Football Betting: The Bigger they Come The harder They Fall

Ed Hawkins

Friday, August 18, 2017 7:26 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 7:26 PM UTC

The 2017-18 football season, if the opening skirmishes are anything to go by, looks likely to be a corker. So far there have been upsets galore right through the divisions.

None was quite as seismic as Chelsea’s capitulation to relegation fodder Burnley in the Premier League. They were 3-0 down at one point. Then there was Liverpool’s failure to beat Watford, another title fancy stuttering against an outfit expected to fear the drop.

In the Championship, heavily-backed Aston Villa have lost two of their opening three matches. And Blackburn, tipped by all and sundry to stroll to the League One pennant, have lost their first two matches.

It is a timely reminder for bettors of the importance of value and the utter folly of betting blindly on short-priced teams for various flimsy reasons. That might be because you’ve heard of some of their players, they’ve got big salaries, the club has a huge reputation or the manager wears snazzy suits. Or you are betting on them because their opponents that weekend are the opposite of those things.

Chelsea, of course, we expect to bounce back. They lost two players, rightly, to red cards so it was not that big a surprise they got beat, but there is a warning from history. In 2015-16, the season after they won the title, if you had backed Chelsea in every game you would have ended the season with minus 13.44 units. Oooof. Not so fashionable now, eh?

The +282 (Marathon) may be the perfect tempting antidote that the Blues rediscover their mojo against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

As for Villa they have been hurting pockets left, right and centre for years. If you had backed them in every game in the last four seasons you would be staring down the barrel. A whopping 25.03 units are up in smoke.

Most importantly, last season, when they were a fancy to return to the Premier League, a bet a week on the Villains, would have cost you 11.94 units.

Faith has already run out on Villa it would seem. There has been a surge of bets to see the Birmingham-based club relegated considering they have just a point to their name. Since their defeat by Reading on Tuesday 34.4 percent of bets in the market has been for Villa. That’s more than twice the amount for Burton Albion, who are a miniscule club by comparison and are punching at least one league above their weight.

It is some come down for Villa, who had dominated the title market. They were +700 for the title but are now out to a massive +1600 with BetVictor. Norwich City, organised and with plenty of potential, are a nice wager at +240 (Bet365) to cause a crisis this Saturday.

As for Blackburn, they have gone from favourites at +400 to +750 (BetVictor) for the title. And they face a horrible trip to Bradford, who know this level inside out and are a real force at home. The +125 with Coral and Ladbrokes screams respect.

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