What Were The Odds Of That?
Writer. 23. Mainly DailyMirror & Mirror Football but also Guardian Sport, ESPNFC and Betfair Sports. Surname rhymes with Galleon.
What were the biggest upsets of the weekend in European football? Who got caught short betting in-play? Today on the blog Ed Malyon takes look over the weekend's suprising and not so surprising football results.
While many people will have had their eyes on the smooth-swinging Ian Poulter and the wild-swinging odds at the Ryder Cup this weekend, there were plenty of ups and downs in the football back across the Atlantic on the old continent.
Spurs Scalp United
While there was no sign of the busted 1/40s that plagued the US golf team in the English Premier League, Manchester United were the biggest scalp of the weekend, getting comfortably beaten by Tottenham Hotspur even though they kicked off as 1.53 favourites (average price).
The thing about Man United is that they will always be backed blind by many punters due to their name, but this year’s side is very different and with an injury crisis compounding the problems for a questionable-looking defence, United were never a side for backing at that price. Nonetheless, with Tottenham’s start to the season, it was very difficult to back them – even at north of 5/1.
Palace & Peterborough
There were bigger prices than that gazumped in England, both in the Championship. Despite being level on points, Bolton kicked off against Crystal Palace as 1.55 favourites, a ludicrous price given that the Eagles had won three of their last four, with the dropped points coming in a dominant performance against Nottingham Forest. The Trotters had only won three of eight games, and anyone backing them at such a feeble price got their just deserts when a Glenn Murray penalty secured a win for the visitors.
The biggest of them all was unforeseeable, with rock-bottom Peterborough turning around a record of seven wins in seven to humiliate promotion-chasing Hull. The Posh were as long as 8.5 before kick-off, with the hosts a teeny 1.4.
In Spain, there is very rarely any interest in backing the big two, but at kick-off we saw Barcelona at their longest price for any league game so far this season. They travelled to Sevilla, and their in-form hosts looked good for the win until Barcelona turned it round in an impressive yet controversial fashion.
2-0 up in the second half, Sevilla traded in the 1.2 region briefly and even as late at the 88th minute you could still back Barca in huge, double figure odds.
But Barca’s longest price of the season is probably not the most intriguing thing from Spain; more of note is that every single favourite won in their Primera Liga game this weekend.
This is obviously quite a rare occurrence, with one of football’s major attractions being that it is an unpredictable game, which can even be used to one’s advantage in gambling terms . But is Spain becoming too predictable?
This is not the first time that the question is being asked, but today we ask it not simply in a “Barcelona and Real Madrid will finish in the top two” sort of way, but throughout the league.
This weekend’s clean sweep is obviously not happening on a regular basis, but last weekend only two favourites didn’t win – and in one of those, there were bookies that had both sides evenly-matched.
Early on in the season (even earlier than now, that is) there were some big shocks, with 10/1+ Getafe beating Real Madrid, as well as Sevilla, but with the favourites missing out far more frequently in the first few weeks than their barren run of just two, possibly even one, in the last twenty La Liga games, perhaps it just suggests that the bookies have now got a good judgement on the league after only five rounds of fixtures.
The same can’t be said for Germany’s Bundesliga, with an almost weekly parade of big-priced winners in a competition that has been blown wide open by two surprise packages.
Newly-promoted Eintracht Frankfurt have won sixteen points from a possible eighteen to lie in second place, overturning the odds in all but two of their fixtures.
Fortuna Dusseldorf are not flying as high, though still comfortable in sixth, yet their games show an even more surprising twist. Having not conceded in their first five games in the division they shocked everyone, including the bookmakers, and the most likely result according to 1x2 odds at kick-off has not come in once in their six matches in the Bundesliga this season.
So what have we learnt this week?
In England it’s probably prudent to be wary of the big names, but in Spain you can follow the bookie.
The Bundesliga? Well Fortuna favours the brave, so don’t be backing the favourites in any of their games.
Follow Ed on Twitter : @eaamalyon
You can read more of Ed's thoughts at The Mirror
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Tottenham's win was "due". It had been so long for them since they won against United and what better timing than with the Red Devils' defence in shambles and with a start of the season that has not been very flattering for them (as usual actually).
I wouldn't say "comfortably beaten" though since Rooney's introduction in the second half pushed United's efforts and in all honesty they did deserve a point from that one.