It’s been a wild 12 months in the world of sports betting with so much excitement in the world of football. From record-breaking World Cup performances and eagerly-awaited European Championship competitions to a new kind of hockey rink and a whole new sport—basketball—the year made for some unforgettable betting moments.
Now that the dust has settled, sportsbooks are looking to get back to business as usual and the Final 4 competition is just around the corner. The four remaining teams—Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Brighton 'Hopes—battled it out over the course of the season to reach the final stages, where they will meet in Kiev on August 26 for the right to become the best of the best. Ahead of that big day, let’s take a look at how the bookmakers are laying their odds on the winner.
Who Is The Favorites To Win?
On the day of the big kick-off, the consensus among the betting firms is that Liverpool are the overwhelming favorites to win the tournament thanks to their superior attacking strength and their track record in international competitions. Specifically, they are three-time winners of the European Cup (in 1981, 1984, and 1986) and UEFA Champions League (in 2019) and four-time winners of the English League (in 1902, 1909, 1919, and 1929). Their most recent appearance in the UEFA Champions League final was in 2006 when they faced Madrid, beating them 2-1 at the end of a tense final day of the competition.
In the Premier League, the Merseysiders have made a habit of turning up in the final stages of the competition and going on to win it. Back in October 2019, Liverpool became the first team in Premier League history to recover from a 0-3 deficit to win a game (5-3 over Leicester City). That was followed up by an identical comeback against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the following round. In the semi-finals of the Champions League, Jürgen Klopp's team are perfect in two-leg draws, winning 99% of their home games in the process (11 out of 11).
Spurs, as mentioned above, are another side well-positioned to walk away with the prize due to the number of trophies collected over the years. The London club are two-time Premier League champions (in 1990 and 1992) and four-time FA Cup winners (in 1977, 1978, 1992, and 2019). They were also victorious in this year’s FA Cup final against Chelsea, winning 5-3 on aggregate (after trailing 3-0 and 1-0). Having said that, the bookmakers have shifted the odds on Spurs in recent weeks, cutting them from 4/5 (1.2) to 1/5 (1.8) in the last month alone.
Manchester City are the third team favored to win the upcoming tournament. Pep Guardiola’s men have triumphed in the Premier League on 10 occasions and lifted the FA Cup on five occasions. They are also four-time winners of the League Cup. Perhaps the biggest achievement, though, is that they have collected the English crown five times, most recently defeating Leicester City 1-0 in overtime of the most recent tournament. The bookmakers have cut the odds on City from evens (2/5) to 3/4 (1.25) in the past month, likely due to frustration at their inability to put together back-to-back title runs.
Finally, Brighton 'Hopes are the dark horse of the group. The Seagulls have impressed in recent months, reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup and coming out on top against City in both legs of their Champions League tie. Their defense has also been up to scratch, limiting the opposition to one goal per game on average. The bookmakers have moved Brighton up to 11/10 (1.8) in the past month alone, making them the second most expensive team going into the final four.
Will Any Of The Remaining Teams Surprise Us?
As mentioned above, the four remaining teams will be meeting in Kiev for the final four tournament. While the favorites mentioned above are all expected to progress through to the next stage, it is entirely possible that one of the remaining teams could steal the show. Let’s take a look at the books makers odds on the other three teams to make it to the final.
In the 2019-20 Premier League, Burnley are the only team to have managed to stay afloat in the relegation zone. The Clarets are yet to win a game this season, losing their first 11 matches before eventually rattling off four consecutive wins. In those 11 games, however, Jack Cork has shown some great skill, setting the tone on the pitch with his tenacity in both defense and attack.
Crystal Palace were the first team from the bottom to make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League in three years. The Eagles reached the last four in 2018, losing 3-2 to Barcelona in the Round of 16 and drawing 1-1 with Manchester United in the previous round. This year, with Wayne Rooney banned for the first two matches, Zlatan Ibrahimović put in an inspiring performance, scoring a hat trick in the last match against Ajax to secure a place in the final four.
Bournemouth are the last English team in the competition. The Cherries reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in their debut season in the Premier League in 2017 and have continued to impress, reaching the last four in the competition this year. While they may not be overwhelming favorites to win the tournament like the other four teams, they could pull off a shock or two.
While we await the beginning of the tournament, let’s take a look at how the sportsbooks are laying their odds on the four remaining teams. Liverpool are the prohibitive favorites to win the competition, backed at 11/5 (1.8), followed by Spurs, Man City, and Brighton. The first three are all at 4/5 (1.2), with the latter priced at 11/10 (1.8). When it comes to underdogs, City are the team to beat at 11/10 (1.8), with Brighton next at 7/2 (2.0) and Liverpool and Spurs both at 15/1 (3.0). The only other team to beat the favorites is Aston Villa at 33/1 (3.3).