Watford 2018-19 Betting Preview: More Questions Than Answers For Hornets
Watford FC. Pictured: Andre Gray
Watford 2018-19 Premier League Betting Odds
- To Win Title: +100000
- To Be Relegated: +210
- Point Total: 40.5 (Over +105/Under -135)
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Ever since returning to the Premier League in 2015, Watford have developed a reputation for turnover. This summer has been a little different, though, as there have been fewer changes than usual at Vicarage Road.
Javi Gracia took over for Marco Silva in January and kept the Hornets afloat. The Spaniard is the fourth manager over the past four seasons for Watford, so it is no wonder that he opened as the betting favorite to be the first manager to leave his post this season. That particular market has cooled on Gracia, but he’s still among the four favorites at most European books.
I don’t fancy him to be let go because Gracia had Watford organized in his tenure, and they should be decent defensively. That will be vital for the Hornets, as they are a bit limited going forward. Players like Andre Gray, Roberto Pereyra and Gerard Deulofeu will have their moments, but none of them is consistent enough to be counted on to lead the line. Ken Sema could prove a shrewd addition, as he stood out at Ostersunds, but succeeding in Sweden and England are two entirely different things.
The most important player for Watford is Abdoulaye Doucoure, who runs the show from the middle of the park. The Frenchman was coveted by Tottenham and Everton this summer, but he re-upped with the Hornets to reprise his role as the team’s engine.
There is talent here and Gracia’s tactical prowess should serve Watford well, but there’s not enough depth to think this squad will coast to safety. A second straight hot start is not out of the question as Watford open with three very winnable games (Brighton, Burnley and Crystal Palace). Getting positive results out of August should do wonders for Gracia, but as the grind wears on, we could see Watford starting to come undone.
The Bet to Watch
According to the odds, Watford (+210) are the third-likeliest team to go down after Cardiff City (-150) and Huddersfield Town (+120). The fact that they have shorter relegation odds than newly promoted sides Fulham (+215) and Wolves (+750) shows you just how much of a scrap it will be at the bottom of the table.
That being the case, I think backing Watford to go down at +210 is a decent bet. They may have more talent than some other relegation candidates, but their lack of depth could spell trouble as the season wears on. At +210 you’d have to expect Watford to be relegated ~32.3% of the time, and that points to some value.
All odds current as of Aug. 3