These are the odds on winning the league from our esteemed league sponsor. I realise that the odds are based on what bets are placed but I think there are some strange ones there. I am not encouraging betting, just interested in the views of others. Mine are in the next Post.
Salisbury 7/1 Taunton Town 8/1 Metropolitan Police 10/1 Poole Town 10/1 Weston-super-Mare AFC 10/1 Gosport Borough 10/1 Truro City 16/1 Harrow Borough 16/1 Hayes and Yeading 16/1 Hartley Wintney 16/1 Chesham United 16/1 Farnborough 16/1 Swindon Supermarine 16/1 Blackfield and Langley 20/1 Yate Town 20/1 Beaconsfield 20/1 Dorchester Town 20/1 Hendon 20/1 Merthyr Town 25/1 Tiverton Town 33/1 Walton Casuals 33/1 Wimborne Town 33/1
I think at this level there is very little 'specialist knowledge' with the odds setters and this largely looks like the final table from last season with the odd bit of movement up or down a few spots. Things can change a lot based on recruitment/retention (or lack of).
That said you'd expect Salisbury to be strong again so can't argue that they might be favourites with a bookie, we should be there or thereabouts if we start the season like we finished last and stay consistent so that price is fair. I don't really look at it and think anyone is 'good value' although Merthyr might be under-priced at 4th worst although not to the extent that they'd be worth a punt at winning it!
For once, I agree with the bookies - I think we should make the play offs at least, as I think the dip and despondency following relegation got turned around last season, and Tom has gone back more towards the old style of playing that got us so much success in the past. That said, Salisbury are a huge club and it wouldn't be a shock to see them finish top this season, and Taunton have looked strong and have had some great results over the last couple of seasons, so I would expect them to make the Play Offs at least, and maybe fight it out with us and Salisbury for top spot.
Gosport would be my pick as an outside bet and one to watch - difficult to predict after relegation; they jumped up rapidly through lots of divisions, but have now fallen back. Anyhow those would be my top 4 - think Met Police's results last year might have flattered them and maybe they won't be so good this time around - this must be the highest level they have ever played at and they aren't happy having so many long away trips.
Other biggish clubs like Harrow Borough and Weston Super Mare are short priced, and Swindon Supermarine have looked pretty strong in the leagues they have been competing in the last few years, so again no surprises that the bookies have all those in the top half of bets, and most of the bottom ones are the little clubs that you would think might struggle. Harsh on Wimborne to be the biggest outsider though.