Following the all-too-familiar sight of Manchester United topping the table by a comfortable margin last season, this year’s Premier League campaign promises to be a much more open affair, with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and even Everton suggesting that they have what it takes to challenge the usual trio of Chelsea, Manchester City and of course United.
But if that’s still not enough competition for you, then the Ladbrokes divisional handicap betting opens up the enticing prospect of every single team in the Premier League being in with a chance of the title.
This is done by giving all teams a points handicap, based on where they finished the season before and their odds on the title for this year.
It means that while pre-season title favourites Chelsea begin on scratch, promoted clubs like Cardiff (+44), Hull (+45) and Crystal Palace (+49) are given a significant points head start.
On current form then, Arsenal look well positioned with their +10 adding to their already table-topping total of 16 points, and are 17/2 to end the season as champions in this particular table.
Instead, real value can be found in backing the clubs deemed to be over-performing compared to their pre-season expectations.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton side are a prime example, with their +36 points based on their final position of 14th last season putting them right in the mix to finish top come May given that they currently lie in fourth, only two points from top with 14 points.
The Saints have built their early season success on a miserly defence, having conceded only two all season so far. If this impressive run can continue, particularly with a trip to Old Trafford next up, then the 4/1 to finish top in the divisional handicap betting looks a great price.
Elsewhere, Steve Bruce’s Hull side are unbeaten in five and haven’t conceded in three, a run that sees them in eighth place and making a mockery of pre-season predictions by many pundits that the Tigers would struggle.
And taking Manchester United’s table-topping 89 points into account from last season, and the +45 handicap awarded to Hull, it means Bruce’s side would need only 45 points this season to win the league.
On current form of 1.5 points per game, they’ll end the campaign well clear of that total, with 59 points. It’s why they look a solid pick at 15/2 to win the Premier League in the divisional handicap betting.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.