The Best Premier League Futures Bets to Make Before Play Resumes
The Premier League is almost back, and while it'll be a bummer not having the trademark raucous atmospheres around England due to the matches being behind closed doors, it sure feels good to know that we're less than a week away from seeing EPL matches.
While the futures market for the Premier League is a little watered down with Liverpool running away with the title, there are some other interesting futures bets we can make over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Here are three bets to make before the season resumes.
Sheffield United to Finish in the Top 6 (+300)
The Blades have been one of the best stories of the EPL this season. After gaining promotion last year via a second-place finish in the Championship, Sheffield United are vying for a European spot and currently sit seventh in the table.
Getting them at +300 to finish in the top six is pretty sweet.
Chelsea and Man United are probably making the top six, so the final spot will likely come down to the other four teams.
Of that four-squad group, Sheffield United are priced -- along with Arsenal -- as the least likely to make the top six. But they're currently tied for sixth on points and have a game in hand, which they'll play Wednesday (the first day back) at an Aston Villa side that is 27 goals worse by goal differential. The Blades are slight favorites (+125) in that one.
If Sheffield United get anything from that match -- even a draw -- they'll be alone in sixth with nine matches left. And while Sheffield United have overachieved by even the most optimistic preseason expectations, it's not like they're riding some fluke as they're eighth by both goal differential and expected goal (xG) differential, per FB-Ref.
The one hesitation I have with Sheffield United is that they have a difficult road the rest of the way, playing four matches against traditional big-six sides in addition to games versus Wolves and Leicester. On the flip side, the games against Arsenal, Spurs and Wolves -- all at Bramall Lane -- give them a chance to deliver blows to their competitors for a top-six place. If the Blades fare well in those matches, Sheffield United will have a great shot to cash this bet, and they already managed a draw on the road versus all three of those foes.
Aston Villa to Finish Bottom (+1000)
We'll get this out of the way from the jump -- Norwich City will likely finish last, and the Canaries are priced as such for this bet, listed as the overwhelming favorite at -550. No one else is lower than +1000 to be at the bottom of the table.
But I think Villa -- the team at +1000 who are currently in 19th, four points clear of last-placed Norwich, with a game in hand -- are worth a roll of the dice.
Going by FB-Ref's expected goals, Aston Villa have been the worst team in the league by a good distance, carrying an expected goal differential of -25.9. That's 5.5 worse than every other side and 13.1 xG worse than Norwich's total. The table isn't sorted by expected goals, of course, but that shows us that this Villa side is pretty darn bad.
Norwich also have a much easier closing stretch.
Of Villa's last 10 matches, nine come against teams in the top 12 of the table (as things stand now), including games against Wolves, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United. The Canaries, meanwhile, have four fixtures versus teams in the bottom seven and just one against a side currently in the top five.
Given that Norwich have just 21 points from 29 matches, it'll take a pretty crazy finishing kick for them to surpass Villa. Heck, they might have trouble passing Villa even if the Villans don't get another point all season. But given what expected goals tells us and the schedules these two have, Villa could free fall over these final weeks, and Norwich might make this pretty interesting.
All in all, I think there's betting value here with Villa.