As a soccer fan, there aren't many occasions comparable to the build-up to a new Premier League season. As we look at our EPL predictions, it’s key to remember that this one will be interrupted by the FIFA World Cup. This will present an unforeseen set of circumstances that club managers haven't dealt with before - something I’m sure we’ll hear a lot about!
Domestic action will be put on hold when the World Cup in Qatar kicks off in November. Those teams whose key players’ international teams haven’t qualified for the World Cup (e.g. Liverpool’s Egyptian King, Mo Salah, who missed out on qualification) could be well placed to take advantage.
It should be no surprise that defending champions Manchester City are the sportsbooks’ favorites to win their fifth EPL title in six seasons. If you thought Pep Guardiola’s team was strong last term, you should get a load of this version.
Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, and Kalvin Phillips have been added to City’s already elite-level squad. These new additions could be the difference as City attempt to become the second team in Premier League history to win the domestic title in three consecutive seasons.
However with success comes more games, and City will be hit more harshly than their rivals by international call-ups to the World Cup. Not only does this increase the chance of tiredness in the second half of the season, but injuries too. Add the fact that their squad has been weakened by the departures of influential players like Sterling, Jesus, Zinchenko, and Fernandinho, and maybe a little doubt creeps in as to whether they have adequate cover.
The likely outcome of City defending their title as an EPL prediction is a betting future easy to get behind, and you may want to catch their EPL winners' odds of -170 (with FanDuel) price tag before it loses value. If history has anything to tell us, Man City title odds are worth backing.
That said, the available EPL winners’ odds on Liverpool (+275 with BetMGM) don't reflect last season's one-point difference between the Reds and City. Liverpool, who finished the 2021/22 season as runners-up by the smallest of margins is unquestionably the biggest threat to City's crown.
Mohammed Salah claimed his third EPL Golden Boot last season, netting 23 goals (with 14 assists). Meanwhile, his partner in crime, Sadio Mane, wasn't far behind, with 16 goals to his name. However, with Mane’s departure to Bayern Munich, it’s fair to question whether Liverpool can deliver the same attacking threat in 2022/23.
The answer may already be in place with the arrival of Darwin Nunez. The former Benfica striker scored 34 goals in 41 games for Benfica last season (including two in two against Liverpool in the Champions League). The 23-year-old will be a crucial factor in the Reds title challenge. Add to this the fact that the club’s January purchase, Luis Diaz, already has half an EPL season’s experience under his belt (which returned four goals and three assists in 13 games), and you can’t help but think Liverpool start from a position of strength making them worthy advisories and worth punting on the Liverpool title odds.
Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Tottenham obviously should not be discounted within our EPL predictions. Chelsea and Manchester United will be in and around the action, but both are teams in transition and will need more time to challenge.
Arsenal should offer a stronger challenge, as their young team has another year’s know-how under its belt, and has invested wisely in seasoned professionals who know how to win, in Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from Man City. The club has added to the right areas based on their pre-season performances.
However, we should pay particular attention to Antonio Conte's Spurs, with odds of +1400 @ Caesars. He's masterfully adapted the squad to his style of play, making them harder to beat. With the arrival of Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, and Ivan Perisic, supplementing world-class players like Heung-min Son and Harry Kane, Tottenham is the biggest threat to both Manchester City and Liverpool's title hopes.
Looking at the other end of the table, two of the Premier League’s newly-promoted teams are the favorites for a drop back down to the Championship in 2023.
Bournemouth is the highest priced by the oddsmakers for EPL relegation odds at -195, largely because it’s been an awfully quiet summer transfer window for manager Scott Parker. That being said, this squad fought tooth and nail to finish two points behind 2021-22 Championship winners Fulham, and their past EPL experience should help them survive.
Nottingham Forest supporters are both surprised and hopeful with the signing of Jesse Lingard. The England international turned down a host of clubs, including West Ham, who finished seventh last season and qualified for the Europa League, in favor of joining the newly promoted side. However, neither the ex-Manchester United man’s impact nor the arrival of promising Liverpool youngster Neco Williams (who had a strong season on loan at Fulham last season) will be enough to keep Forest from a relegation battle. Forest takes on Newcastle in the first matchday, this is sure to be a great watch for neutrals but we don't envy them having to show up at St James Park.
That’s in part because manager Steve Cooper, who’s done well in taking Forest from rock bottom of the Championship to promotion last term, has zero experience at this level. Additionally, and paradoxically, the sheer volume of new signings this summer could be Forest’s undoing. Trying to integrate all the new arrivals, while maintaining the squad's defensive mindset, but finding a way to deliver enough goals to remain in the Premier League will not only be a challenge but likely a step too far.
Priced at a reasonable +120 we have to favor Forest, the side that gained promotion from the Championship playoffs and with the least EPL experience having not been in the top division for 23 years, as the most likely team to go back down with the EPL relegation odds to back this pick.
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