Black Cats to Run Out of Lives and Top Two to Dominate


The 24th edition of the English Premier League kicks off on Saturday and one thinks that there is much better value to be secured in betting on the chumps rather than the champs.

Bookmakers have marked Sunderland as the fourth most likely team to finish bottom of the English Premier League and one thinks that the Black Cats are overpriced at odds of +800 with several, including Bet365, Boylesports and Unibet.

There is a saying that cats have nine lives and Sunderland, which adopted the Black Cats nickname when it left Roker Park in 1997, have used up eight of them in the eight English Premier League seasons since it gained promotion from the English Championship. Sunderland’s English Premier League ladder positions in the last eight terms have been 10th, 13th (twice), 14th, 15th, 16th (twice) and 17th, with the Black Cats cheating death in several of those seasons.

Sunderland has not been particularly active in the transfer market during the summer hiatus and one does not like the limited business that it has done. Connor Wickham has gone to Crystal Palace and Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat – more about him shortly – has spent most of the Wickham money on Jeremain Lens, who may find the English Premier League too hard after being in the Netherlands and Ukraine previously.

Jermaine Defoe is 32 years old and one cannot get excited about any English Premier League team for which he is a general odds-on favourite to be its top goal scorer. Defoe has seen better days and Sunderland cannot expect Lens to score lots of goals based on his performances for Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukrainian Premier League. Sunderland looks like one of the English Premier League’s worst attacking sides.

Advocaat played a significant role in Sunderland avoiding relegation from the English Premier League last term, with the veteran manager overseeing three wins, three draws and three losses. Sunderland officials have persuaded Advocaat to stick around but one gets the feeling that the boss may depart if the Black Cats does not start well – the Dutchman is 67 and Sunderland has been the first English Premier League team to replace its coach in two of the last four seasons.

Surely it is only a matter of time before Sunderland loses its English Premier League status and, with each of the three promoted sides having something going for them – for example, Bournemouth, Norwich and Watford each has a manager whose resume makes for impressive reading – one thinks that there is a higher than usual chance of the wooden spoon going to one of the division’s more established teams. For a broader view, one of our other tipsters looked at the relegation battle a short time ago.

One may know within a few weeks if one’s bet on Sunderland finishing bottom of the English Premier League is a likely winner or likely loser. Four of Sunderland’s first half a dozen English Premier League fixtures are against sides which are relatively short odds in relegation betting.

With regards to the English Premier League title, Arsenal has been the summer market mover but one thinks that the Gunners, who finished 12 points behind Chelsea last term, have been supported into odds that represent poor value.

Dutching Chelsea – odds of +175 with Coral and Ladbrokes – and Manchester City – odds of +300 with PaddyPower and WilliamHill – produces an English Premier League title wager at odds of -159 . Chelsea and Manchester City were level on points, goals for and goals against on New Year’s Day last season and, if it had not been for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations and Sergio Aguero’s spring injury, the championship race may have gone down to the wire. Odds of -159 equates to a percentage of around 61 and one thinks that underestimate the probability of either Chelsea or Manchester City finishing first. One does not like the English Premier League title chance of Manchester United and, therefore, one thinks that dutching Chelsea with Manchester City is the equivalent of laying Arsenal. One cannot get odds of -159 laying Arsenal on an exchange. If you want to have a bet on the outright winner, take a look at this article where another of our top tipsters looked at the title race in more detail.

Tips Summary

Sunderland to finish bottom
8th August 12.45 GMT
Odds: +800
Where to Bet: Bet365, Boylesports, Unibet

Chelsea/Man City to win league
8th August 12:45
Odds: -159 (dutched)
Where to Bet: Coral, Ladbrokes, PaddyPower, WilliamHill

Black Cats
Dick Advocaat
English Premier League
Jeremain Lens
Roker Park

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