Could Watford be the new Blackpool? Tipped by most experts to struggle at the start of the season, they are third after eight games, having been beaten just once, and yesterday claimed their first home win 3-1 over Middlesbrough.
The victory as even more comfortable than the scoreline may suggest, with Malky Mackay’s overachieving Hornets leading after only 17 seconds, when one Boro academy product, David Wheater, inadvertently created an opening for another, Watford striker Danny Graham.
The spurned Gateshead-born front man would find the net again as Watford scored two more in the opening 20 minutes, before the visitors were handed a consolation goal in the 80th minute when Adrian Mariappa put past his own goalkeeper.
Watford are up to third after ending a five-month wait for three points at Vicarage Road and yet despite having five points more than yesterday’s victims Middlesbrough, their Championship title odds are longer at 25/1.
The pre-season favourites, whose failure in Hertfordshire continues their unwanted record of never having won three in succession under boss Gordon Strachan, are 12 points shy of leaders QPR but are sixth in the betting at 16/1 to finish first.
Can the underperforming Teessiders still earn promotion to the Premier League? See the full Npower Championship 2010/11 Betting Odds market.