A good summary of the recent history of Leeds United is that there is never a dull moment when Yorkshire’s most famous club are involved.
From the heights of a Champions League semi-final appearance in 2002 to relegation to League One and being on the brink of going under, the Whites are a seemingly never-ending soap opera.
They have now stabilised in the Championship and despite narrowly missing out on the play-offs last year, they finally seem to be heading in the right direction.
This is all well and good, I hear you say, but what has any of it got to do with betting? Well, let me tell you.
My research shows that while the dramas of Leeds’ off-field issues are receding, the same certainly cannot be said for matters on the pitch.
In the 46 Championship matches they played last term, a whopping 31 of them contained over 2.5 goals, which was a higher rate than any other team in the division.
Three or more goals were scored in 16 of their 23 fixtures at Elland Road, with 15 of their 23 games on the road also falling into this category.
I know what you’re thinking now – what are the odds on over 2.5 goals in Leeds’ season opener at Southampton on Saturday?
The Punter is always here to serve, so I can tell you the answer is 3/4, which looks favourable considering the statistics I have just provided.
Watford should be the next team on your radar if you like to bet on this particular market, as three or more goals were scored in 29 of their 46 league matches in 2010-11.
Also worth consideration are Middlesbrough (28 out of 46) and Derby (27 out of 46), while Blackpool (28 out of 38 fixtures in the Premier League) may well be troubling the scorers with regularity again following their relegation.
On top of this, an interesting anomaly is that 16 of Doncaster’s 23 away matches contained over 2.5 goals, compared to just nine of their fixtures at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Another honourable mention here must go to Peterborough United, who were the great entertainers of League One last season, with goals flying in at both ends in their matches.
Over 2.5 goals were scored in 36 of Posh’s 46 regular-season matches (and in their play-off final win over Huddersfield). And, amazingly, there was only ONE occasion all season when fewer than three were scored at London Road.
Whether they will adopt a more defensive approach at the higher level remains to be seen, but they could yet emerge as serious rivals for Leeds’ crown in this particular football betting market.
Of course, I cannot finish without assessing the other end of the scale here.
For punters weighing up the under 2.5 goals market in various Championship fixtures, look no further than Hull City, whose games produced fewer than three goals on 32 occasions last year.
In particular, matches at the KC Stadium were generally snooze-fests, with the 2.5-goal barrier only being broken four times in 26 fixtures. I feel sorry for Tigers fans, but perhaps they will get a rare feast of entertainment when free-scoring Blackpool come to town on Friday!
The other teams to keep a close eye on for their propensity to take part in low-scoring affairs are Portsmouth (28 of 46 matches were under 2.5 goals) and Millwall (26 of 46).
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