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2012/13 Reading FC Bookie Watch - August 17

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So the big kick-off is around 24 hours away, we've all got our own beliefs on how the season is going to go but how do the men that make a living off making predictions and backing the winners see our campaign going?

Below the jump we'll have our first bookie watch of the season, our regular look at how the bookmakers see Reading FC and the rest of the Premier League.

The first aim of any promoted club is to survive, so let's check on the favourites for relegation.

Premier League Survival Odds 
Southampton       11/8
Reading 6/4
Norwich 13/8
Wigan 9/5
Swansea 2/1
West Ham 11/4
West Brom 4/1
Odds taken from on August 17

Generally the bookies have us as one of the favourites for the drop at 6/4 with fine margins separating ourselves from Southampton, Norwich and Wigan. There's then a bit more of a jump to Swansea and West Ham before West Brom start the 'outsiders' rankings at about 4/1.

The bookmakers seem to fancy our chances of beating the drop a lot more than Norwich and Swansea after they were promoted in 2011. Swansea were 4/9 and Norwich 4/7 to make a Championship return, with Champions QPR at the same odds we are now at 6/4.

This year and I'd say that that 'leading' group looks fair as those are the six teams with the most question marks. Reading and Southampton were both unexpected promotions and while both have strengthened, neither contains a great deal of Premier League experience. Norwich have had a summer of transition following the departure of Paul Lambert while Wigan had to put together a miracle run to survive relegation last season. Swansea, like Norwich, have had a managerial change and have lost Joe Allen, while West Ham are also newly promoted.

If you want a flutter outside of that group than Aston Villa's odds of 7/1 look a bit juicy as do Sunderland at 12/1.

If you want to be positive and back that Reading will stay up, you can get a best price of 8/11 on the Royals to be in the Premier League for the 2013/14 season.

Bigger & Better Things?

The last time we were promoted Reading managed to finish 8th in the Premier League, and if you think they can match that achievement with a top 8 finish this season then you can get a best price of 12/1 with the bookies. If you fancy top half finish, those odds dip down to 8/1.

If you're feeling amazingly bold then the club are 66/1 to finish inside the top 6, 400/1 to earn a Champions League space and 8000/1 to win the title. 66/1 may seem like a long shot but at late as December last year we were over 200/1 to win the Championship, showing you just how wrong the bookies can get things. I'm not suggesting it'll happen but stranger things have happened!

Top Goalscorer

The market for this is headed by Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney at 8/1, with Reading's interest first popping up with Pavel Pogrebnyak who has best odds of 125/1, the same as a group that also includes Peter Crouch, Steven Gerrard and Peter Odemwingie. Jason Roberts is 150/1 while Adam Le Fondre is out at 200/1 the same price as Noel Hunt.

In terms of who the bookies think will be our top league goalscorer, Pog is the clear favourite at 6/4, with Le Fondre at 6/1, Roberts at 8/1 and Hunt at 10/1. Of the rest and Jimmy Kebe might be worth a punt at 33/1.

The Manager

The last two managers to have won the Championship, Chris Hughton and Neil Warnock haven't survived the season and if you think Brian McDermott will make that a hat-trick Stan James have odds of 9/2 that Brian won't be in charge at the end of the season. Conversely you can get 1/8 that Brian will still be in his office at the end of the campaign.

If you think Brian will be the first manager to leave his job he's 20/1.

So those are just a few of the odds you can get on Reading this season, with the general view at the moment that we'll be struggling to stay up. Still if you're confident of survival there's plenty of value to be had as mentioned, we certainly proved the bookies wrong last year and here's hoping we can again this campaign.

But what do you think? Do you think the bookies have got it right or are they wide of the mark? Let us know your thoughts below.