The big names in Dutch football are asserting themselves once again and going into 2022, the title race looks to be between Ajax and PSV.
Who do Bettors Favor?
The Eredivisie league table suggests that the top two are pulling away from the rest and online sportsbooks have been quick to cut the odds on PSV and Ajax.
Ajax are the short-priced favorites to win Eredivisie, at around -215, despite the fact that they trail their old rivals PSV, who are rated at around the +170 mark. The next closest challenger is reckoned to be Feyenoord by the markets, but they can be backed at a range of prices from +880 to +2000, and although they are only three points ahead of their closest challengers, the markets don’t think the chasing group can catch the top three, with AZ Alkmaar the shortest-priced at +10,000.
PSV a Better Bet for the Title
Ajax and PSV have dominated Eredivisie for the last decade, with Ajax winning six titles and PSV three so it isn’t exactly a surprise to see them top of the table at the start of 2022.
The reigning champions are going for their third consecutive title and that recent history, combined with the startling statistics they have registered in the first half of the season helps to explain why they are favorites with bettors and with bookmakers.
Ajax have a 59-4 goals scored and conceded record, and their goal difference is an astonishing +55, which is more than double that of their nearest challengers. And yet, they are one point off the lead. The stats show that while they are blowing most weaker teams away, they have shown very little resilience under pressure. In fact they have lost all three of the games in which they have conceded a goal.
That fragility could ultimately be their downfall as teams work out how to combat them, and makes them an unattractive bet at short odds. Based on the current Eredivisie winner’s market, PSV, who have put together a nine-game unbeaten run offer the best value.
Can Anyone Catch the Top Two?
Third-placed Feyenoord are only six points off the pace so could conceivably make it a three-horse race, at least for the two Champions League qualification places. Yet those tempted to back them should note the collapse that they suffered in the second half of last season, which saw them slip from third to fifth, as they struggled to find consecutive wins.
Could the same thing happen again? There are worrying signs for Feyenoord fans as their team lost at the weekend on their return from the winter break, making it one win in four. In fact, they seem more likely to be overtaken by Vitesse Arnhem, just a point back in fourth, rather than closing the gap on the leaders.
With only two teams entering the Champions League, there isn’t a lot of interest in the Eredivisie top four or top six markets, but if you can find a market offering odds on teams finishing in the top seven and earning a spot in the European Qualification play-offs, newly promoted Cambuur could be worth a wager.
The dominant team in the second tier had been made to wait a year before joining the top flight, due to COVID-19 but they have made up for last time with an all-action style that has seen them score and concede plenty. They are not consistent enough to challenge the best teams but they have the potential to challenge Utrecht, Twente and AZ in the 4-7 slot in the table.
Who will be Relegated from Eredivisie?
The Eredivisie is an 18 team division and as is usually the case with this type of league, only the bottom two clubs are relegated automatically, while the third-bottom team goes into a relegation play-off. That can make wagers in the relegation markets more complicated than it is in other nations.
PEC Zwolle picked up a crucial win against Willem II on their return from the break, and that moved them to within four of the 17th-placed club, Fortuna Sittard. Sittard have won only once since October – against Zwolle – and with Sparta Rotterdam in 16th showing signs of life in recent games, the current bottom two appear to be the likeliest to face automatic relegation.
Stick with Haller to be Top Scorer
Ajax’s goal-scoring exploits have been led by striker Sebastian Haller. The Ivory Coast star, who scored for his nation in AFCON 2021 at the weekend, leads by one goal from Feyenoord’s Bryan Linssen, but while his absence on international duty may suggest Linssen would be a better wager, it is possible that Haller will miss only one more Ajax game before the end of AFCON or two if Ivory Coast reach the final.
Given that Feyenoord’s form appears to be tailing off, at this stage, it is worth sticking with Haller in the top scorer market ahead of Linssen and his Feyenoord teammate Guus Til.MyBookie