With the start of the English Premier Soccer League starting this weekend, there is a lot of action around the league. All of this information is vital for U.S. sports bettors who might be legally betting on professional soccer for the first time in their lives.

First things first, let’s take a look at the Futures Odds to see who is favored to take the title this season. While the odds may vary a bit from one online bookmaker to the next, here is a list of the leading contenders for the 2021-2022 season.

  • Manchester City (-150)
  • Chelsea (+500)
  • Liverpool (+500)
  • Manchester United (+800)
  • Tottenham (+4000)

With the rest of the teams sitting at significantly higher odds, it is clear that there is a major drop-off between the top four teams and the rest of the league. It’s worth noting that Manchester City is the defending champion, having taken that title in three of the last four seasons.

Brentford Win And Grealish To City

In the very first game of the 2021-2022 season, Brentford beat Arsenal by a score of 2-0 on goals from Sergi Canos and Christian Norgaard. The win is historic given that Brentford was just promoted this season from the Champions League to the EPL. It’s been 74 long years since the Bees were given the opportunity to play at the highest level.

After becoming the most expensive player in Premier League history, Jack Grealish is looking to build on his excellent season in 2020-2021. New team Manchester City ponied up the huge funds for Grealish in anticipation of the England international’s ability to create from midfield. Should the 26-year-old Grealish continue his development it will be money well spent. Manchester City could end up dominating the league in the way their neighbors Man Utd did previously.

Messi Leaves Barcelona

While the soccer world prepared for the start of the EPL this week, there was even bigger news out of La Liga. After 18 years in the Barcelona soccer organization, soccer great Lionel Messi has signed with Paris Saint-Germain for the upcoming season. If nothing else, it’s a sign of the times as French soccer powerhouse and Qatar-backed PSG has used its financial resources to assemble what is nothing short of being a true soccer super team.

After the signing, Messi acknowledged that Barcelona’s financial struggles played a role in his decision. With his contract expired, it became clear that Barcelona would have great difficulty getting involved in a bidding war for Messi’s services.

Messi’s new contract is set to pay him 35 million euros and 41 million euros respectively over the next two years. The contract also comes with an option for the third year with the terms to be disclosed at some time in the future. It’s worth noting that while these are enormous sums of money, it’s still significantly less than he made from his prior contract at Barcelona. As arguably one of the greatest soccer players in history, it’s hard for anyone to argue that Messi isn’t worth the money given what he and his name have done for soccer over the last 18 years.

In his distinguished soccer career that spans 810 appearances on the soccer field, Messi has scored 683 goals, including 485 for the Barcelona Football Club. While Spanish soccer fans are sorely disappointed, the soccer world is certainly glad Messi’s career will continue for at least two more years.