There is no doubting the major result of the opening weekend of the Championship, which came at Upton Park on Sunday.
West Ham, joint-favourites with Leicester to land the Championship title, were priced at 67/100 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market to claim all three points against 17/5 outsiders Cardiff.
However, a resolute defensive performance from Malky Mackay’s side helped them keep the scores level at 0-0 until injury time, when new signing Kenny Miller pounced to earn the Bluebirds a shock 1-0 victory.
Punters who backed Cardiff to win using the £25 free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account would have pocketed a cool £110.
Sven Goran-Eriksson’s Leicester got their title campaign off to a more assured start with a 1-0 win over Coventry, despite having to play much of the game with ten men in a match which highlighted the contrasting ambitions of the two sides.
The Sky Blues failed to cause the Foxes many problems even after the sending-off of Darius Vassell on 11 minutes, although the game was evened up just before half-time when Carl Baker also received his marching orders.
Coventry’s lack of bite up front suggests they face a long, hard battle to avoid the drop, while Leicester’s resilience offers an encouraging promotion pointer.
But perhaps the most promising start of all was made by Ipswich, who top the early Championship table after a 3-0 away win over Bristol City.
Two goals from new striker Michael Chopra left Tractor Boys manager Paul Jewell purring, although he urged fans not to get carried away and start dreaming of title glory.
Ipswich are 22/1 shots to win the Championship, meaning a successful £25 free bet on the Suffolk outfit to finish first would return £575.
Elsewhere, there was drama on the south coast as Brighton scored a 98th-minute winner to beat Doncaster, while Reading scored twice in the final four minutes to snatch a 2-2 draw with Millwall at the Madejski Stadium.
Meanwhile, newly-promoted Southampton beat Leeds 3-1 at St Mary’s and Derby beat Carling Cup holders Birmingham 2-1 in Blues boss Chris Hughton’s first competitive game in charge.
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