Premier League 16/17 Betting Review: Spurs prove to be a favourite-backers dream on home soil

Bradley Gibbs

Another Premier League campaign is over and it was certainly an eventful one, not just in terms of the football played or the goals scored, but, from a betting point of view, it was another season littered with drama. Favourites were foiled at regular intervals and outsiders triumphed.

Early upsets 

The betting whirlwind started very early on in the campaign as Champions Leicester City were beaten in the opening fixture by newly promoted and eventually relegated Hull City. Despite being away from home, the Foxes, then managed by Claudio Ranieri, were as short as 10/11 to start their title defence with a win but were unable to overcome a home team who were determined to start life in the Premier League on the right foot.

It wasn’t just Leicester who faltered early on either. Liverpool, after beating Arsenal on the opening weekend, lost away to newly promoted Burnley when priced at 4/7 in the betting on match-day two. Despite having a measly 20% share of possession and just two shots on target, the hosts came out on top with a 2-0 win. Punters who were brave enough to chance the outsiders on that particular occasion managed to land themselves a tidy 11/2 winner.

Aside from both the Champions falling at the first hurdle and Liverpool losing out to Burnley, other notable upsets during the first few weeks of the season saw Watford take all three points away at West Ham on match-day four when available to punters at 7/2, Chelsea fail to beat Swansea when odds-on (4/6) and Watford, who were fast becoming the scourge of favourite-backers, beat Man United at a juicy 5/1.

Spurs confirmed favouritism at home more than any other side 

Something that did become clear early doors was the fact that Spurs were going to cope with heavy favouritism on their own patch very well. In failing to win just two of their 19 matches at their now former home of White Hart Lane, Mauricio Pochettino’s men proved to be something of a fav-backers dream as the campaign wore on. The eventual runners-up were odds-on favourites ahead of a massive 17 of their 19 home fixtures and, thanks to the guile and creativity of players such as Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, not to mention the potency of striker Harry Kane, coupled with a newly found defensive solidity, Spurs made light work of winning 17 of those.

The only real blemish on Tottenham’s impressive record at home during the recently finished campaign was a 1-1 draw against Leicester on match-day 10 when the hosts could be backed around the 8/13 mark. However, that would be the last time that Spurs would find themselves as the subject of an upset on home soil as they went on to win each of their remaining 14 matches, confirming odds-on favouritism in each of those, repaying punters at prices such 4/9, 4/6, 8/11 and 5/6.

United continually let punters down

In contrast to Spurs, Jose Mourinho’s Man United made a name for themselves as ‘coupon busters’ on home soil during the 16/17 campaign. United, who were once a force to be reckoned with on their own patch, frequently let punters down and became known for failing to get the job done at long odds-on. In being unable to justify odds-on favouritism on no less than seven occasions, Mourinho’s side were the ‘bankers’ who prevented punters from collecting a pay-out on their accumulators. Among their failures were 1-1 and 0-0 draws against Stoke City and Burnley at odds as short as 1/3 and 1/5.


Most notable upsets 

Liverpool’s upset away to Burnley, alongside a few of Man United’s disappointing draws at home are just a few of the shock results from the 16/17 campaign. Overall, the season was awash with teams letting punters down at short-prices. A few more of the most notable upsets have been detailed below.

Watford (5/1) 3 – 1 Man United (8/13)

When United travelled south to take on Watford on match-day five, having won both of their first two away matches, they were very much expected to get the job done and were thus available to punters at no bigger than 8/13. However, much to the disappointment of odds-on-backers, the hosts remained resilient and were able to claim victory with two late goals.

Man City (1/2) 1 – 1 Everton (6/1)

Although Everton are a side who’re considered favourites against a lot of Premier League opponents, when they visited the Etihad on match-day eight they were very much outsiders and were expected to come off second best. At odds of 1/2, City will have undoubtedly been added to numerous accumulators up and down the country on that day, but a 1-1 draw was all they could manage, missing a host of chances and two penalties in the process. Any punters who backed the draw on that occasion walked away with a very reasonable 15/4 winner.

Arsenal (1/5) 0 – 0 Middlesbrough (14/1)

On match-day nine, Arsenal were expected to brush a struggling Middlesrough team aside with ease and were priced accordingly at 1/5. Such odds suggest that an onslaught is coming, but it never arrived on that day. Despite having a 75% share of possession, on their way to a 0-0 draw, Arsenal failed to really stamp their mark on on the game and managed just a single shot more than their defence-minded visitors. Punters (or probably just a handful of Boro fans) who fancied the away side to get something from the match could’ve pocketed an 11/2 winner by backing the draw, although even the shrewdest of tipsters probably didn’t see that one coming.

Liverpool (1/3) 2 – 2 West Ham (10/1)

The fact that West Ham were priced around the 10/1 mark ahead of their trip to Anfield on match-day 15 suggested that they had little chance. However, led at half-time, the visitors managed to hang on to a share of the spoils, denying favourite-backers a very short-priced winner.

Liverpool (2/9) 2 – 3 Swansea (14/1)

On match-day 22, as they were priced at a massive 14/1 by bookmakers, Swansea were given absolutely no chance as they made the trip across the Welsh border to Liverpool. However, after a goalless first 45 minutes, the side battling relegation sprung into life to score two quick goals. The odds-on hosts did manage to level around 15 minutes later, but it would be the travelling side who’d have the last laugh as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 74th minute strike was enough to secure all three points and land those punters who’re partial to an upset an eye-watering 14/1 winner.

Arsenal (2/9) 1 – 2 Watford (14/1)

Alongside Swansea, Watford were responsible for providing the Premier League’s biggest winner on the standard win/draw/win market when they won away at the Emirates on match-day 23. The visitors were considered 14/1 no-hopers ahead of their short trip into London, but that didn’t stop the Hornets from causing what was, from a betting point of view, the joint-biggest upset of the season. The hosts found themselves trailing by two goals after just 13 minutes and, despite having 74% possession and double the shots of Watford, were unable to fight back.

Sunderland (17/2) 0 – 0 Tottenham (1/3)

Tottenham may well have been almost flawless on their own patch, but they weren’t quite capable of going a whole season without a few slip-ups on the road. One of those slip-ups came on match-day 23 when they were considered 1/3 favourites away at Sunderland. However, try as they might, Spurs couldn’t find a way through and eventually slumped to a rather disappointing 0-0 draw. Backers of the draw on that occasions pocketed themselves a very nice 4/1 winner.

Hull City (7/1) 2 – 0 Liverpool (9/20)

By the time Liverpool travelled to face Hull on match-day 24, you might of thought that they’d learnt their lesson as far as losing to teams at the foot of the table goes, but, as favourite-backers found out, they hadn’t. Despite having more than three times as many attempts, a 72% share of possession and 15 corners, the visitors were unable to find a viable route to goal, whereas Hull managed to score with just two of their four shots on target. Punters who fancied Liverpool to once again get up to their old tricks would’ve bagged themselves a handsome 7/1 winner by getting behind the hosts.

250/1 Winner on the final day 

Throughout the course of the season, plenty of big priced winners were flying about as there will been punters somewhere who had it off with lengthy accumulators, first goal-scorers and audacious correct scores – Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at home to Watford springs to mind – but there probably won’t have been many bigger winners than a certain 250/1 correct score that came in during the final round of fixtures. Having beaten Leicester by six goals to one in their penultimate fixture, it was clear that Tottenham were finishing the campaign in rampant mood, and, with Hull City already relegated, many punters will have certainly fancied the visiting side to run riot on match-day 38. Anyone who did fancy Spurs to go one better from that Leicester victory could’ve bagged themselves a huge 250/1 winner by backing the 1-7 correct score.

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