Betting: Is Norwich City trip such an obvious home win for Spurs?
The new football season still resembles the opening stages of a 10,000 metres race as teams jockey for early position in a mix of elbows, pushing and hesitancy which ensures that as yet, no discernable pattern has emerged.
Indeed, following Norwich City's 1-1 draw against Queens Park Rangers, the dreaded 'second season syndrome' appears to be infiltrating Carrow Road. Surrendering a lead to Rangers will not have pleased manager Chris Hughton, who takes his charges back to one of his old stamping grounds, White Hart Lane, tomorrow.
On paper, bookies consider this a banker home win, William Hill installing Spurs as their overwhelming 2/5 favourites, but it's worth recalling that Norwich won 2-1 at the Lane last term, so continuing this fixture's remarkable recent record – in the pair's last eight meetings, there has been only one home triumph. This one, too, could produce a surprise result.
However, given Norwich's indifferent start, bookies install them as massive underdogs, bet365 pricing them at an enormous 15/2 to register their first win of the campaign; even the draw is offered at a hefty 4/1 by Stan James. Backers expecting another Norwich success can get 20/1 (bet365) against them securing another 2-1 win.
It would be wonderful to believe that City could repeat last season's success at Spurs, one of only three home league defeats the Londoners suffered all season, but more circumspect punters are clearly prepared to hedge their bets. This accounts for the support afforded to Skybet's colossal 9/1 against it finishing 1-1. Meanwhile, Stan James rates the chances of both halves ending on level terms at 15/2 and BetVictor.com chalk 18/1 against the Canaries winning following a drawn opening period.
In bet365's handicap market, City are 2/1 to win when kicking off with a one-goal advantage and 10/11 with BetVictor.com to record victory when handed a two-goal start. Are Spurs really that good?