With Napoli winning their eighth straight Serie A game and Blackburn and Rennes continuing their impressive form, we’re looking at some of the week’s biggest Market Movers.
Having lost the likes of Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, Kalidou Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz in the summer, few gave Napoli a chance of mounting a serious title challenge this season.
But Luciano Spalletti’s free-scoring side have fired their way to the top of the table, and are now odds-on for the title.
The last couple of years has seen Serie A become a much more competitive league after Juventus’s decade of dominance, but Napoli are blowing away all before them.
Eight points from their first four games had them into 12/1 for the title, but the win at champions Milan – 11 days after dismantling Liverpool – saw them cut to 5/1.
The win at Jose Mourinho’s Roma had them 11/8, before the 4-0 hammering of Sassuolo saw them go odds-on for the first time.
Despite him missing four games through injury, Victor Osimhen will have delighted his manager with his performances in front of goal.
A 20/1 Serie A ‘Top Goalscorer’ shot prior to netting the winner against Bologna in mid-October, his hat-trick at the weekend saw him join Marko Arnautovic at the summit of the Serie A goalscoring charts on seven for the season – overtaking Georgian revelation and team-mate Kvicha Kvaratskhelia – and leap to 7/2 favourite in the market.
It’s not just Serie A that Napoli are taking by storm, either, and the 4-1 win against Liverpool was no fluke.
In the four Champions League games since, they’ve put three past Rangers (twice), as well as six and four past Ajax, and barring a heavy defeat at Anfield, Napoli will top their group and will be eyeing a favourable last-16 draw.
They were 7/1 to top Group A, 11/10 to qualify, and 150/1 in the Outright. The win over Liverpool saw them cut to 9/4 to top the group and 40/1 to win the competition.
Wins over Rangers and Ajax saw them shorten further to 11/8 and 2/5 to win the group and in to 20/1 in the outright. Two more wins over Rangers and Ajax have them 1/16 to top the group, and 14/1 seventh favourites in the Outright.
The Championship has thrown out some crazy stats in the first few months of the season – you may have seen the one about Preston having scored and conceded the fewest in the division, or how promotion-chasing Blackburn have lost more games than Coventry, who currently sit in the relegation zone.
And while Rovers don’t figure very highly on the ‘Expected Points’ charts, Jon Dahl Tomasson won’t be too concerned about that because in real points they’re second with 30 after gaining their fourth win on the trot.
Admittedly, I thought they were fortunate to beat West Brom earlier in the season – speak to any Birmingham fans and they’ll say the same about their recent visit to Ewood Park.
Having parted ways to Tony Mowbray, they were 8/1 for promotion in pre-season, but three straight wins to start the campaign saw them 7/2.
In a blink of an eye, they were 10/1 after losing five of their next seven.
But impressive wins over Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Birmingham and Hull have reignited their promotion ambitions, and Tomasson’s men are 4/1 for a return to the Premier League.
While it now feels like PSG not winning the Ligue 1 title is a once-every-five-or-10-years event, there are plenty of sides competing for Champions League football.
Rennes were amongst the favourites to fill one of the two remaining spots at 9/4.
A hit-and-miss start to the season in which Bruno Genesio’s men picked up 12 points from their opening eight games had them out to 9/2 to finish in the Top 3 and 10/1 in the Without PSG market.
But a 3-1 win over Strasbourg has triggered a five-match winning run in which they’ve scored 14 goals with Martin Terrier bagging five.
Rennes have propelled themselves up the table in recent weeks, and are now 2/1 favourites in the Without PSG market and 4/5 to finish in the Top 3.