Of the sides to drop out of the Premier League last season, Bolton Wanderers were easily the most surprising and they are rightly among the favourites for promotion straight back to the top flight.
Owen Coyle’s men had finished the previous season in a fairly comfortable 14th place and reached the FA Cup semi-finals, but in 2011-12 they never really got out of the traps, hitting the bottom of the table four games in and only briefly escaping the relegation spots all season.
In order to justify their position as 7/1 second-favourites to win the Championship (and 5/2 second favourites to earn promotion, both behind favourites Leicester), Bolton will need to start this campaign a lot better.
That can begin with a win at local rivals Burnley in a game where they’re 27/20 in bwin’s 3Way betting market, with the home side 37/20 and the draw 23/10.
However, coming up against a team who have established a strong Championship record at Turf Moor, the Trotters might have trouble making a quick start with a side full of players probably wishing they were still in the top flight.
Though Bolton are 9/10 to score first, it’s likely they will have to wait until after half-time to make the breakthrough and so more second-half goals than first-half goals in the match at 23/20 and draw/Bolton at half-time/full-time at 6/1 both look more attractive.
New customers using the £20 free bet available when registering with bwin would win £140 if Bolton do pull off a second-half triumph after a drawn first period.
Given both teams have lost their top scorers from last term – Jay Rodriguez for Burnley and Ivan Klasnic for Bolton – an away win in a match of under 2.5 goals also offers good value at 9/2.
However, with only one-third of relegated sides winning their first game back in the Championship over the past four seasons, Eddie Howe’s team might fancy their chances.
Their best hope will be if Coyle’s new forward line of Team GB striker Marvin Sordell and Arsenal loanee Benik Afobe fail to fire, so a Burnley win to nil is also worth considering at 4/1 if you’re opposing Bolton.
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