Do not wait for Gareth Bale to quit Tottenham: bet on Spurs having a disappointing English Premier League season before the Welsh wizard decides to walk out of White Hart Lane.
With Bale odds on to leave Tottenham before the start of the English Premier League competition – and, even if he does stick around, he will be the subject of mid-season transfer speculation ahead of the window reopening – punters should be looking to bet on Spurs performing below expectations.
Tottenham’s pre-season results have been disappointing to say the very least. Spurs have drawn with Colchester and Swindon and lost to Milton Keynes and Sunderland and their English Premier League opener is away to Crystal Palace. The Eagles will be totally fired up for their first game back in the top flight so Tottenham drew the short straw in being programmed to travel to Selhurst Park on the premiership’s opening day.
Bookmakers are having a laugh with their 41.00 quotes about Tottenham winning its first English league title since 1961 when they finished 17 points adrift of Manchester United last term and are likely to lose their marquee player.
Two exotic English Premier League markets pertaining to Tottenham’s performance in the upcoming season appeal from a betting perspective and none more than Sky Bet’s over/under line on Spurs points. The British bookmaker has set the bar at 68.5 points and invited punters to back either over or under at odds of 1.83 (for those familiar with the fractional odds format, decimal odds are explained here http://www.sportsbettingonline.net/decimal-odds/). Sky Bet can expect one-way traffic, with the under rating as a decent-sized long-term bet.
In spite of Bale performing miracles on an almost weekly basis since making a name for himself during the 2009-2010 English Premier League campaign, Tottenham’s points average over the last four seasons falls short of 68.5 points. Spurs accrued 72 points last term but it would be fair to say that many of the competition heavyweights – Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool being the prime offenders – did not have the greatest of seasons and, therefore, teams such as Tottenham benefitted by way of inflated points tallies.
With most of the English Premier League big guns likely to improve – Chelsea is the championship favourite with some bookmakers despite being 14 points off the pace last term – things are going to get tougher for Tottenham even if the London side manages to hold on to Bale’s services. Spread betting firm Sporting Index has framed its Spurs points market at 65-66.5, which feels closer to the right mark.
The second Tottenham-related price that stands out is the offer of 1.90 about Spurs finishing sixth or lower in the English Premier League this term. Stan James is the nice bookmaker offering this option and, let’s be honest, the only way that punters will not collect is if Tottenham places fourth or fifth because surely Spurs will not end up above Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.
Tottenham has recorded four consecutive top-five English Premier League finishes but the only way is down for Spurs, with them unlikely to overhaul deadly rival Arsenal and the sleeping giant also known as Liverpool forecast to improve as Brendan Rodgers enters his second season as Reds boss.
What this particular bet boils down to is this: does one think that either Everton or Liverpool will finish above Tottenham this term? Punters are writing off the Toffees following the departure of David Moyes to Manchester United but time may show Moyes to be a managerial myth. Everton has recruited wisely by luring Roberto Martinez from Wigan and, again, time may end up showing that the Spaniard is a better boss than the Scot. The Toffees have not lost the players that some doomsayers were predicting that they would post Moyes so they are expected to make a decent fist of qualifying for Europe. The Reds are frustrating but they scored more goals and conceded fewer goals than Spurs last season so they are more than capable of climbing the ladder.
If one really thinks that Tottenham is heading for a fall then one could back Spurs to miss the top six at odds of around 4.00 but that would probably require both Merseyside teams to leapfrog them. That may be too much to ask.
Time will tell how the Bale saga plays out. But even if the Wales star moves to Real Madrid for a world record fee, is Tottenham the type of club that can replace him with two, three or four top-class talents? It will not matter how much money is in the bank if Spurs cannot convince their targets that coming to White Hart Lane will improve their prospects of winning major trophies. And that task will be almost impossible if Tottenham sells Bale to the Meringues.
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