Two sides who had utterly different weekend’s face-off on Saturday and your Humble Handicapper sees Norwich versus Stoke as a matchup that offers us great soccer betting value.
First things first at this stage of the season we have to say that Stoke are sitting pretty safe from relegation, 13th in the table on 30 points, that's six points clear of the dreaded dotted line. Your Humble Handicapper usually says that there is a rule of six (patented) about the sort of things, where you should allow for a six-point swing at either way before you count your chickens.
However while still perfectly true, the fact that there are seven teams worse off than Stoke and only three of them can go down I can't see Stoke going down.
A mere two points and two places behind Stoke, but in considerably more trouble is Norwich. 15th place Norwich are “just” four points ahead of the dreaded dotted line, but two of the teams behind them have a game in hand (which could see both Crystal Palace and West Brom leapfrog them) and Sunderland, the first team below the dreaded dotted line on 24 points, have two games in hand and a better goal difference than Norwich so a win and a draw to the Black Cats could see the Canaries theoretically in the drop zone.
This is all conjecture but you should note that Stoke are 20/1 to be relegated while Norwich are 7/4. It's also worth mentioning that the Norwich manager Chris Hughton is the bookies favourites to be the next Premier league manager sacked at 11/10 while Villa's Paul Lambert is at 40/1
Enough of the relegation…WHERE’S THE MONEY MIKE?
The bookies fancied Norwich winning before they fancy Stoke winning. A home victory is at 5/4 but a draw is at 23/10 and Stoke winning is a 12/5.
This fixture is a low scoring affair the last four games have only seen one goal in each of them, and three times it's gone the home side's way. You have to go all the back to August 2011 to see more than one goal in this fixture and that was in a 1-1 draw. A repeat of 1-1 is available at best soccer odds of 6/1 and is coincidently the bookies favourite score, better than a goalless draw which runs as high as 8/1.
It probably has more to do with the fact that both sides tend to concede plenty of goals. Norwich have conceded 43 goals this term, not quite two per game (on average) whereas Stoke have left in 42.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this game could be goal heavy, with such leaky defences, but we think it will be close and that you should avoid fat scorelines with your soccer picks.
If you think that absolute nonsense why not go for 3-0 victories either way, which run as high as 28/1 for Norwich and 60/1 for Stoke.
But I wouldn’t, what makes more sense as both teams to score 10/11.
Prediction: Norwich win 2-1 available at best soccer odds of 10/1 with Ladbrokes.