Another bumper weekend of football, but what conclusions did the We Love Betting boys come to?
Is the Britannia no longer a fortress?
Stoke finished sixth in last year's Home Table. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal were all beaten at the Britannia Stadium and with 5 wins in their last 6 home games, Stoke became a great team to back at home.
That pattern looked set to continue into this season with opening home fixtures against Aston Villa and Leicester looking very winnable, sadly for Stoke backers though Mark Hughes' men haven't been reading the script. On opening day they succumbed to a 1-0 loss against Aston Villa, and then on Saturday lost by the same scoreline to newly-promoted Leicester.
What's going on? If their poor home form continues (Newcastle up next on September 29) then the 10/1 with Bet365 on relegation won't be the worst double-figure quote we've ever seen.
Aston Villa – are you the real deal?
Aston Villa to be relegated was a popular ante-post selection amongst the betting public this summer, but the Midland club have started the season in fine form with 10 points out of the opening 12 on offer. Saturday's shock 1-0 win over Liverpool propelled Villa into the Top 2 and pushed their relegation odds out to 9/1 with Ladbrokes.
We're about to learn a lot more about Paul Lambert's side as they face a brutal set of fixtures in the coming weeks. Having overcome Liverpool, they now have to face Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Everton in their next four Premier League games. What price for relegation will they be after those games? Almost certainly shorter than 9/1.
Blackpool are handicap material
Blackpool moved off the bottom of the Championship when collecting their first point of the season in an entertaining goalless draw with Wolves on Saturday and the Tangerines could be worth siding with in the handicap markets going forward.
Not since their opening day loss at Nottingham Forest have the Seasiders suffered defeat by more than a one-goal margin. Boss Jose Riga hinted at a ‘siege mentality' amongst his players after the game and although they've managed a paltry three goals from their six league fixtures, they're proving a tough nut to crack.
Next up is a home visit from Watford with the layers dangling 8/11 on the hosts +0.75 in the Asian Handicap market (here, you'll only lose half your stake should Blackpool lose by one goal and receive a full payout if they avoid defeat) which holds plenty more appeal than the current best of 1/5 on Blackpool being relegated this season.
Koby's recall could damage Cheltenham's promotion bid
Cheltenham manager Mark Yates was full of praise for his side despite them suffering their first League Two loss of the season at Luton. But perhaps more damaging was the news that Koby Arthur had played his last game for the club. The wing wizard has been recalled by parent club Birmingham following a dazzling loan spell in which he netted three of the Robins' seven league goals.
Saturday was the third time Yates' side had failed to find the back of the net and goals could be a factor if Cheltenham are going to realise their potential and challenge for promotion.
Bookmakers have already caught up on the lack of goals for the Whaddon Road club with the Robins just 9/20 to score Under 1.5 Goals against a resolute Southend side on Tuesday night; instead look towards taking the Under 1.5 Goals in the Total Goals market at 21/10 – it's a bet that would have collected in five of Cheltenham's seven league games whilst Southend have yet to see more than two goals in any of their League Two matches.