Friday, 17 May 2013

Are the bookies running scared of AFCB?

There have been quite a few bemused looks and murmurings about how the bookies see AFCB's chances in the Championship and in the cup competitions next season. I wonder are they still running scared after they big payouts they had to make after Eddie Howe returned to the Cherries and guided them to promotion? Or have we really already got the quality to play well against the best that the Championship has to offer?

I am a bit in two minds about this. Bookies don't often get things very wrong and yet AFCB's odds of 12-1 or 16-1 (now drifting to 20-1) to be the champions and 5-1 to win promotion just seems a bit too short in the pricing. I mean we will be up against QPR, Reading and Wigan for starters and play-off teams like Brighton and either Watford or Crystal Palace.

We are going to need a few more players of quality to make a real challenge. I know Southampton and Norwich managed to go straight through the Championship to the Premiership, but they are the exceptions and not the rule. To finish 21st next season would not be failure to me, although I hope AFCB do better than that.

If you want longer odds the cups are a little better. AFCB will enter the FA Cup in the Third Round so we could get a big club straight away. The odds to win Wigan's latest silverware for AFCB is currently 150-1 and the League cup is 125-1.

Sadly, I still feel we have some way to go to be among the favourites for anything. I am not a betting man, but my head suggests hang on a bit and wait for the odds to improve before parting with money on AFCB next season. Once other clubs have made a few big signings a bit more value may hit the market.

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