English Premier League betting: Manchester City boasts best odds

Alex Livesey

It's a three-horse race as the English Premier League kicks off Saturday, but defending champion Manchester United is not the favorite. Both Man City and Chelsea have better EPL future odds to start the season.

Manchester City spent big in the off-season, effectively buying themselves the top betting position in most English Premier League odds listings.

The champions from two years ago brought in Jesus Navas, Steven Jovetic, Alvaro Negredo, and Fernandinho, all of which will be playing for new manager Manuel Pellegrini. They currently sit at 2/1 odds on the EPL futures list at Bovada.

Pellegrini will be counted on to bring Man City back to past glory in both the EPL and Champions League, where the squad flamed out early last season.

Chelsea is a very close second with its stacked roster of international stars and Jose Mourinho back as manager. Some sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com actually have Chelsea favored over Manchester City. Mourinho could also give Fernando Torres the chance to be the dominant player the Blues envisioned when they paid a ton and brought him to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea (9/4) did not make any huge offseason moves, but they did solidify their squad with the additions of André Schürrle, Romalu Lukakuand, and Andre Schurrle. Wayne Rooney was rumored in a move to the Blues, too, but that is unlikely to happen.

David Moyes has a tall task taking the reigns at defending EPL champion Manchester United, replacing legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Man U is the third betting choice at 5/2 odds so the top three teams have combined to win the past seven titles.

Wayne Rooney may be on the move before the transfer window and, while it looked at if Man U was going to get Cesc Fabregas, he has recently stated he would like to stay at Barcelona. Still, Robin Van Persie is in the Man U fold and could potentially repeat last season's goal scoring heroics.

Arsenal (9/1) has made it clear they want Luis Suarez, who would be a great addition to the Gunners, as Theo Walcott recently stated. Real Madrid is the hunt for him as well, however, and a move to Arsenal may not be in the cards. The team did sign Paulinho and Nacer Chadli, but they could use some more firepower up front. The Gunners need to avoid another horrid start to the EPL like last season, which put them behind the 8-ball from the get-go.

The aforementioned four clubs have the best odds in the EPL, but Liverpool at 28/1 may be a good dark horse after some solid off-season moves. It looks as if Luis Suárez is gone for the Reds, but Lago Aspas, Kolo Touré, Luis Alberto and Simon Mignolet were all brought in as solid additions. Steven Gerrard will once again be the rock and anchor of the squad, but their defense must play better than last season -- when they gave up 43 goals.

Like Liverpool, Tottenham (28/1) must shore up their defense, but their big signing in the off-season was ex-Valencia striker Roberto Soldado. The Spurs have quite a few issues, but they have talent and, if they can keep Gareth Bale on the squad, they may surprise some people.

One can't really call Everton (300/1) a dark horse because they should finish in the top eight but, once again, they simply do not have the talent to compete for the EPL title. Marouane Fellaini is a good striker, but he was the only Everton player with more than 10 goals last season. As a squad, they were the only one in the top seven that did not tally over 65 goals (55).

England Premier League Futures Odds as of August 14 at Bovada:

Manchester City       2/1

Chelsea                     9/4

Manchester United  5/2

Arsenal                      9/1

Liverpool        28/1

Tottenham Hotspur 28/1

Everton                      300/1

Aston Villa 1000/1

Newcastle United    1000/1

Southampton 1500/1

Sunderland 1500/1

Swansea City 1500/1

West Bromwich Albion 1500/1

Fulham 2000/1

West Ham United 2000/1

Stoke City 2500/1

Cardiff City    5000/1

Crystal Palace          5000/1

Hull City         5000/1

Norwich City 5000/1

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