How Sunderland are the second most fancied team in England & why no one backs Newcastle

Only Premier League title-marchers Manchester City have been more fancied by the bookies than Sunderland in the whole of English football.

by James Forster Wednesday, 14 April 2021 05:54 PM Comments

Stadium of Light Sunderland blog

In our analysis of over 1,750 games played in the English leagues this season, Sunderland are the bookies' second most favoured team to win in every game played across all four divisions.

The Black Cats, who sit third in League One, had started each of their 39 games prior to last night's Wigan debacle at average odds of 8/11 for the victory for fixtures both home and away.

In the whole of English league footy, only Premier League leaders Manchester City have gone into their matches at lower average odds. Pep's lads have averaged a measly 4/11 for the win in all of their fixtures to date..

Here are the top 10 lowest average odds in English football so far this season.

Team League Pre-match average odds Decimal odds Points per game
Manchester City Premier League 4/11 1.39 2.3
Sunderland League 1 8/11 1.74 1.8
Norwich Championship 8/11 1.76 2.2
Manchester United Premier League Evs 1.96 2.0
Bournemouth Championship Evs 1.98 1.7
Portsmouth League One Evs 2.02 1.6
Hull League One Evs 2.03 1.9
Peterborough League One 11/10 2.07 1.9
Cheltenham League Two 11/10 2.07 1.8

The table probably shows that the League One standings are about right at present with Hull and Peterborough sitting in the top two automatic promotion places.

Norwich have been one of the other stand-out performers in season 20/21 romping away in the Championship. Meanwhile, Cheltenham look a good bet for promotion from League Two, currently sat at the top of the table.

English football's underperformers have been reflected by those canny bookmakers too. Here's the bottom 10 average odds for the win prior to each game played, reflecting the least fancied sides by the nation's bookies.


Team League Pre-match average odds Decimal odds Points per game
AFC Wimbledon League 1 3/1 4.1 1.1
Southampton Premier League 3/1 4.1 1.2
Rochdale League 1 10/3 4.4 0.9
Southend League 2 7/2 4.5 0.9
Crystal Palace Premier League 4/1 4.8 1.2
Fulham Premier League 4/1 5.0 0.8
Newcastle Premier League 9/2 5.3 1.0
Burnley Premier League 9/2 5.3 1.1
Wycombe Championship 9/2 5.5 0.8
Sheffield United Premier League 9/2 5.7 0.5
West Brom Premier League 11/2 6.5 0.8

It's entirely possible that this table just shows how much the bottom of the Premier League has stunk a bit this season - looking directly at ya Newcastle. There's a host of top flight teams there that no one will have fancied a bet on let alone watch live. Even the most ardent Toon fan probably hasn't bothered sticking a fiver on the minging footy served up by Steve Bruce and his merry men.


Most fancied teams home and away

Home advantage may not have counted as much as previous campaigns with crowds kept away because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the bookies still slash the odds on their most fancied teams when they're playing on their home turf.


Team Average home odds
Manchester City 1/4
Sunderland 4/6
Norwich 4/6
Manchester United 4/5
Bournemouth 5/6

Away from home, it's a slightly different picture with a couple of additions thrown into the mix. That includes misfiring title holders Liverpool who have picked up as many points on their travel as they have at Anfield this season.


Team Average away odds
Manchester City 8/15
Liverpool 4/5
Chelsea 5/6
Brentford 11/10
Sunderland 11/10

Least fancied teams home and away

Team Average home odds
Newcastle 10/3
Burnley 10/3
Wycombe 10/3
Sheffield United 7/2
West Brom 4/1


Team Average away odds
Burnley 11/2
Wycombe 11/2
Newcastle 11/2
Sheffield United 11/2
West Brom 7/1

Certainly no one has rated Newcastle much on their travels. Steve Bruce's side may have won as many games away from home as they have at St James' but they're still the Premier League's third worst team on the road.

When the Magpies gained that stalemate at Chelsea the other week they were rated at a whopping 12/1 for the win or 11/2 for the draw. Decent payday if you had backed the 0-0.

The actual longest odds in the enirety of the English footy divisions came in Premier League. That was West Brom's trip to Machester City before Christmas. The Baggies were rated as a 20/1 shot to take all three from Stamford Bridge. They did actually picked up a point too. That would have returned at 12/1.

Here ya go numbers fans.

Here's the full 90-odd clubs and their average odds for every game this season up until last weekend.

* Disclaimer - Thank god the pubs have reopened. Might finally have something better to do with me time

Team Av decimal odds
Man City 1.39
Sunderland 1.74
Norwich 1.76
Man United 1.96
Bournemouth 1.98
Portsmouth 2.02
Hull 2.03
Peterboro 2.07
Cheltenham 2.07
Exeter 2.13
Salford 2.17
Carlisle 2.20
Blackpool 2.23
Tottenham 2.27
Lincoln 2.37
Forest Green 2.38
Oxford 2.41
Charlton 2.41
Blackburn 2.43
Swansea 2.45
Doncaster 2.46
Bolton 2.48
Mansfield 2.54
Cambridge 2.55
Cardiff 2.59
Crewe 2.60
Tranmere 2.62
Ipswich 2.66
Harrogate 2.66
Leicester 2.67
Barnsley 2.68
Bradford 2.69
Stoke 2.70
Walsall 2.73
Leyton Orient 2.75
Nott'm Forest 2.77
Morecambe 2.79
Watford 2.80
Accrington 2.81
Brentford 2.86
Leeds 2.88
QPR 2.89
Plymouth 2.95
Derby 2.99
Shrewsbury 3.00
Everton 3.04
Preston 3.05
Oldham 3.06
Middlesbrough 3.06
Newport 3.07
Scunthorpe 3.10
Millwall 3.12
Brighton 3.12
Fleetwood 3.16
West Ham 3.20
Port Vale 3.25
Milton 3.28
Reading 3.29
Colchester 3.29
Chelsea 3.35
Huddersfield 3.36
Coventry 3.42
Liverpool 3.45
Gillingham 3.50
Crawley 3.51
Sheffield Weds 3.51
Luton 3.52
Barrow 3.54
Bristol Rvs 3.56
Wolves 3.61
Birmingham 3.63
Burton 3.64
Arsenal 3.67
Bristol 3.69
Swindon 3.71
Rotherham 3.76
Grimsby 3.83
Northampton 3.95
Aston Villa 3.99
Wigan 4.03
AFC Wimbledon 4.09
Southampton 4.11
Rochdale 4.43
Southend 4.51
Crystal Palace 4.79
Fulham 4.98
Newcastle 5.29
Burnley 5.34
Wycombe 5.49
Sheffield United 5.70
West Brom 6.53