Not only is this season producing some unpredictable Premier League results, but the lock-tight nature of the bottom half of the table means relegation betting has the potential to be exceptionally profitable.
Nine points separate Southampton, in ninth place, and Swansea in 10th. However, from the Welsh club down to the bottom the gap is just a threadbare seven. Moreover, the Swans and 18th-lying West Brom are being held apart by just four points.
With about as much room to move as a sardine in a tin, any one of the bottom half clubs can be sucked into the relegation mirth. For Aston Villa, their home form looks like it could be the vessel to pull them into the vortex.
Paul Lambert’s men are 11/1 to go down this season, a price that renders them relatively safe in the eyes of Ladbrokes. But they lie in 12th place, level on points with Swansea and with the second-worst home record in the division.
Their recent loss to West Ham at Villa Park confined them to just one victory in their last seven league games in front of their own fans. Three pivotal games in their own yard are now on the horizon and that double-figure price for the drop could shrivel should they fall to more defeats.
Stoke, Norwich and Fulham are the next three visitors to the midlands’ claret and blue club, three sides all sitting below Villa in the table and, aside from Rene Meulensteen’s side, capable of dragging Lambert’s men deeper into relegation trouble.
Nothing about Villa’s home form inspires much confidence at the moment. Along with their current dire run, they struggle for goals – their 12 so far is the second-lowest tally in the top flight – while they’ve shipped the second-most goals in that time.
With the crunch end of the season fast approaching, it doesn’t look like improvement is on the horizon, making the inflated relegation price available one to snap up quick.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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