Bookie’s Advantage Gameweek 1

FPL returns this weekend — and with it, captaincy dilemmas, benching headaches as well as an endless number of drafts dreamt up and destroyed only for us to immediately regret our decision come deadline time.

It’s been a while, but Bookie’s Advantage is back to aid your endeavours to smash the first gameweek of this new season.

About Bookie’s Advantage

We use bookmaker’s odds to pick the perfect FPL team for the upcoming gameweek, including selecting the best captain.

Bookmakers make a living from predicting the future. Simply put, bookmakers set odds to represent what they believe is the most likely outcome of an event. It gets a bit more complex, but in a liquid market (many bettors), the odds should accurately predict the likelihood of an outcome. If the odds are way off, that creates arbitrage that will be exploited quickly by traders.

We translate bookmaker’s odds into percentages. Note that we don’t remove the bookmaker’s margin, so the likelihood is realistically a few percentage points lower than in our projections.

Goalscorer Odds Gameweek 1

PlayerGoal probabilityOddsTeamPosition
Erling Haaland65%1.55MciFwd
Harry Kane61%1.65TotFwd
Heung-Min Son61%1.65TotMid
Mohamed Salah57%1.75LivMid
Darwin Nunez56%1.8LivFwd
Jamie Vardy53%1.9LeiFwd
Cristiano Ronaldo53%1.9MunFwd
Callum Wilson50%2NewFwd
Patson Daka45%2.2LeiFwd
Roberto Firmino45%2.2LivFwd
Kelechi Iheanacho43%2.3LeiFwd
Patrick Bamford42%2.4LeeFwd
Riyad Mahrez42%2.4MciMid
Luis Diaz42%2.4LivMid
Gabriel Jesus40%2.5ArsFwd
Ivan Perisic38%2.6TotDef
Dejan Kulusevski38%2.6TotMid
Danny Ings38%2.6AvlFwd
Ivan Toney38%2.6BreFwd
Ollie Watkins37%2.7AvlFwd
Kai Havertz37%2.7CheFwd
Kevin De Bruyne37%2.7MciMid
Eddie Nketiah36%2.8ArsFwd
Lucas Moura36%2.8TotMid
Bruno Guimaraes36%2.8NewMid
Philippe Coutinho36%2.8AvlMid
Phil Foden36%2.8MciMid
Bukayo Saka34%2.9ArsMid
Ayoze Perez33%3LeiMid
Marcus Rashford33%3MunMid
Bruno Fernandes33%3MunMid
Raheem Sterling32%3.1CheMid
James Maddison31%3.2LeiMid
Gabriel Martinelli30%3.3ArsMid
Allan Saint-Maximin30%3.3NewMid
Harvey Barnes30%3.3LeiMid
Jean-Philippe Mateta29%3.4CryFwd
Odsonne Edouard29%3.4CryFwd
Christian Benteke29%3.5CryFwd
Nicolas Pepe29%3.5ArsMid
Aleksandar Mitrovic29%3.5FulFwd
Ryan Sessegnon28%3.6TotDef
Miguel Almiron28%3.6NewMid
Mason Mount28%3.6CheMid
Jadon Sancho28%3.6MunMid
Ilkay Gundogan28%3.6MciMid
Wilfried Zaha26%3.8CryMid
Joseph Willock26%3.8NewMid
Jack Grealish26%3.8MciMid
Ryan Fraser25%4NewMid
Hwang Hee-Chan25%4WolMid
Yoane Wissa25%4BreMid
Neal Maupay25%4BhaMid
Sam Surridge23%4.4NfoFwd
Taiwo Awoniyi23%4.4NfoFwd
Deniz Undav23%4.4BhaMid
Martin Odegaard22%4.6ArsMid
Matt Doherty20%5TotDef
Pedro Neto20%5WolMid
Bryan Mbeumo20%5BreFwd
Ben Chilwell14%7CheDef
Reece James14%7CheDef
Goalscorer Odds Gameweek 1

It appears the bookies’ odds disagree with those who planned to start with Harry Kane (61%) at home to Southampton before switching over to Erling Haaland (65%) in Gameweek 2 for his plum home fixture against Bournemouth. 

The odds favour the big Norwegian even against a West Ham side ever improving under David Moyes. With the injury to their new centre-back, the Hammers will have a tough job keeping the City striker out. So, given incredible odds, Haaland gets the captain’s armband from us this week. 

When it comes to the Kane vs Haaland conundrum, the odds say stick with Erling!

For our midfield premium, it’s tough to look past Mo Salah (57%), who plays against the newly promoted Fulham. Nothing more really needs to be said about Salah. His reliability, combined with his outstanding record against newly promoted teams, means that the Egyptian King sits at the top of the pyramid in terms of midfield options.

Gabriel Jesus (40%) is favoured by the FPL community more than the bookies and sits at a whopping 72% ownership. However, this is not reflected in the odds, with the bookies slightly preferring Callum Wilson (50%). 

The Magpies’ leading man comes in £0.5m cheaper which can make all the difference when squeezing into that £100.0m budget.

Dominic Solanke (£6.0m – 41%) is the pick of the budget forwards. Aston Villa’s defence wasn’t great away from home last season, keeping just 6 clean sheets in 19 games. Solanke’s high goal involvement percentage combined with the fact he’s on penalties means he could well be this years’ Teemu Pukki.

Filling out the midfield, the bookies favour Riyad Mahrez (42%) as the pick of the bunch at £8.0m. The Algerian can score massive points when he’s on form (and on the pitch). However, with the uncertainty over minutes, more reliable options are not too far behind.

James Maddison (31%), Mason Mount (28%), Dejan Kulusevski (38%) and Bukayo Saka (34%) all provide safer expected minutes as well as a good chance of returns.

Looking at the lower end of the midfield options Bruno Guimaraes (36%) is by far the standout option. He comes in head and shoulders above the more popular picks of Gabriel Martinelli (30%) and Pedro Neto (20%).

Andreas Pereira (14%) and Josh Dasilva (12%) are filling out the bench. Fulham’s new man is playing in the number 10 role for the Cottagers. He has already nabbed a few assists from corners in pre-season. Whilst Dasilva has been tasked with filling the sizable boots of Christian Eriksson as Brentford’s main creative outlet from midfield. As a result, they occupy the 2nd and 3rd spots on our bench.

Check out our summary of the most helpful news before the gameweek 1 deadline

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Clean Sheet Odds Gameweek 1

TeamClean Sheet Probability
Man City51%
Man Utd50%
Aston Villa38%
Crystal Palace22%
Nottingham Forest20%
West Ham12%
Clean Sheet Odds Gameweek 1

Surprisingly, Man United (52%) top the billing in terms of the probability of a clean sheet going into Gameweek 1. The bookies clearly believe in Ten Hag’s ability to turn around this United defence — or perhaps it’s the fact Brighton sat firmly mid-table for goals scored away from home last season. 

Looking at specific picks, Diogo Dalot and David De Gea represent good value at their respective prices and have a secure place in the starting XI.

Manchester City (51%) were tied first for both least goals conceded (26) and clean sheets (20) last season, and no less is expected this year. Joao Cancelo is the best option in the stout City backline. Recording 1 goal and 12 assists last season, the Portuguese plays more like a midfielder than a fullback and represents excellent value even at the lofty price of £7.0m. 

Spurs’ (51%) Ivan Perisic, though a risk for minutes as he returns from a long-term injury, is also an explosive option that could make a mockery of his £5.5m price tag.

Liverpool (50%) are close behind in the odds table and present more reliable options. For the last four years, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson have arguably been the two most consistent and explosive defenders in the game. An attractive opening day fixture against newly promoted Fulham should provide these two with ample opportunity for returns at both ends of the pitch and makes the defensive double-up too hard to resist.

Nottingham Forest’s (20%) Neco Williams takes the defender’s spot on the bench. Forest have invested well and have a highly rated manager in Steve Cooper. At £4.0m and playing right wing-back, the young Welshman is the most popular budget enabler and occupies the first spot on our bench.

As our second keeper, Danny Ward (£4.0) provides a decent backup. With Leicester (35%) keeper Kasper Schemiechel completing a move away from the club this week, it’s been heavily rumoured that Ward will deputise in his absence. 

Bookie’s Dream Team and FPL Captain Gameweek 1

Haaland is our FPL Captain Gameweek 1
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We deliver Three Top Tips exclusively to our subscribers once a week. It’s a short email with a summary of the week’s three top tips and stats, nothing else! Subscribe to the newsletter that helps you win below!

Odhrán Brennan is a data journalist for a sports data company, living in Finland. He’s been playing FPL since the 06/07 season and is a long suffering fan of both Arsenal and the Republic of Ireland national team.

You can follow him on Twitter here