‘Unexpected’ is arguably one of the buzzwords that comes to mind when discussing the 2019/20 Premier League season, with bookmakers and fans surprised at league outcomes, the length of the season and the performance of some of the league’s biggest teams.
Delivering a keynote speech on day two of the Betting on Sports Europe – Digital, James Tippett, Commercial Executive at Oddschecker, gave delegates some insight into some of the ‘record breaking’ figures that came about during the 2019/20 season.
The 2019/20 campaign, which lasted a total of 252 days, broke several records; the season was the longest-ever in Premier League history.
Reigning champions Liverpool claimed their first top flight title in 30 years, which came as a surprise to some bookmakers, and Jamie Vardy’s Golden Boot also caused a stir in the market.
Most notably, the ‘big six’ underperformed last campaign, victorious only 52.9% of the time; the lowest percentage since 2013/14. And unexpectedly, Norwich City, who shocked bookmakers by beating Manchester City in September, ranked highly in the profit tables, despite finishing rock bottom and facing the drop.
Discussing some of the data collected by Oddschecker, Tippett explained: “The 2019/20 campaign was the longest season in history, with 252 days between the first and last game. It was a season that no one really expected for many reasons – one being the coronavirus outbreak which ultimately affected the length of the season. Even the outcomes of the leagues at the end of the season were fairly unexpected!”
During the 2019/20 campaign, Tippett pointed out that Oddschecker had recorded an 82% increase in the amount of bets placed on football fixtures and unique bets placed, with punters opting to bet online, as opposed to visiting a retail shop, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Data showed that Unibet were the best priced bookmaker across the duration of the season, with Betfair providing the best winning accumulator value.
Even though we’re already in game-week four of the 2020/21 campaign, the race already seems to have begun for who will become the best priced operator.
Bet365 have thus far dominated the clickshare table, with William Hill following up in a close second; however, the former has suffered a 2% decrease.
Tippett continued: “The coronavirus outbreak was always going to be an important time for the return of Premier League football, giving operators the chance to capture market share. Punters were likely to be presented with a choice on which bookmakers to bet with upon returning – it was likely that they hadn’t bet in a while.
“Those bookmakers which were able to gain market share were able to do so just by pricing generously. They saw value in that by gaining clickshare afterwards, attracting punters’ attention – which I’m sure they will use to retain those customers for this season and beyond.”
On average, the data showed that overrounds have increased post-lockdown, rocketing to 105.2%, with SportNation experiencing the largest increase, and PaddyPower and SkyBet offered widest pricing margins. In addition, organisations have offered generously priced, new markets in order to retain new customers who switched bookmakers during the Covid crisis.
Looking forward to the 2020/21 season, Pep Guardiola’s side are odds-on to win the league for a third time under the Spaniard (6/4), and newly-promoted Fulham are early favourites for relegation (3/10).
According to Oddschecker, Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be the first to leave his post as manager of Manchester United after a 6-1 defeat to rivals Tottenham Hotspur (2/1).
Kevin De Bruyne looks set to be crowned the PFA’s Player of the Year, whilst the bookmakers have Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah to usurp Jamie Vardy as the Premier League’s top scorer (4/1). And Mason Greenwood could make Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming 2021 European Championships (9/2).