Premier League Betting: Man United disappointed punters on home soil
It’s no secret that the once dominant force of Manchester United has waned somewhat over the last few years but, nevertheless, with Mourinho at the helm, and a squad of expensive talent at his disposal, they were still considered heavy favourites against most teams this season, especially on their own patch.
However, despite being favourites in almost all of their matches, Mourinho’s men failed to live up to market expectations on a regular basis, particularly when playing in front of a home crowd. In fact, United were available at a shorter price than the opposition in each of their 19 home matches during the 16/17 campaign, yet they were often unable oblige and subsequently let favourite-backers down more and more as the season wore on.
A stuttering start
As far as home form goes, although defeat was tasted just once, United never really got going in terms of putting together a consistent run of wins in front of their own fans. The Red Devils did of course beat Southampton in their first home match of the season when on odds-on favourites but that victory proved not to be a sign of things to come. Next time out at Old Trafford, Mourinho and his troops were beaten at home by local rivals Man City. Although this is indeed a big match, one that can often go either way, United were still considered favourites in the betting at 11/8. The poor start to life on their own patch under Mourinho continued soon after as they were only able to win one of their next five home matches, drawing four on the bounce – letting down fav-supporters at long odds-on prices such as 1/3 and 1/5.
Heaton a thorn in United’s side
When United hosted newly promoted Burnley on match-day 10, they were of course thought of by everyone as massive favourites and their price of 1/5 in the betting very much confirmed this. However, despite a combination of 72% possession, 19 corners and a staggering 38 shots at goal, the hosts were unable to find the breakthrough. In contrast, the visiting side managed just a single shot on target but walked away with a point thanks to a string of impressive saves from goalkeeper Tom Heaton, one of which resulted in the England international winning the ‘Save of the Season Award’. Once again, punters who’d added the short-priced favs to their accumulators had done their money.
Heavy favouritism a burden
During the course of the season, when playing in front of a home crowd, being considered heavy favourites proved to be something of a burden. In winning ten of their 19 home matches, United managed to repay favourite-backers just 53% of the time. What’s more, the Red Devils failed to get the job done when odds-on more often than not. Having gone off at odds shorter than 2.00 (1/1) no less than 13 times, the Manchester side allowed fav-backers to collect on just five occasions. 62% of their odds-on excursions at Old Trafford ended in disappointment. 1/5, 1/4 and 4/11 were just some of the ridiculously short prices at which United were foiled on home soil.
They may well have lost just once at Old Trafford this season, but drawing when strong favourites in the betting is still particularly disappointing. Over the course of the campaign, United made a name for themselves as draw specialists, so much so that a handsome profit would’ve been made by anyone who backed the draw in each of their 19 home matches. To £10 level stakes, backing the draw every time United played at home would’ve yielded a 176% return on investment and a profit of £334.50.
The most notable, or indeed the most profitable, individual matches were of course draws against the so called smaller clubs. When Burnley managed to cling on to both their clean sheet and a share of the spoils, the draw was priced at 6/1, while punters who fancied United to slip-up against the eventually relegated Hull City could’ve backed the draw at 13/2. United’s failure to overcome Bournemouth was also up there as a big-price winner, allowing backers of the draw to collect at 6/1.
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