Plenty of value in these English Premier League futures bets

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The fixture list is out and soccer bettors are less than a month away from the start of the 2022-23 English Premier League campaign.

As a result of the season’s proximity, more futures markets are starting to become available. Personally, I still see no value in the outright market — Manchester City is anywhere between -160 and -175 to win the title after signing Erling Haaland in the transfer window — but there are other markets that I believe give bettors good value.

Let’s dive into my supplemental futures bets for the EPL campaign. All odds are reflective at time of writing and subject to movement.

Aston Villa Top-Half Finish (-105), BetMGM

Last season, Villa was a bit of a tough team to predict. In evaluating the fixtures played under new manager Steven Gerrard, however, there are positives to consider.

Beginning with its Matchday 12 fixture, Villa closed out the season with a +0.0 expected goal differential against a +4 goal differential in reality. Villa’s record improves, however, if you only consider matches against non-Champions League opponents. In 21 such fixtures, Villa produced a +7.1 expected goal differential and earned at least a point in all but six of those fixtures while winning a plurality (10 fixtures).

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Further, Villa seemed to discover strong offensive trends under Gerrard. In those same 21 fixtures, the Villains failed to create one expected goal only six times and generated 1.31 expected goals per 90 minutes, up from a season-long average of 1.16 xG/90, per fbref.com.

Its defense also posted above-average metrics in those fixtures, conceding only 0.97 xGA/90 minutes in those 21 fixtures, down from a season-long average of 1.29 xGA/90 minutes.

Lastly, Villa has made some quality additions in the transfer window that I believe will boost its stock this season. Philippe Coutinho is in permanently, while both Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos will provide strength through the middle in midfield and defense, respectively.

Brighton manager Graham Potter
Brighton manager Graham Potter
Reuters

Brighton Top-Half Finish (+110), BetMGM

The departure of Yves Bissouma is definitely concerning, but Brighton has slowly become the darling of the EPL metrics community.

Two seasons ago, the Seagulls produced the fifth-best expected goal differential in the Premier League despite finishing all the way down in 16th. Positive karma came back slightly last season for Graham Potter’s squad, which finished ninth after posting the seventh-best expected goal differential in the top flight.


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This is also a Brighton squad that has demonstrated an ability to play very well at home. In the 2020-21 campaign, it produced the third-best home xGDiff (+16.7), while last season, it produced the 10th-best home xGDiff (+4.5).

Brighton is also a side that does well in the second of each head-to-head fixture. In the second half, the Seagulls avoided defeat in 14 of 19 fixtures and won the expected goal battle in 10 of those 19 matches.

Mostly though, this is a fade of teams such Manchester United, Leicester City and West Ham United, who I believe are severely overvalued in this market. I also see an implied probability edge with this price as I would have it rated closer to +100.

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