West Brom and West Ham divisional handicap favourites
The Premier League often suffers from the complaint that it is becoming less and less competitive each year, with only a handful of clubs in with a realistic chance of lifting the title.
However, the divisional handicap betting market gives each club a shot at top spot, with West Brom and West Ham currently leading the way as joint 5/1 favourites.
West Brom have surprised many with a bright start to life in the league under new boss Steve Clarke, having taken 14 points from a possible 21 whilst suffering just one defeat.
The Baggies have lost less matches than Manchester United, and despite having had relatively easy opening fixtures, have been impressive.
Clarke looks to have built a solid defence at the club, and in Shane Long, Peter Odenwingie and on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku, possesses a potent attack to help add to their 38-point handicap.
Whether the West Midlands side can keep up their strong early form remains to be seen, but they did win this market in the 2010/11 season and at 5/1 could be worth a punt this campaign.
Another mid-table predicted team showing signs of handicap betting promise is West Ham.
Sam Allardyce’s promoted Hammers have taken well to life back in the Premier League, sitting in eighth spot in the division with 11 points.
Adding that haul to their 42-point handicap given to them at the start of the season places them top of the projected table, one ahead of West Brom.
Despite beatings at the hands of Swansea and Arsenal, West Ham appear to be a well-balanced side, and with Andy Carroll back from injury they become a different prospect indeed.
In the big Geordie’s first start for his loan side, he looked unplayable at times as West Ham stormed to a 3-0 half-time lead against Fulham.
After less than a minute Carroll helped set up Nolan to open the scoring, and if these two can continue to combine well, then the East London club could make light work of their 5/1 odds.
Another club that seems likely to be there of thereabouts at the end of the season in this market is Everton, who have been arguably the league’s best team so far this campaign.
Victory over Man United on the opening weekend of the season set the bar high for the Toffees, but David Moyes’ side have maintained their early pace.
Lying just a point behind title favourites City and United, if Everton can keep hold of star man Marouane Fellaini in January they will be good value at 15/2 with a 24-point handicap.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.