With one of the largest budgets and, on paper at least, best squads, you would think Ipswich Town would be promotion favourites in the English League One this season.
Punters have good reason to be cautious, however. Last season, the first after Ipswich were relegated from the Championship, they were tipped to go straight back up – but finished woefully short in 11th place.
This year, just like last, they have got off to a great start, currently sitting second in the table on goal difference after ten games. But supporters and bettors know what happened before and fear another collapse in form.
Successful sports betting is not about placing bets with your heart; it’s about using your head to ensure you make sensible decisions. Sports betting sites like 20bet offer a wide range of sporting matches to bet on, and a chance to profit.
You must study the form, look to see if there are any historical peculiarities with the fixture – perhaps a weaker team is a bogey team against one particular opponent. Then follow the latest news to check that injuries or suspensions will not affect the result. If one team has lost their star striker to injury, will that affect your judgment of who to back?
So, back to Ipswich. A team that on paper should cruise each game. The Suffolk club is seemingly invincible at home, at least according to the results. So far, Ipswich have played five and won five at Portman Road, although those who have watched report, for the last two games at least, an unconvincing performance.
It’s away from home that Ipswich’s worries seem to appear. Last season’s collapse under manager Paul Lambert, suggests a fragility in the team. When the side goes behind, or under pressure, the tempo drops. Town have played five away games this season, winning just two (drawing one and losing two). A long injury list has not helped matters.
Fans have also noted how Ipswich seemingly win against the mid or lower table sides in League 1 but struggle against the bigger sides that would be fighting them for a promotion place. Indeed, they have lost away to Doncaster and Lincoln City, both teams that were in the top six at the time.
Coming up is a massive away day at Sunderland, the other perceived “big dog” in League One. The Black Cats currently sit sixth in the table. But their home record of two wins, one draw and a surprise defeat to Portsmouth suggests Ipswich might fancy their chances, even with their own shaky away record.
Starved of success
Perhaps the sensible bet for the Sunderland vs Ipswich game would be a draw, and most bookies are offering odds of around 3.50 for that to happen.
Ipswich fans have been starved of success since days when they were playing in the Championship, fighting to get into the Premier League. Years of stagnation – they were the club with the longest stay in the Championship – led to inevitable relegation after then-manager Mick McCarthy left, followed by an ill-fated short stint in the hot seat from Paul Hurst.
Paul Lambert took over but was unable to prevent the club from dropping into the third tier of English football for the first time in nearly 60 years.
Desperate to return to winning ways, long-suffering fans, including famous Ipswich supporter Ed Sheeran continue to believe the corner has been turned. As such, many will back their team to win at the bookies, even if the form suggests another option is more profitable.
As we said earlier, it’s always better to bet with your head, rather than your heart.
One way around this – and it applies to a supporter of any team – is to make use of the in-play betting markets. Rather than backing Ipswich to win before kick-off and hoping for the best, let the game unfold and then make an in-play bet.
If Town have gone ahead, you might fancy them to go all the way and bet on them to finish the job, which is far less risky. Or if they are grimly holding on 0-0 and the other team look threatening, why not swallow your pride and bet on a loss. At least if they do go on to lose, you will have won some money to make you feel a little better.
As ever, it’s all about betting sensibly as the adverts in the UK tell us regularly: “When the fun stops, stop.”