Bookmakers are constantly thinking of more ways they can entice us to bet on the Premier League – but one of the most fun ways is Handicap Betting. This year, the bookmakers have installed Manchester City as the scratch markers, and they have to concede all the teams 2 points and upwards, with new boys Burnley getting a massive 48 Points start with one bookmaker. If you don’t know how it works, the winner is the team that has the highest points total (Actual Points + Handicap Start) at the end of the season. So let’s take a look at all 20 teams, adding-up last year’s points and this season’s handicaps – and we’ll do it in the order they finished in last year’s Premier League.
Leicester: Last year 81 + Handicap 16 = 97
Arsenal: 71 + 5 = 76
Spurs: 70 + 8 = 78
Manchester City: 66 + Scratch = 66
Manchester United: 66 + 2 = 68
Southampton: 63 + 26 = 89
West Ham: 62 + 20 = 82
Liverpool: 60 + 9 = 69
Stoke: 51 + 32 = 83
Chelsea: 50 + 5 = 55
Everton: 47 + 22 = 69
Swansea: 47 + 36 = 83
Watford 45: + 42 = 87
West Brom: 43 + 42 = 85
Crystal Palace: 42 + 34 = 76
Bournemouth: 42 + 38 = 80
Sunderland: 39 + 40 = 79
Middlesborough: Promoted Potential 40 + 44 = 84
Hull: Promoted Potential 40 + 46 = 86
Burnley: Promoted Potential 40 + 48 = 88
Premier League Handicap Betting Summary
Between 2011 and 2015, the Premier League winners won the title with between 86 and 89 points, and a repeat of those performances by either Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea would give them a theoretical chance of winning the handicap. However, that would be a massive improvement for any of them on last year’s form.
Leicester are the complete enigma, as their total is 8 points clear of anyone else’s, however there’s a suspicion that they won’t repeat last year’s heroics.
Southampton are next best with a total of 89 and, as the Saints only scored 3 points less in the Premier League in the previous year (60 compared to 63), there’s every chance they’ll be in with a serious chance of landing the money.
Stoke also wouldn’t need to make much improvement to have a chance, and they’ve been very consistent in the last 3 seasons with 50, 54 and 51 points. Swansea would also be a danger if they could muster their 2014/15 tally of 56 points – as that would give them a total of 92 to shoot at.
But we must also consider the promoted teams who look to have been given very generous starts ranging from + 44 to + 48, considering Newcastle were relegated with 37 points last year, and a similar total would give any of them over 80 points. Two of the previous season’s promoted teams, Watford and Bournemouth, also finished last season with 45 and 42, and if any of the newly promoted teams could register a similar total to those they would look each-way certainties at least (betting ¼ odds 4 places).
Bearing all that in mind, I’m recommending backing both Stoke and Burnley each-way at 15/1 with Betvictor.