Another weekend, another win for Southampton and West Ham, but despite the pair’s consistency, only one is given any credit in top-four finish betting.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the former whom the punters fancy to break the big guns’ stranglehold on the Champions League qualification places, with bwin going 9/2 about the St Mary’s club sitting fourth or higher following the conclusion of game 38.
Despite beating champions Manchester City last time out, the odds gurus refuse to take West Ham seriously.
They’re on offer at 33/1 as it stands, though this price has only shortened in light of Tottenham’s defeat at home to Newcastle.
Prior to this win for the Toon, the Irons were an untouchable 40/1 to finish amongst the elitists this term.
But how can this discrepancy exist?
The Saints are yet to play anyone of truly stellar stature this term, with underperforming Liverpool and Spurs outfits the toughest they’ve faced so far.
Portentously, both got the better of Ronald Koeman’s men.
Stomping the likes of Stoke, Sunderland and Newcastle at home isn’t much of an achievement, meaning it wouldn’t be unfair to state that the only real result worthy of plaudits on Southampton’s ascent to second is their away win at West Ham.
Still, a solitary 3-1 victory in the fledgling days of the season can’t justify such a gulf in prices.
Sam Allardyce’s fourth-place incumbents sit just three points back from their media darling south coast rivals having faced both Manchester clubs, as well as Tottenham and Liverpool.
The Reds and City both came off second best in their tussles with east London’s finest.
Were it not for a stoppage time Eric Dier goal condemning the Hammers to defeat against cross-capital foes Spurs and some contentious refereeing at Old Trafford, Allardyce’s charges could add at least two more points to their total.
Between now and Boxing Day West Ham must play just one team that finished in last term’s top five, Saints have to face three of them, plus Man Utd.
Based on their autumnal showings, the Hammers are more likely to uphold their lofty standing and refute these grossly misappropriated odds.