Last weekend I found myself wondering exactly how much longer the Championship would last without a major story line. I didn’t have to wait too long for the answer: when I starting putting this post together on Thursday, the following events had taken place:
So there you go. The games to keep an eye on tomorrow are a pair of matches in a top six/bottom six double bill: Brentford v Wigan and Rotherham v Newcastle. The televised game is Norwich against Wolves (SS2, 5:30pm)
Anyway, I promised that the second part of the market reports series would feature this week, so here it is:
It won’t come as much of a surprise to read that Newcastle, Norwich and Brighton have all seen their odds for promotion shorten over the last month, something that’s underlined by the fact that the three of them are the clear favourites in the ‘Top Six Finish’ markets.
After that, it starts to get interesting: Huddersfield are still available at 4/1 for promotion, but they aren’t really a decent proposition in the ‘Top Six’ market. Surprisingly, despite their recent form the bookies are still very unsure about Sheffield Wednesday: the Owls odds for promotion drifted between after the season began, but are now the same – 4/1 – as they were at the start of July.
At the bottom, Rotherham have been cut to 3/10 for the drop, which is – to put it in laymen’s terms – a 75% chance of relegation. The Millers are a classic case of a poor team performing at an ever lower level than they did last season and although there’s still three quarters of the season left, at this point it’s difficult to make a case for them staying up. Oddly enough, the best strategy for the Millers might be to lay them for relegation on the exchanges and then trade out if Alan Stubbs’ side puts a decent run together.
Over the last four weeks, Derby, Fulham and QPR have all had their odds for relegation slashed. However, there appear to be different reasons for this. Derby have been poor and QPR were probably overrated before the season started but Fulham have actually been performing at a slightly better level than they were this time last season. The most interesting move has been Cardiff: my current projection has them relegated on goal difference along with Blackburn and Rotherham.
I’d perhaps wait until after the international break if you’re thinking about betting on some of these markets. One of the rumours doing the rounds on social media is that David Wagner may move from Huddersfield to Derby, which would not only be a questionable career move but would also have implications for both clubs. Then there’s the situation at Cardiff if Paul Trollope gets the chop, which is also possible.
I’ll be back in a couple of weeks, unless anything dramatic happens. And by dramatic, I mean really dramatic, like the discovery of football on Mars or something.