Best future soccer bets
The 2016-17 Premier League season is less than halfway complete yet it is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting on record.
Leicester City are making the worst defense of a Premier League title, Swansea City look like a team heading for relegation and Antonio Conte has somehow managed to turn a Chelsea team who finished 10th in the league last season into genuine title contenders, world beaters even.
Chelsea are the current title favorites with most bookmakers at +120. Chelsea have won their last eight games, scoring 22 goals and conceding only twice. That is title-winning form.
The Blues are sure to be pushed all the way by Manchester City (+300), although City may be preoccupied with their UEFA Champions League endeavors and Liverpool, whose defensive frailties were on display for all to see there for all to see when they lost 4-3 at Bournemouth despite leading 3-1 with 10 minutes of the game remaining, are pegged at +450 to win the title.
It is amazing to think that Chelsea could, and probably should, win their sixth league title when so many pundits wrote them off at the start of the season. But we’ve seen how wrong the pundits were last season too, so it’s not all that surprising.
Diego Costa has rediscovered the form that led Chelsea to pay Atletico Madrid £32 million for his services in the 2014-15 season. Twenty-one of Costa’s 32 shots this season have hit the target and 11 of those shots have resulted in goals, which is why Bovada make Costa the +165 favourite to win the Golden Boot.
Like the league title, which is likely to be contested between Chelsea and Manchester City, the Golden Boot will involve Chelsea’s Costa, and Man City’s Sergio Aguero. Aguero has bagged 10 goals this season at a league-leading average of 101 minutes per goals, making his +300 odds of being the Premier League’s top goal scorer and absolute bargain. If he was playing every week, that is.
He’s suspended another four games due to a malicious and reckless challenge on David Luiz in the dying minutes of last week’s match, which will hamper his chances.
And then there’s Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.
Sanchez, on current form, has the best chance of pipping Costa for the Golden Boot. He’s pegged at +500 and is on fire of late, bagging a hat trick last week away to West Ham.
Onto the cup competitions. The EFL Cup has reached the semi-final stage. Manchester United are the +125 favourites courtesy of being drawn against Hull City and are -500 to reach the EFL Cup final. Liverpool are pegged at +150 to win the cup and -250 to reach the final. It should be a United versus Liverpool final, which the Scousers will win, making amends for last season’s runner-up finish.
Onto the FA Cup where Chelsea are the +650 favourites to win the trophy, which is strong bet. Chelsea have won the FA Cup seven times and don’t have any European competitions to worry about so they can concentrate their attentions on the Premier League and the famous FA Cup.
I also like the +800 odds on Liverpool winning their eighth FA Cup for similar reasons, but also consider Manchester City (+750), Arsenal (+900), or Tottenham Hotspur (+1000). Everton, at +2000, is a great long shot pick. This one comes more from a gut feeling. Ronald Koeman runs a tight ship and that team, regardless of recent struggles, is built for an FA Cup run.