2016/17 Premier League most unpredictable yet, Sky Bet odds suggest
By Tim Clement
Last Updated: 02/08/16 6:36am
The 2016/17 Premier League is set to be the most wide open in the competition's history according to the bookies, with Sky Bet making six different teams 10/1 or shorter for the title.
That doesn't even include the champions, Leicester, who are 25/1 to defend their title, while the relegation battle is deemed even tougher to predict as half of the league are given single-figure odds to go down.
Sky Bet report they have never had a bigger-priced favourite for the title than Manchester City at odds of 9/4, with Manchester United (3/1), Chelsea (5/1), Arsenal (6/1), Liverpool (8/1) and Tottenham (10/1) all considered serious contenders.
The outright market also suggests that it is more likely that one of the league's 'lesser' sides can be crowned champions after the Foxes defied all expectations at the longest of odds.
A quick glance down the market shows us that there is no side available at 5000/1 this season, with the longest odds being Hull's price of 1500/1.
However, as Sky Bet's Dale Tempest explains, that is actually as much to do with the appetite to back the underdogs rather than the bookies deeming it more likely this season.
He said: "We did initially offer Burnley at 5000/1 but the volume of bets on the night that they were promoted was such that we now have a £10m liability on them winning the title.
"Leicester's incredible achievement resulted in a pay out of nearly £5m last season, so it's no surprise that punters are eager to back another big-priced outsider and we'll be hoping the influx of top managers will see one of the favourites win for once."
The manager point is an interesting one as Sky Bet also report that the changes in the dugout have had a more profound impact on their markets than transfer dealings.
Manchester City were installed at the head of the market with it known Pep Guardiola would be taking charge, while their neighbours United were cut from 8/1 to 4/1 after it emerged that Jose Mourinho was set to replace Louis van Gaal.
Compare that to when City secured the services of Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito at the start of July and there was no movement at all.
Even the anticipation of Paul Pogba moving to Old Trafford for a world-record fee has only seen United's price trimmed, from 4/1 to 3/1, over the last few weeks.
After a season where the form book was made a mockery of, it is those making the bold changes who are expected to profit.