Premier League Betting: Vardy to win Golden Boot and Mane on track for PotY
Ahead of the Premier League's return in June, Alex Keble takes a look at the Top Goalscorer, PFA Player of the Year, Top London Club, and Next Manager to Leave markets...
The Premier League is set to return to our screens on June 17 with a double header of Manchester City v Arsenal and Sheffield United against Aston Villa.
Both of those games highlight just how much is left to play for in the 2019/20 season, with Champions League places and relegation yet to be decided with nine rounds of games remaining. You can read our preview of the main markets here.
But leaving the league position markets to one side, there is also value to be found in some of the other outright odds - and a look at those can help us analyse what the next two months have in store.
Naturally, the market reflects which players are currently leading the way in the goalscoring charts, and sure enough there is every reason to believe current leader and favourite Jamie Vardy will win his first ever Golden Boot.
Vardy 2.74leads by two goals on 19 for the season, and while his goalscoring rate slowed down during the season - he scored three goals in his last ten league games - he could be set for a return to form. The extended break is likely to have been good for the 33-year-old's legs.
However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang6.60, currently on 17, is likely to catch up if Arsenal can benefit from football being played behind closed doors. Mikel Arteta's tactics are undermined by the side's emotionality, which should be lessened without supporters.
Mohamed Salah 5.80and Sergio Aguero [5.7], both on 16, may struggle in teams that spread goals around, while for an outside bet Tammy Abraham could be worth a punt at 20.00.
The Chelsea striker is only on 13, but he enjoyed an explosive start to the season and could restart similarly well after an extended break.
PFA Player of the Year
Jordan Henderson 1.73is the firm favourite, largely because of what he symbolises as the captain of a Liverpool side without any standout players - a testament to the strength of the team, rather than a sign of lacking individual flair.
However, it is hard to see such an unglamorous player taking the award, and so Sadio Mane 5.00seems more likely to win. He has been superb all season and should comfortably continue his form for a Liverpool side that will probably win virtually every match left.
Virgil van Dijk 8.20surely won't win the award two years in a row, while Kevin De Bruyne's [7.2] good form earlier in the season might not be enough to deny a Liverpool player the honour, although if he breaks the assist record then that could change.
The outside bet worth considering is Trent Alexander-Arnold15.00, who also has a chance of breaking the assist record.
Next Manager to Leave
Coronavirus has made every Premier League manager safer, because the unusual circumstances mean clubs will be kinder to their employees - and will be aware that a new manager bounce is less likely. This is a time for stability, particularly with little money available to spend in the upcoming transfer window.
However, backing no manager to leave 4.20should only be done if the deal to buy Newcastle United falls through. If the sale is still on, then Steven Bruce [2.0] might immediately be sacked given Newcastle are already safe from relegation.
Dean Smith 5.00is the second favourite, but Aston Villa have no reason to pull the trigger until after the season has been completed.
Top London Club
Chelsea 1.02might hold a big advantage in this market, but the odds are weighted too heavily in their favour - and it is worth backing Arsenal [25.0] or Tottenham 13.50to finish above Frank Lampard's side.
They have some tough games ahead, and their young team may not cope as well as their rivals with the unusual playing conditions.
What's more, Arsenal's tactical organisation means they can play in a calm, methodical manner like the big clubs in the Bundesliga.
They are only eight points behind Chelsea and have a much easier fixture list; Lampard's side still have to play Man City, Liverpool, and Leicester.
Tottenham Hotspur have a game in hand to reduce the gap to Chelsea to just four points, while Jose Mourinho may have been able to use the extended break to finally get his tactical ideas across to the team.
He desperately needed a chance to reset, and these last two months may act like a summer between years one and two, which is normally the most important time for Mourinho.