Andre Villas-Boas's men were originally priced 15/1 with a large head-start but that price has been backed into 8/1 as punters put their faith in last season's fifth-placed side
|Premier League Handicap Market 2013-14
|Team & Points Handicap||Price
|Manchester United (+1)||18/1|
|Manchester City (+1)||18/1|
|West Brom (+36)||15/1|
|Swansea City (+36)||15/1|
|Aston Villa (+40)||15/1|
|West Ham (+42)||15/1|
|Stoke City (+44)||15/1|
|Norwich City (+44)||15/1|
|Cardiff City (+47)||15/1|
|Hull City (+49)||15/1|
|Crystal Palace (+51)||15/1|
Every team is initially rated at around a 15/1 (16.0) shot based upon these handicaps, with most bookmakers paying four places on each-way bets, making it a popular market before the season kicks off.
Results from the last two seasons have shown very different results, with Manchester United's title victory providing joy for punters who had backed them at 15/1 (16.0) on the handicap market, where they were given a two-point advantage over rivals Manchester City.
In 2011-12 it was Manchester United who were the favourites but Newcastle's impressive fifth-place finish on 65 points was enough to see them settled as a winner, having been given a 36-point handicap, putting them a massive 12 points ahead of the pre-season market leaders once the handicaps had been applied.
This season BetVictor have determined that Spurs are likely to finish 20 points behind the winners, a mark which punters obviously believe is too large, having backed the price in from 15/1 (16.0) to 8/1 (9.0) in recent days.
Chelsea are the favourites this season, priced at 18/1 (19.0), and are the only team not given any additional points while both Manchester clubs have been given a single-point advantage at the same 18/1 (19.0) price.
Traditionally this market has been about finding a team who have been somewhat underrated by the bookmakers pre-season and therefore finish with a lot more points than they were initially expected to get, as Newcastle showed two seasons ago, and it appears that Spurs fit that bill in the early going.
Looking further down the table, though, there are some significant points totals given to teams who are expected to finish mid-table but a significant way behind the Premier League elite.
West Brom and Southampton are both given a 36-point advantage while Swansea City, who were impressive for a lot of last season, including a Capital One Cup victory in February, are given 40 points.
Of those sides who are given little chance of Premier League survival, let alone a respectable mid-table finish Crystal Palace, have been given the biggest handicap at 51 points, while fellow promoted sides Hull City and Cardiff City are credited with 49 and 47 points, respectively.
Punters who are considering getting involved in this market must remember that their selection must not only finish above the favourites to win the Premier League title once their handicap is applied but they must also outperform the other teams in the division once their respective additional points have been added on.
Although at 15/1 (16.0), anyone who can identify the most underrated team in the list can earn significant rewards from doing so. Just ask backers of Manchester United in this market last season.
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Jim Knight is Chief Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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