Cardiff City’s lead at the top of the Championship has been cut to five points after they suffered a second defeat in three games, this time at the hands of play-off-chasing Middlesbrough.
Malky Mackay’s men are now 2/9 to win the title, and 1/12 to be promoted, following a surprise 2-0 defeat on Teesside which suggests that the Bluebirds still have plenty of work to do to end their wait for top-flight football.
Leading the bid to reel in the long-time leaders are Hull City, who rose to second place following an emphatic 5-2 victory over Birmingham City.
The Tigers, for whom George Boyd (2), Mohamed Nagy (2) and Robert Koren were on target against the Blues, are now odds-on at 11/13 to make a return to the Premier League and 15/2 to pip Cardiff to the title.
Watford’s 1-1 draw at struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday evening saw them drop out of the automatic promotion places, though they are still an 11/10 shot to go up, while Crystal Palace’s win at Derby County kept them in fourth position, with the Eagles a 9/4 shot to give Ian Holloway a second promotion to the top flight in three years.
Leicester City were surprisingly beaten by Ipswich Town, but with a game in hand over the three teams above them, the Foxes are 6/4 to be promoted.
Brighton and Hove Albion’s 4-1 win over Huddersfield Town ensured that they remain in sixth place, with bwin offering a market-best price of 4/1 on the Seagulls to make the top flight for the first time in 30 years.
For Middlesbrough, that surprise win over Cardiff kept them a point outside the play-offs, while Nottingham Forest, who continued their resurgence under Billy Davies with victory over in-form Sheffield Wednesday, are a further three points behind the top six.
Boro are 9/1 to be promoted, just ahead of Forest at 10/1.
Elsewhere, Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers are both 16/1 shots after their weekend victories kept them in ninth and tenth places respectively, while Blackburn Rovers are now 20/1 after losing to lowly Peterborough United.