West Brom are 8/5 outsiders to beat West Ham at the Boleyn Ground on Sunday, despite being in marginally the better form of the two sides.
Tony Pulis’ men have now won three of their last five games, whereas the Irons, 21/20 favourites for three points, have taken only seven points in the same period.
The formbook being so finely balanced, the draw looks a fair bet at 9/4, but why bother with such imponderables when West Brom away games follow such a rock-solid betting trend?
This season all seven the Baggies have played beyond the Hawthorns’ confines have seen a clean sheet kept.
Sadly for Pulis, not all of them have been by his side, with Norwich, Crystal Palace and Manchester United each beating them to nil.
‘Both teams to score – no’ backers couldn’t care less of course, they’ve collected on their wager of choice seven road games in a row, thanks to West Brom’s alternating defensive and attacking failings.
A repetition in East London can be backed at 91/100; an exceptional price given the trend has largely endured since their manager’s appointment in January.
In total Pulis has supervised 18 away games as Baggies manager, 13 of which have seen either one or both sides fail to find the net.
Naysayers are well within their rights to point out that both teams have scored (a 4/5 shot) in all bar two of West Ham’s home games this season.
However, their goal-getting power had seemingly been on the wane even before the unfortunate injury to their creator in chief Dimitri Payet against Everton.
That home draw came slap, bang in the middle of a three-game run in which they were limited to a single goal in every outing.