English Football: Outright market moves to watch this Christmas
While many people tend to ignore outright odds when a European football season is halfway done, there is still an opportunity for people to back teams before tough (or easy) festive run-ins see their odds change. This winter, the present-day growth of online betting will once more combine well with late-19th-century tradition, as the English football calendar once more enters its ‘festive’ period. Here is our look at the teams in the top two English leagues who could see their odds of relegation or promotion change drastically over the Christmas period.
These are the current favourites for Premier League and Championship relegation, and the opponents they face between 15 and 30 December.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have wobbled of late – and at exactly the wrong time. As reported by The Guardian, they closed out November with a 2-0 home defeat to Huddersfield, and thus entered December on the back of a return of just one point from fifteen. Ironically, that point came in what was considered to be Wolves’ toughest fixture of the five; a 1-1 draw, away to Arsenal. However, it is still a five-game run that stands in stark contrast to the one that preceded it, in which Wolves took a staggering thirteen points and established themselves as an outside contender for a Europa League qualification berth.
With Wolves facing three away fixtures over Christmas, in addition to two home matches against Champions League participants, the time to back Wolves to drop is now. As of 27 November 2018, their relegation odds on Betway have shortened drastically to just 66/1 and, while they can at least defend reasonably well – unlike fellow newcomers Cardiff and Fulham – these are troubled times at Molineux. Speaking of Fulham, Wolves travel to Craven Cottage on Boxing Day. As reported by BBC Sport, they beat the midland club there earlier this year and, in facing an endangered Huddersfield shortly after, Fulham’s odds of relegation look ripe to lengthen as we ring in the New Year.
With Fulham still high off the ‘bounce effect’ provided by Claudio Ranieri’s appointment, there are also special markets devoted to him emulating his achievement with Leicester City in 2019/20. While the Italian struggled after leading Leicester to the once-unthinkable, there were mitigating circumstances at play – such as N’Golo Kante leaving for Chelsea. Thus, however tenuously, ‘Ranieri to win the title with Fulham’ makes for an intriguing ‘specialist’ outright market!
Analysed: Ranieri’s ability to keep Fulham up. [Source: Sky Sports via Youtube]
The EFL Championship
With the Swans playing three of their first four festive fixtures at home between 15 and 29 December, the festive period will be an absolutely unmissable opportunity for the Swans to bounce back into the Premier League at the first attempt. With parachute payments from May’s relegation set to stop in 2021, ‘sooner rather than later’ seems to be the mantra around South Wales. Lately, the Liberty Stadium has been witness to some erratic results, with Swansea spending much of the past six weeks mixing vital wins with avoidable defeats.
Only a trip to flailing Hull City breaks up those three games, which further aids the argument for Swansea’s contention. At least two of Swansea’s home fixtures in that period look (on paper) to be safe home bankers, with neither Sheffield Wednesday nor Wigan truly impressing at the moment. Meanwhile, Boxing Day visitors Aston Villa endured a largely miserable November on the road, but know they have enough talent to turn it around.
Where relegation is concerned, one of those teams could find themselves in an unwanted spotlight over Christmas, and possibly feature in Premium Picks for all the wrong reasons. In contrast to Swansea, Sheffield Wednesday have a killer schedule after travelling to the Liberty Stadium on 15 December. After playing an improving Preston side at home, trips to promotion-chasing West Brom and Middlesbrough could see Wednesday’s relegation odds shorten drastically. With the Owls just three points clear of the relegation zone prior to November’s final round of league fixtures, now is the time to back Jos Luhukay’s team to drop.
Why consider outright betting?
Betting on individual events, such as horse races and athletic events – which can be settled in mere moments – offers a quick result and equally-quick payout. However, for those who want a potentially greater payout, at the price of a longer period of suspense, outright betting guarantees much more memorable and enjoyable experience. With many mathematical elements for bettors to utilise, even at the halfway point of a season, the payouts for a more daring outright bet can be far more rewarding, compared to those possible for an individual event.
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