Improving United not good enough for title
No betting system is infallible but those who have followed Jose Mourinho in his second season at various clubs may beg to differ.
Mourinho won the Portuguese title and the Champions League with Porto during his second full season in 2003-04 having arrived in January 2002, while both stints at Chelsea saw the Portuguese claim second-season Premier League glory in 2006 and 2015.
It was even better at Inter as Mourinho led them to a tremendous treble in 2010 and with Real Madrid in 2012 he managed to dethrone Pep Guardiola's mighty Barcelona by nine points in La Liga.
Now it is campaign two at Manchester United and Premier League improvement looks assured even if the run of second-season titles comes to an end following last term's sixth-place finish.
That was Mourinho's worst league season of his career, although the League Cup and Europa League triumphs meant it was a successful campaign of sorts at Old Trafford, particularly with their backdoor qualification to the Champions League.
It was a marathon 64-match campaign for United which definitely took its toll on a squad hit by injuries, although the Red Devils still managed a 25-game unbeaten league run.
However, draws held them back and ten of those came at Old Trafford. Sharing the spoils against Liverpool and Arsenal is acceptable but being held by the likes of Bournemouth, West Brom, West Ham, Stoke, Swansea, Burnley and Hull is less so.
Turning one point into three will be fundamental in United's potential charge up the table so step forward supposed flat-track bully Romelu Lukaku, who was snatched from under the noses of Chelsea to replace the out-of-contract Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Premier League's official statistics showed that United missed 50 "big chances" last season - which was a top-flight high - and Lukaku is seen as one of the most reliable around when it comes to putting the smaller sides to the sword.
Lukaku's friendship with Paul Pogba should help both men and better will be expected of the Frenchman this season, while the same can also be said of fellow 2016 arrivals Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who missed 27 league matches between them.
That probable improvement, however, is more than factored into the title odds and others make more appeal.
United scored 26 home league goals last season, two fewer than relegated Hull.