iBet: United’s tricky start could make them a lay to defend title

Gareth Purnell

Premier League Betting

Back to lay Manchester United for the Premier League title at 3.75 with Betfair
Back Lewis Hamilton for the F1 driver’s title at 12/1

The markets are beginning to form on Betfair in the run-up to the Premier League kick-off on August 17th and there is now enough liquidity in the markets to start recommending trades. Some might raise a few eyebrows at a lay of the current champions to win the top division again, but there are reasons for thinking there is some value there.

Of course there is a new manager in David Moyes and it may take him a little while to get his messages across. Certainly Manchester United have been less than impressive so far pre-season, although in truth I read very little into pre-season games. The main reason I think this is value is a combination of what is going on elsewhere and Manchester United’s opening fixtures.

The previous season’s title winners Manchester City had no sort of a season last year really. Yes, they finished second, but they never really put in any sort of challenge and United finished 11 points clear without being all that impressive. Under new manager in Manuel Pellegrini, who is spending some serious money to strengthen, expect City to put in a proper challenge this year. Arsenal (10/1 for the title) are also looking to spend big for the first time in years – they reportedly have a £100 million war chest. And then there is Chelsea, who have been backed into joint 9/4 favouritism with City since Jose Mourinho returned. If they capture Wayne Rooney from United, they will go off outright favourites.

United have the most difficult start of all the contenders, as they have to face Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City all in the first five games. It should also be noted that it is very hard indeed to defend a Premier League title. Since 2000 only Chelsea (once) and United (twice) have managed it. United, who over the years have been slow starters, have been gradually drifting but there is still value in laying them now, with a view to possibly backing them at a bigger price after a few games and securing a profit.

Lewis Hamilton said he needed ‘a miracle’ to win the Hungarian Grand Prix. He got one, and is now being backed for the driver’s title at 12/1 and is as short as 7/1 in places. On 124 points he’s still 48 behind leader Vettel (1/5) with Alonso (133 pts) available at 10/1 and Kimi Raikkonen (134 pts) backable at 14/1. Hamilton’s car looks to be improving its tire wear, and he’s worth an interest in that price.

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betfiar new 300x135 iBet: United’s tricky start could make them a lay to defend title

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