Win, lose or draw, West Ham is a ridiculously big price to beat Southampton in Saturday’s English Premier League game between the teams ranked sixth and seventh respectively.
Bet365 and BetVictor are quoting West Ham, which is sixth on the English Premier League ladder after 24 rounds – five points ahead of seventh-placed Southampton – at the crazy odds of +475 to come away from St Mary’s with a victory.
Many punters use the English Premier League ladder as their only reference point before framing betting markets in their head. One is not as fan of that approach but adherents to it must be shocked to see West Ham at odds of +475 for an away win over a Southampton side below it. Generally speaking, visiting teams that are ranked higher than their hosts do not kick off at odds above around the +250 mark. There are exceptions, of course – Leicester at Manchester City is one – but they are few and far between. One cannot fathom why West Ham are so on the nose with bookmakers, particularly because Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has said that England striker Andy Carroll is likely to return from injury.
It is not just the English Premier League ladder and West Ham’s health news that make one interested in the Hammers. One’s English Premier League collateral form analysis not only rates West Ham above Southampton but also says that the Hammers have outperformed the Saints in big matches. West Ham enjoys a 9-2-8 English Premier League collateral form lead over Southampton, including a 2-1 victory in December’s reverse fixture at the Boleyn Ground in which Carl Jenkinson put the ball into his own net before Michail Antonio and the aforementioned Carroll turned the game on its head late on. In English Premier League matches versus top-eight sides, West Ham holds a 5-1-1 English Premier League collateral form advantage over Southampton, while the numbers blow out to 8-1-2 in favour of the Hammers against top-12 teams. The English Premier League contains quite a few below-standard sides this season and, at the risk of being unkind to them and Southampton, the Saints have padded out their results versus the likes of Bournemouth, Sunderland and Swansea.
Aside from a 1-4 derby loss at Tottenham, most of West Ham’s English Premier League performances against the top flight’s heavyweights have been excellent, with the Hammers taking four points off Manchester City, winning 2-0 at Arsenal and drawing 0-0 at Manchester United. One is not too proud to admit that Bilic has proved one wrong in his first season managing West Ham, although one remains confident that the relationship between the law graduate and the Hammers will end in tears eventually given his extraordinary personality.
Round 25 of the English Premier League is peculiar in that it throws up no fewer than four teams – Leicester (7-1-11 versus Manchester City), West Bromwich (12-1-6 versus Newcastle), Manchester United (11-3-5 versus Chelsea) and West Ham who, strictly based on one’s collateral form analysis, warrant support at their respective odds.
There is a saying in the betting business that one cannot beat value, though, and one thinks that Leicester (away to the English Premier League title favourite), West Bromwich (the division’s second lowest away scorer) and Manchester United (away to a Chelsea side that is unbeaten in its last 10 games across all competitions) are likely to fall short of road glory. One thinks that West Ham is a live chance of making the return journey along the M3 with three points. We talk more about Leicester’s chance plus other tips in our regular Premier League column.
West Ham to beat Southampton
6th February 17:30 GMT
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