It is often clear to bookmakers and football supporters alike which of the league's big teams will be challenging for the title, and this can mean that their prices in the 'outright league winner' markets will be relatively short. But this should not put football betting fans off from considering some of the other ante-post and in-play league winner betting markets available. There are a number of options that the smart punter can take advantage of, even when the top teams are too close to be separated.
In some countries, just a handful of teams traditionally dominate the league: England currently has the two Manchester teams; the Spanish league is usually contested by Real Madrid and Barcelona; Scotland has Celtic; and Germany has Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. In these instances, 'outright league winner' betting can be difficult. In some cases, it can simply be too hard to pick a winner (in the 2011/12 season, for example, the English Premier League title race went down to the last game of the season), while in other cases, such as in Scotland, prices might be so short on the favourite that huge stakes are needed in order to see any decent return. However, many bookmakers offer markets excluding these dominant teams, and the prices offered here can often be far more appealing.
In Spain, it is hard to look beyond Real Madrid and Barcelona for the title. However, if you consider the 'league winner without the top two' betting market, there are a number of teams worth a second glance. Historically, Valencia have been the favourites in this market, having finished third for three seasons running, but their player sales and well-documented financial problems mean that the likes of Atletico Madrid and Malaga now look set to run them close for third place, and there'll be some good odds on offer as a result.
League winner without the top two betting in England can also throw up some attractive prices. Manchester City and Manchester United can be tough to pick between for the title, but with the traditional heavyweights of Chelsea and Arsenal having been joined by Tottenham in recent years, there is a real contest for third and, therefore, great odds on offer.
If the battle for third place is too close to call, there's also the option of league winner betting without the top six. In England, this usually means betting without the two Manchester teams, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. The likes of Everton and Newcastle are normally the leading contenders in this market, but it can sometimes be worth trying to pick the season’s surprise package for seventh, given that mid-table positions are often tightly contested. Obviously, picking this team is not easy but by taking into account a team's performance last season plus any transfer activity, you might be able to spot a decent option offered at long odds.
Football league betting without the favourites offers interesting options both ante-post and during the season, particularly when outright markets look too tight to call or are virtually decided. To see if you can pick who'll be the best of the rest, head over to Bet365 Sports today.