St James’s Park is home to a burgeoning sense of confidence that seems increasingly likely to propel Newcastle back into the top flight.
Yet while they open as Coral’s 4/7 favourites to overhaul Cardiff City tomorrow, it’s important for Rafa Benitez to ensure that his players do not become complacent and consider matches against struggling opponents to be a foregone conclusion.
A glance at Cardiff’s match win odds (7/1, Betfred) might suggest that this is a foregone conclusion, but since Neil Warnock arrived to steady the ship, Cardiff have collected seven points from four matches and were unlucky to lose to Wigan last weekend.
The match stats team at bettingexpert.com point out that Newcastle completed a league double over Cardiff when the pair met in the Premier League a couple of seasons ago, but Skybet’s 13/2 for tomorrow’s duel to end one apiece has attracted steady support.
In other markets, 188bet rate the likelihood of it finishing as a score draw at 10/3, while punters expecting a flurry of goals can get an enormous 14/1 (Marathonbet) against it ending 2-2.
Winner.com considers the chances of both teams scoring as an 11/10 shot, while Newcastle are 2/5 with Betway to open the scoring.
On this occasion, one could be enough and backers who concur can get 6/1 (bet365) against the Magpies registering a 1-0 victory.
Sunderland’s ultimately disappointing performance against Arsenal last weekend means they’ve now officially endured the worst start to a top-flight season of any side during the Premier League era.
Already eight points from safety, they’re 1/3 (Bwin) to be relegated and 11/4 (Skybet) to stay up.
They travel to Bournemouth tomorrow priced as Paddy Power’s 5/1 underdogs to secure their first win of the campaign.
Sunderland lost the corresponding fixture 2-0 last season, while the Cherries’ only home defeat this term came on the opening day of the season.
No wonder the home side kick off as Ladbrokes’ 4/6 favourites to claim maximum points.
Yet hope springs eternal, which perhaps explains why the stalemate has been so well supported in a variety of markets.
Bwin post 16/5 against the match ending all-square and BetVictor’s 11/2 for both halves to end on level terms has proved particularly popular.
Elsewhere, Matchbook’s 5/4 for the first period to end on level terms has found favour amongst a sizeable number of punters, many of whom have doubled up on bet365’s 9/4 for the opening half to finish goalless.
There’s every chance it’ll be closer than some pundits predict and 888sport’s 6/1 for Sunderland to win by a single goal has proved a magnet for backers preferring to avoid calling the correct score.
Odds supplied by www.smartbets.com, the customisable odds comparison site.