Football betting fans who can’t wait for the new season to begin will be able to sink their teeth into some competitive action as early as this week with the qualifying rounds for the UEFA Europa League getting underway.
Thursday will see Fulham welcome NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands to Craven Cottage and while the match is indeed a competitive tie, the betting market suggests it will be little more than a workout for the Cottagers.
New Fulham manager Martin Jol sees his side go into the tie as huge favourites, with bwin offering odds of 1/100 on a win for the west London outfit.
The draw is seen as a 15/1 outside bet, while Runavik are seen as rank outsiders at 35/1.
With the game coming so early and with many of Fulham’s players having only recently returned to training, it is unclear how Jol intends to approach the match with regard to his squad.
Clint Demspey has been in form, posing the USA’s biggest goal threat in the recent Gold Cup, but former Spurs boss Jol may look to keep the American fresh for the start of the Premier League campaign.
However, should the Dutchman call on some of his other big names, with the likes of Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora at his disposal, then nothing short of a comprehensive victory looks on the cards.
As such, a number of football betting enthusiasts could be tempted to enter the handicap betting market in order to improve their returns.
By giving the visitors a 1-0 head start going into the game, the odds on a home win move to 3/25, while the draw’s price shifts to 6/1 and NSI are priced at 25/2 to hold that lead and secure a win.
However, with such an apparent gulf in class – Fulham were beaten finalists in the 2009-10 Europa League campaign and NSI have never got past the first qualifying round – some of the more sensible money could go on a heavy victory for the English side.
Backing the game to produce exactly three goals sees odds of 18/5 offered, while those expecting even more can bet on four goals at 7/2 and five or more at 27/20.
While Fulham are fully expected to make their experienced and superior squad count, current form could come into play.
The Cottagers finished their last domestic campaign with a good run of just one loss in five games but have not kicked a competitive football since May 22nd.
By way of contrast, their opponents have not lost in four outings and recorded a league draw as recently as this week.
As such, the 2/1 odds on an away goal to come at any time during the 90 minutes could attract a lot of attention.
New customers can register here to receive a £25 free bet.