The key to successful early season football betting is to find the teams that bookmakers have either underrated or overrated and punt with conviction accordingly.
Comfortably the best European football bet on Tuesday is underrated Leyton Orient to beat overrated Coventry in the English Capital One Cup first round, a punt that BetVictor are offering at huge odds of around 2.30.
Leyton Orient would have to be London’s least glamorous team in England’s top four divisions. The Os live in the shadow of West Ham and, much to the amusement of football fans of other capital sides, made a pitch for the right to be the tenant of the city’s Olympic Stadium. That was never going to happen, no matter how many strings well known Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn pulled behind the scenes.
Top of English League One after one round thanks to its 5-1 win at Carlisle, Leyton Orient is not one of the bookmakers’ favourites to secure promotion to the English Championship. But the Os were good value for their seventh position last term and, under Russell Slade, they should challenge for a play-off berth over the next nine months. How Coventry supporters wished that they were looking forward to the season as much of fans of their knockout opponent.
Coventry was a member of the English elite for 34 terms in a row and it lifted aloft the English FA Cup in 1987 after one of the all-time great finals. Those days are long gone for the Sky Blues, though. The English Football League penalised them 10 points on the eve of the new season and they slumped to a 2-3 loss at Crawley. Coventry fought back from 0-2 down to draw level at 2-2 only to concede a late goal. Morale is at rock bottom and the Sky Blues have yet to suffer the embarrassment of playing a home game in Northampton.
Bookmakers could have posted Leyton Orient at odds on and no-one would have blinked, least of all Coventry fans who know that their team is on the football equivalent of a road to nowhere. Anything over 2.10 about the Os is great value.
Sticking with the English Capital One Cup for now and the south coast derby between Bournemouth and Portsmouth leaps off the coupons thanks to the Cherries being ripe for picking at odds of around 1.70 to defeat Pompey.
Bournemouth kicked off its English Championship campaign after promotion from English League One with a 2-1 home victory over Charlton. The Cherries were the clear form outfit in the third tier last term and they should settle away from the relegation zone one level up. Eddie Howes would be elected Mayor of Bournemouth if he ran for office.
Portsmouth was a false favourite for the English League Two before a ball was kicked. Pompey have been booted off top spot in betting markets following their 1-4 home loss to Oxford. It sounds as if Portsmouth were the better side for the first 30 minutes before the U’s equalised and knocked the stuffing out of Guy Whittingham’s team. The bottom line is that Pompey do not deserve to be anything like the odds that they are away to a side two steps above it on the English football pyramid so back Bournemouth to win the local scrap.
Brentford and Dagenham & Redbridge did not surprise punters on Saturday and, at odds of around 1.60, at PaddyPower the Bees look good value to sting the Daggers in the English Capital One Cup first round. Brentford drew 1-1 at Port Vale, while Dagenham & Redbridge lost 1-3 at Fleetwood. The Bees, provided that they approach the tie professionally, should be at least two goals too strong for the Daggers. Remarkably, Dagenham & Redbridge has never won a match in this competition.
The UEFA Champions League third qualifying round continues on Tuesday but, frustratingly, no betting opportunities equal those available in the English Capital One Cup first round. Steaua ought to beat Dinamo Tbilisi in Romania but that is reflected in the home team trading at odds of around 1.36. Maribor did not perform sufficiently well against APOEL in Cyprus to warrant support at odds of around 2.38 for its home leg. And the same goes for Fenerbahce, which is available at odds of around 1.90 versus Salzburg.