Off-the-mark Newcastle unlikely to hold title value much longer

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Having appeared to confound their ante-post favouritism for the Championship title by losing successive fixtures to begin 2016/17, the hordes of punters aboard the Newcastle bandwagon may have doubted themselves.

Said investors should have regained some faith in Rafa Benitez’s promotion project after a hugely welcome 4-1 defeat of Reading secured the Magpies a first three-point haul of the season.

Although the Geordies have plenty of leapfrogging to do yet from their renewed position of 17th in the early table, their price to have made the top of the pile come May is certainly quite appealing.

We make Newcastle 13/5 chances now, almost a point longer than their 7/4 odds before the opening day of the campaign.

With Championship games never far away these odds will fluctuate, but if they overcome Bristol City and then put a dent in early leaders Brighton’s fast start, they’ll only be heading one way.

Dwight Gayle has hit the ground running in black and white, adding to his strike against Huddersfield with a brace against Reading at St James’ Park.

If a squad full of Premier League-quality players begin to gel under Benitez’s expert hand then the Toon will soon surge up the standings and, while a repeat of their 102-point haul during their prior brief Championship stint in 2009/10 is a little ambitious, they are the team to beat once more.

For those who remain a little skeptical given the string starts of Brighton (whose manager Chris Hughton masterminded that instant promotion back to the Premier League at Newcastle’s helm), then the Toon’s promotion price may suit better.

We make it 4/5 that the league favourites make it back to the top tier by any means in 2016/17.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.