iBet: Spurs could be the handicap bet, with or without Bale
Premier League Handicap Betting
Back Spurs with a +16 start at 14/1
In this market the bookmakers give teams varying starts based on their assessment of how many points they will accumulate over the whole season, and they all go off at a similar price, usually about the 16/1 mark. So if you can find a team that is going to out-perform the handicap given to them, you have a very good chance of picking up at a big price.
Having said that, last season it would have paid to keep things simple. Manchester United were given just a two point start (Manchester City started off scratch) and that gave them 91 points to win the handicap. After that it was very close indeed with West Ham and Swansea, who were both given a start of +42, finishing three points behind on 88 points, and Everton, Norwich, Spurs, West Brom, Southampton and Arsenal all finishing within three points of that. Spurs are a team on the up and last year’s league tally of 72 points was a Premier League record for the North Londoners.
Of course Gareth Bale’s goals will be missed if he goes to Real Madrid. But they are continuing to invest heavily. Manager Andre Villas-Boas was not helped in his new job at the start of last season by chairman Daniel Levy leaving important transfer business until the last minute.
Unsurprisingly they got off to a stuttering start before hitting top gear, and it’s a sobering thought for Spurs fans that if they had converted one of those early home draws against Norwich or West Brom into three points, they would be playing Champions League football this season. Only champions Manchester United won more games than Tottenham last season and the fact that they are not in the Champions League means that their main focus will be the league, which makes the bet even more tempting.
Nicolas Anelka looks set to provide something of a playmaking roll for West Brom with Shane Long, who also takes the penalties, the focus of the attack. You can get 11/10 that the Frenchman scores less than 7.5 goals over the season (Long only scored eight last season) and that looks interesting.
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