We’re one third of the way into the Championship and the league table paints a fascinating picture with the top 15 split by just nine points. There’s only five points between the top 6, then just three points keeping apart the play-off contenders in 7th down to 15th. It looks to be a captivating battle in the race for promotion to the Premier League.
Leeds United unsurprisingly head the way in the betting at 6/5, followed closely by leaders West Brom at 5/2. However, with those teams eating up a massive 74% of books, it makes sense to look for value elsewhere given the close nature of the league.
And I think I’ve found someone in Swansea City. Currently 4th, they sit goal difference off the automatic promotion spots and two points off the leaders, yet are whopping 25/1 in-comparison to the aforementioned seemingly ‘big two’.
Reasons to like Swansea:
· 6th Most shots per-game – only one shot separates 2nd to 6th
· 6th Most possession – only 1% separates 3rd to 6th
· 8th Most shots-on-target – only 0.6 separates 1st to 8th
· =3rd Most shots in the penalty area – 7.9 per-game
· 5th best defensive record – only 14 goals conceded in 15 games
As you can see very fine margins are separating the top performing sides and the Swans are right in the mix. Their ability is backed up by the fact they have been favourites in 12 of their 15 games so far this season – very impressive, as I spoke about last week regarding closing prices. Significant prices include faves at 6th place Bristol City and 10/11 at home to 5th place Nottingham Forest. And it’s been their best start to the season in 41 years led by Steve Cooper. The same man who in his previous job led England U17s to World Cup Final success beating Brazil 3-1 and Spain 5-2 along the way, including coming back from 2-0 down. The same year he also lead the nation to the final of the U17 European Championships.
Based on expected goals Swansea are forecast to finish 3rd. Yet there is 25/1 available each-way (1/5 a place), 5/1 they finish 2nd or 3rd which seems very reasonable when they are as short as 13/2 to finish in the top two.