Betting: Norwich City underdogs against Reading despite the way Premier League table looks

Grant Holt is 7/1 to open the scoring at Reading. Grant Holt is 7/1 to open the scoring at Reading.

Friday, November 9, 2012
11:04 AM

The positive, uplifting effect of three Norwich City victories in four matches will need to be evident tomorrow when they travel to face a Reading side yet to record a Premier League win.

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The pair last met in the Championship two seasons ago when they drew 3-3 at the ‘Mad Stad’ and Grant Holt was dismissed, then City secured a 2-1 win at Carrow Road with Holt scoring a late, late winner.

As Norwich’s poor away form continues to haunt them – they’ve won only once in their last 11 fixtures away from Carrow Road – backing the match draw (5/2, Stan James), appears to make good sense.

It’s a fixture City kick off as bet365’s 23/10 underdogs – surprisingly long given that they’re four places above Reading in the Premier League table. However, it’s home advantage which ensures that the Royals start as BetVictor’s 6/5 favourites – they’ve suffered only one home defeat this season.

Each of Norwich’s last three league victories have been by a margin of one goal and another single-goal success tomorrow is rated a 4/1 shot by Paddy Power.

Yet given their apparent inability to defend when away from home (it’s now 38 top flight away matches since Norwich kept a clean sheet), the same firm’s 7/2 for City to prevent Reading from scoring has proved less appealing. Much the same could be said for BetVictor’s hefty 5/1 for Norwich to win without conceding, although that “no clean sheet” burden must surely be lifted soon.

In other markets, Holt is 7/1 (Stan James) to open the scoring, while William Hill consider the Canaries an 8/11 shot to win when handed the benefit of an artificial one-goal start. Elsewhere, Ladbrokes post 13/2 about Norwich emerging victorious following a drawn opening half.

For all of the optimism enveloping Carrow Road, however, backers not anticipating a goalfest may fancy the look of bet365’s 4/5 for the match to yield fewer than 2.5 goals. The most popular outcome in the correct score markets is a 1-1 draw, available at 6/1 with Skybet.

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