Hammers look a fair bet for Saturday
PUBLISHED: 11:43 15 August 2013 | UPDATED: 11:43 15 August 2013
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The Premier League is back and West Ham United welcome Cardiff City to Upton Park on Saturday knowing they have won four of their last five games to nil against last season’s Championship winners – although they did lose 1-0 at home to the Welsh side on the opening day of the Championship season two years ago.
The Hammers are a shade of odds on at 20/21 to beat the Bluebirds, who are 31/10 at BetVictor to make a winning return to top-tier football with the draw at 13/5. Only Watford (39) gained more points than Cardiff (36) on their travels last term, but that was in the Championship, and they would take a point now that’s for sure.
In Andy Carroll’s absence, Kevin Nolan is 6/1 to score first, 2/1 to score at anytime and 8/1 to score two or more – with Modibo Maiga 11/2 and Ravel Morrison 10/1 to grab the opener.
Keep an eye out for Cardiff’s new signing Gary Medel, who in the period January 2011-June 2013 picked up more red cards (five) than any other player in La Liga when he was with Sevilla.
I think the Hammers are a fair price and can see them nicking it 2-1, which is priced at 17/2. Andy Carroll remains 4/6 to be top Hammers goalscorer in the Premier League this season but perhaps at 9/4, Nolan remains the shout with the England striker not likely to be back until mid-September.
Leyton Orient maintained their 100 per-cent record this season with an emphatic 3-0 win at Shrewsbury at the weekend and they remain 7/1 to be promoted at BetVictor, 1/2 to finish in the top half of the table and 3/1 to finish in the top six – and thus be guaranteed a play-off spot.
The O’s travel to Stevenage at the weekend and are favourites at 29/20 to pick up all three points with Borough 15/8 and the draw at 12/5. The hosts are yet to pick up a point so far this term but have suffered narrow defeats in both their games, including when losing out 4-3 to Oldham at the Lamex on the opening day. Sandwiched between those League defeats was a 2-0 win over Championship side Ipswich in the Capital One Cup, so this promises to be a real test for the O’s.
I wonder if you offered Russell Slade a point now would he take it? Such is the confidence in the side at present probably not, but despite being 100/1 for the title (Orient 25/1), Stevenage will be no pushover and a 1-1 scoreline at 6/1 may see the end of the O’s unblemished record this term. However, in the long term, it might be construed as a point gained rather than two lost.
Wolves are 3/1 favourites for the title with Posh 4/1 and Brentford 5/1 and they have been by far the best backed sides in the league – the early weeks of the season have been very kind to punters and the layers have taken a bit of a bashing ahead of the new Premier League season.
Dagenham & Redbridge were too good for York on Saturday and Wayne Burnett will be delighted to have got their season up and running. That win will have done wonders for the club’s confidence, but they are now second favourites at 7/2 for the drop behind Accrington Stanley who themselves got a decent point at home to Pompey last weekend.
It just shows how competitive a division it is with Fleetwood the new 3/1 favourites from Chesterfield 4/1. Pompey are big drifters out to 8/1 and Oxford 10/1.
Daggers travel north to Glanford Park to meet an Iron side yet to concede a goal in League Two this season and Scunthorpe are a shade of odds on at 37/40 to keep all three points at home with Daggers 3/1 and the draw at 13/5.
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