay up – 6/4
Swansea City have looked doomed for relegation for a long time, but they recently made a positive move in sacking the manager, Bob Bradley (see video above). The American was introduced to steer the ship after the Swans’ poor start to the campaign, but instead he plunged them deeper into the mire. With Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fernando Llorente, Leroy Fer, and Borja Baston, there is a lot of quality throughout the squad. They are in fact one of the stronger-looking sides battling against playing in the Championship next season.
It is clear that the sacked manager’s tactics weren’t working, and the viewing public don’t know what was going on behind the scenes either. Sometimes a big change like this can serve to galvanise a squad of good players and force them to start fighting for their own survival in the top tier. Therefore, a bet on them staying up now at 6/4 appears a decent punt.
West Ham to Finish in Top 10 – 11/8
After West Ham’s harrowing 5-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal (see video above) at the Olympic Stadium in early December, Slaven Bilic’s Irons career was teetering on a knife-edge. Since then the Croat has turned things around in impressive style, and led the Hammers on a four-game unbeaten streak with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Swansea last time out.
A Top 10 finish is now a realistic possibility for West Ham as they have clawed their way up towards the safe end of the table. If they had managed to start this upwards trajectory a few weeks earlier they may have possessed the quality to push for another seventh-place finish. They must keep hold of Dimitri Payet in January, but it looks unlikely that he will leave at the moment. Therefore a Top 10 Finish is for the London club could easily come to fruition and is definitely worth a tickle at 11/8.
In addition to these bets, Zlatan Ibrahimović for Top Goalscorer at 4/1 and Middlesbrough for Lowest Scoring Team at 8/1 could also be good punts. There is still half the season left to play, and a lot can happen in that time. The January transfer may change things, and key players could get injured along the way. Take advantage of these odds now to get the best returns.