Middlesbrough became the ninth team in a row to lose at the Cardiff City Stadium, but this defeat has done the promotion punters a favour.
Their odds to go up come the end of the season have drifted to 5/2 as a result of that loss, but Tony Mowbray’s men are more than equipped with the means to get out of the division, despite losing ground in the race to the Premier League.
Cardiff claimed the spoils courtesy of a solitary Matthew Connolly goal, yet they did not demonstrate anything to suggest they’re a better side than Boro throughout the course of a game controlled by the visitors.
A rare desertion of their killer touch in the final third is what let them down, but these things happen and expect them to come back stronger in the coming weeks and get their promotion push back on track.
If the Red Dragons turn in many more of those performances they’ll soon find themselves falling behind the front-runners and it makes their 10/11 price one to avoid.
A far better alternative in the promotion shake up is the 13/8 that says Crystal Palace will be plying their trade a station higher next term.
The Eagles are two points clear at the Championship’s summit and have not tasted defeat since the end of August.
Ian Holloway’s appointment seems to have spurred them on even more as they completed a hat-trick of wins under his guidance at Derby’s expense last time out.
Their price, however, suggests that the bookies expect them to wilt as the season progresses.
They surely won’t remain unbeaten in a division as tight as the Championship, but they are showing all the qualities required of promotion contenders of late and their price does not justify this.
It’s easy to envisage them scrapping at the top end of the division come the business end of the campaign with dramatically slashed odds. They look like a stayer and are well worth a bet.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date