It is the silly season in many European football divisions when bookmakers throw up odds that, quite frankly, make no sense whatsoever based on the performance of the sides over more than 90 per cent of the competition’s lengthy duration.
The game that one has cherry picked as representing the best one in which to back the outsider team is Saturday’s English Championship match between Rotherham and Norwich, with the Merry Millers trading at the huge odds of +500 with many bookmakers, including BetVictor and Ladbrokes.
Rotherham is in the English Championship relegation fight and the Merry Millers could find themselves in even greater peril if the English Football League penalises them for fielding an ineligible player in their 1-0 victory over Brighton on Easter Monday. Three points is the standard deduction for such an offence and Rotherham’s margin over 22nd-placed Millwall stands at four points currently.
It would be fair to rate Rotherham’s match at home to Norwich as the toughest of its three English Championship games left but the Merry Millers cannot afford to write off any chance to accrue points given their predicament. So one expects that Rotherham will be up for Saturday’s match, probably even more so than promotion-chasing Norwich.
That is a big call one hears you say. Well, Norwich may be only two points outside the English Championship’s top two but the Canaries are going to need a lot of external help to leapfrog two out of Bournemouth, Middlesbrough and Watford before the regular season ends. Bournemouth, Middlesbrough and Watford each face two English Championship opponents with nothing for which to play other than pride – to put it bluntly, Norwich requires six points from its two games and at least a couple of shocks in the matches featuring the Cherries, Boro and Hornets. And morale in Norwich’s squad must have taken a hit following Middlesbrough’s 1-0 away victory over the Canaries in what was, arguably, the most important English Championship game so far this season.
Norwich entertained Rotherham in English Championship action six months ago and the Canaries had to come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw. Norwich has improved for replacing Neil Adams with Alex Neil – the former Hamilton manager is the real deal – but the fact remains that the Canaries did not fly at home to Rotherham and now they are odds on to do the business on the road versus highly motivated adversaries.
What should the market on the English Championship match between Rotherham and Norwich look like? Well, one thinks that Norwich should be around even money to pick up three points, which means that Rotherham should be available at odds in the vicinity of +250 . One can back Rotherham to win at odds of +500 , to win on the draw-no-bet option at odds of +375 with WilliamHill and to not lose at odds of +148 with 888Sport and Unibet. All those options are smarter than backing Norwich to win at odds of -161 with SkyBet.
Now is the time to keep one’s eyes open for value football bets that, according to the raw ladder, are well over the odds. If you think this week is good then wait until the final round of games in the three English Football League divisions because there are sure to be some real rippers.
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