Without a win in their last seven matches, a Brighton victory over West Ham could still be a good bet at odds of 2/1 in tonight’s Championship fixture.
The Seagulls have slipped to twelfth in the table having topped the standings in early September, while big-spending West Ham are in fourth.
However, Brighton are just two points behind the Hammers and with home advantage look good value to inflict a fourth league defeat of the season on Sam Allardyce’s side.
After winning their first three away games on their return to the Championship, the Hammers have drawn two and lost one of their subsequent three matches away from Upton Park.
When coupled with a defeat to Ipswich at the Boleyn Ground, this means West Ham have won only two of their last six fixtures.
Meanwhile, Brighton have lost only three of their last 29 home matches and have been defeated just once in the league at the recently-opened AMEX Stadium.
Given their poor form and Brighton’s strong home record, West Ham’s status as 5/4 favourites looks debatable.
What is more certain is that there will be plenty of goals in the game, particularly in the second half.
West Ham are the Championship’s fifth-highest scoring team despite having played a game fewer than many of their rivals at the top of the scoring charts, while only eight teams have hit the back of the net more times than Brighton.
Interestingly, Brighton are far more likely to score in the second half than they are in the first, with 12 out of their 17 goals coming after the interval.
This makes a bet on Brighton to score more goals in the second half than the first a banker at the attractive odds of 3/2.
Crucially, this also means Gus Poyet’s charges are well placed to take advantage of West Ham’s weakness when it comes to conceding late goals.
The Hammers have let in eight goals in the second period and only three before the break, making a bet on Brighton to win the second half particularly appealing at 9/4.
And with Brighton’s home advantage likely to give them the edge given the respective recent records of the two teams, back the Seagulls to come out on top in the second half after the game was level at the interval.
Available in the half time/full time market, this bet is priced at 13/2.
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