Betting Firms Enjoying Premier League Volatility
The greater volatility in Premier League results and the challenge to the traditional “Big Four” (Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal) by Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur this season are good news for the betting firms like William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Paddy Power.

And the weekend’s football results have shaken up the betting in the market for the English Premier League Champions 2011/2012. After Sunday’s (23 October 2011) 6-1 defeat of Manchester United in the Manchester derby and Chelsea’s loss at QPR, bookmakers have made Manchester City new favourites to be Premier League Champions.
William Hill offer Manchester City at 11/10, Manchester United at 15/8, Chelsea 4/1, and Liverpool at 40/1. City currently top the Premier League table with 25 points, 5 more than United, with Chelsea in third.
The Manchester derby was United’s first loss in the league this season. 

Last season the champions went unbeaten in the league at home and lost four times away from home. Chelsea have now lost twice in the league, following Sunday’s defeat by QPR.
Paddy Power claimed that the firm had just seven customers who backed the correct 6-1 score in the Manchester derby at odds of 500/1, with the largest stake being GB£2 (Source: Twitter @paddypower). 
On Betfair a price of 200 (199/1) was matched on there being over 6.5 goals in the match.
With 89 matches played so far in the league this season there have been 23 drawn matches, giving a draw percentage of 26%. This compares with a draw percentage of 36% at the same point of last season (32 draws from 90 matches).
In traditional pre-match 1X2 (home-draw-away) betting the draw was usually the most profitable results for betting operators. But the rise of in-running betting has lessened the importance of pre-match betting on the final result to bookmakers because customers can continue to bet as the action unfolds. 
Global Betting and Gaming Consultants‚ Chief Executive Warwick Bartlett commented: “Football is becoming an increasingly important part of a betting shop’s gross win. A recent survey for William Hill found that regular football bettors tend to be more affluent than regular racing bettors or machine players. Online, in-play betting on football has really captured the customers‚ interest and is helping to drive an increase in gross win.
“A run of good or bad football results during a month can cause a large fluctuation in the gross win percentage. Over the course of a season a rise or fall in the gross win margin of just a few tenths of a percentage point can be the difference between holding onto or paying out GB £5 – 6 million for the likes of Ladbrokes and William Hill’s online sports books.”