Saturday’s results in the Championship saw leaders Cardiff fall to their fourth away defeat of the season at Bolton Wanderers, with Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Hull City all making ground on the leaders following their respective wins.
Despite having the worst away record of all the sides in the top half of the division, Malky Mackay’s men are 3/1 favourites to win the league and even money to gain promotion.
However, those prices have lengthened slightly from 11/4 and 91/100 respectively after the Bluebirds fell to a 2-1 reverse at the Reebok Stadium in Dougie Freedman’s first match in charge of the Trotters, who are now a 4/1 chance to bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
That defeat allowed Middlesbrough to move into the automatic promotion places and level on points with Cardiff following their sixth straight victory, emphatically beating Charlton 4-1 at the Valley.
Boro are now just 5/2 to return to the Premier League after a three-year absence and 7/1 to win the division outright.
Elsewhere, new Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway watched his new side stretch their unbeaten run to 11 games with victory over Blackburn Rovers, who themselves began a new era with former captain Henning Berg now in charge.
The result sees Blackburn’s title odds drift to 9/1, while bwin offer an industry-best price of 5/1 for Crystal Palace to be promoted and considering Holloway’s previous experience of guiding Blackpool into the top flight, those odds could attract plenty of interest.
Punters registering with bwin can claim a free £20 bet and placing this on Crystal Palace to win promotion would return a cool £120 if the Eagles manage to secure their return to the Premier League.
Leicester City dropped to fourth place after suffering their second successive defeat, this time at the hands of Watford. However, the Foxes are still second favourites to win the league at 5/1.
Hull City rose to fifth place after their narrow victory over struggling Bristol City and are a 5/1 shot for promotion. The same price is available for Nottingham Forest – despite their 4-1 drubbing by Millwall – and Brighton and Hove Albion, who drew 2-2 with Leeds United on Friday night.
Wolverhampton Wanders, who are now without a win in four following their loss to Burnley, are out to 4/1 to make an immediate return to England’s top division.