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.
Liverpool bury yet another favourites tag
The Asian markets continue to pummel Liverpool into short pre-match prices, especially at home, and this weekend was no different. Stoke City were never likely to beat Liverpool, but they are a side that has made their name as a (now) established mid-table Premier League side by being exceptionally hard to beat.
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool project has hardly had the smoothest of starts, yet despite Stoke holding Manchester City two weeks ago, and then only losing by one goal at Stamford Bridge the week after, the average price for a Reds win on Sunday was 1.48 across major bookmakers.
Given that these two teams that have already proven to be far stronger than Liverpool are this season, that they were as low as 1.43, even at home, is absolute insanity given their struggles to convert their large amounts of possession into anything of substance.
It was the sixth Premier League game this season in which the Anfield club have started out as favourites, and they have only obliged with a victory once – against a horrendous Norwich side who are doomed to relegation.
Rodgers’ side are showing signs of improvement, but until if definitively starts to click, it seems sage to take advantage of these vast swathes of Liverpool backers and lay the short prices.
As it was across seemingly most of the continent on Sunday night, it was derby day in Milan as Inter (notionally) took the trip to play rivals AC. It’s very rare that the two sides should both struggle at the same time, but both Massimiliano Allegri and Andrea Stramaccioni have experienced very tough starts to the season and this derby was always going to pile even more pressure on the losing manager.
The average prices made the Rossoneri favourites prior to kick-off (2.33), but as is so often the case with such even and high-tempered affairs there can be little temptation in backing the outrights so people turn their attention to the overs and unders.
With both sides averaging less than 2.5 total goals per game in Serie A this season, the unders seemed to always represent the value, and available at 1.98 prior to kick-off they duly obliged with just the Walter Samuel header troubling the scoreboard.
Milan are now an astonishing 46.00 to win the Scudetto.
Livin’ La Liga loca
“Is it too predictable?” we asked last week, “have the bookmakers sussed out La Liga?”
Well no, not yet it seems. After a clean sweep of victories for the favourites last week, only five could fulfil expectations this weekend, and just two of those were odds-on. The largest shock was Granada’s win at Mallorca, defying odds north of 3/1, while the biggest game in Spain was undoubtedly el clásico, where the least likely outcome occurred, as the teams played out a thrilling draw (3.77 average price, 4.1 best).
The biggest upshot of the Messi and Ronaldo show from Sunday evening is that Real couldn’t claw any points back on their eternal rivals, with their price for winning the league now out to around 4.8, and touching 5.5 before their late equaliser at the Camp Nou.
Bayern roll on
Bavarian giants Bayern Munich maintained their 100% start to the season, albeit at prices as low as 1/10 before beating Hoffenheim this weekend.
Louis Van Gaal’s side are one of just three clubs in Europe’s five biggest leagues that have started all of their league games this season as favourites – along with Manchester City and Barcelona – but their prices have been far lower with an average price to win of just under 1.4 at kick-off.
After such a good start it’s little surprise that the odds of the title heading to the Allianz Arena come May have come tumbling down, and at just 1.21 best price for the Bundesliga there’s hardly a queue of people rushing to back Bayern.
Follow Ed on Twitter : @eaamalyon
You can read more of Ed's thoughts at The Mirror
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