How does the Premier League Expected Points (xPTs) table look going into April?

The Premier League has enjoyed 28 wonderful and not-so-wonderful matchdays. Arsenal currently lead the Premier League, eight points ahead of Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title with April dawning. Arsenal’s last Premier League title was in 2003-04 under the management of Arsene Wenger and a long drought could end this season.

Manchester City were expected to have another close title fight for the Premier League title when the season kicked off. However, Liverpool were the team everyone believed would push the Cityzens again. Arsenal have replaced Liverpool this season as Man City’s main rival. 

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the table, there is a relegation battle for the ages. Any combination of nine teams could go down to the Championship at the end of the campaign. Crystal Palace are in 12th place and separated by just four points from 20th-place Southampton. The relegation race is tight, and the teams in the lower half of the table are all good enough (or bad enough) to take points off each other.

The Premier League table tells us how each team has performed throughout the campaign. However, the Premier League Expected Points (xPTs) tell us how the teams should really be doing. The xPTs standings do not actually match up with the real points standings. There are some differences, and it is easy to see which teams have overperformed in 2022-23 and which clubs have underperformed to this point. 

Premier League table

TeamPointsGames played
Man City6127
Man United5026
Aston Villa3827
Crystal Palace2728
Nott Forest2627
West Ham2426

Arsenal lead the league in terms of real points with an eight-point gap between the Gunners and Manchester City. Meanwhile, West Ham, Bournemouth, and Southampton are all in the relegation zone. It doesn’t take much to see that things can change at both ends of the table over the next two months. 

Manchester City have a game in hand and must play Arsenal one more time in the league. The Cityzens can certainly overtake the Gunners in the title race. Arsenal must still go to Liverpool and play Chelsea, along with playing Man City at the Etihad Stadium. 

With teams from 12th to 20th so close in the standings, it is likely that the teams in the bottom three will change from week to week. It isn’t unthinkable for the bottom three to change after every matchday, especially with the relegation battlers playing each other in Premier League six-point fixtures.

Are Arsenal the bookmakers’ favourite to win the Premier League?

Bookmakers have Arsenal as the favourite to win the league going into April. The Gunners are at the odds of 8/13 to win the title and end Man City’s recent run of championships. City begin April at odds of 11/8 to win the Premier League. If the Cityzens can win against the Gunners at the Etihad Stadium on April 26, then the odds for Man City to win the league could shorten. 

The odds for any other team to win the Premier League outside of Arsenal and Man City are incredibly long. Why? Because no other club can realistically claim the title. Man United are still mathematically in the title race, but they are at odds of 150/1. Newcastle are fourth in odds to win the league at 500/1. 

The Premier League is once again a two-horse title race. But should it be? The Premier League title race would look very different based on xPTs. 

Expected Points Table

TeamxPTsGames played
Man City60.2127
Man United44.3326
West Ham36.7227
Aston Villa35.5527
Crystal Palace27.9528
Nottingham Forest24.1727

What does the xPTs table show us?

It is clear to see from the xPTs standings that the Premier League has some overachievers and some underachievers. The xPTs table clearly shows that Manchester City should be atop the Premier League table based on xPTs. Arsenal have overachieved this season by 11.78 points, picking up points when they should have dropped them. 

Brighton will start April in seventh place, yet xPTs shows us that the Seagulls should be in a Champions League qualification place. Liverpool, who have been awful for most of the campaign, are basically on target. The Reds have a 2.14-point difference between real points and xPTs. 

At the bottom of the table, Crystal Palace should be in the relegation zone based on xPTs, rather than 12th. The Eagles sacked Patrick Vieira at the end of March and brought back Roy Hodgson for the relegation fight. The top brass at Crystal Palace must have seen the xPTs table before making their decision. Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth join Crystal Palace in the xPTs relegation zone, while Southampton and West Ham are out of danger. 

Indeed, West Ham are the team at the bottom of the Premier League table that has underachieved the most. Based on xPTs, West Ham should be 10th in the Premier League and should have 12.72 points more than they do going into April. 

Should xPTs influence betting?

Expected points are merely a calculation to determine what should be happening in the league. It explains team performance or underperformance. It considers variables that can be quantified. It cannot calculate things that cannot be qualified, such as desire, leadership, skills, weather, injuries, etc. 

However, it can give you some insight into where to bet your money. An overachieving team could potentially come back to earth. Meanwhile, an underachiever may only continue to get worse as time goes on. 

Southampton currently lead the bookmakers’ relegation odds at 4/11. Based on xPTs, the Saints should be out of the relegation zone right now. Crystal Palace are currently 5/1 to be relegated, yet the xPTs table tells us they would be relegated if the season ended at the beginning of April.