In the Premier League, as it stands during the November international break, there is a 17-point gap from 1st place to 5th place. They can call it the world’s best league or whatever they like, but the way it’s skewed towards the top teams makes it almost ridiculous. It’s November, and, unless there is an eight- and nine-point swing respectively, we have a fair idea of who will win the Premier League and who will finish in the coveted Top 4 positions.
Now, let’s have a look at the way the National League stands in mid-November: Five points separate Bromley at the top from Woking in 9th place. Incredible. During the 90 minutes of a typical round of matches in the National League, the odds for the title shown in the live betting online twist and turn dramatically. Consider that at the time of writing, six teams – Solihull Moors (9/2), Yeovil (9/2), Bromley (6/1), Barrow, Notts County and Torquay (all 7/1, odds from 888sport) – are in single figures in the title odds.
At least 10 teams could land the title
None of this is meant to fall into the cliché of saying that lower league football is better than top level competitions due to greater competitivity. For instance, Dorking Wanderers won the Isthmian League by 22 points last season. But there is an argument that fans further down the ladder can enjoy a more open and exciting run through the season. Moreover, to be fair to the Premier League, it’s hugely competitive in terms of title fights when compared to leagues like Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue I, where Juventus, Bayern and PSG seem to be crowned champions every season.
Anyway, as to the National League going forward, can we pick a winner out of the clump at teams in the top half of the table? As shown by the odds above, Yeovil and Solihull are the co-favourites, despite being one and three points respectively behind the leaders, Bromley. To be sure, anyone in the top 10 could be in with a shout. For instance, could you really rule out the likes of Halifax Town?
League reaches halfway point
We noticed some early trends at the start of the season, many of which seem to have been borne out as we approach the busy Christmas period. Yet, there is still a huge number of factors that will come into play over the coming weeks and months. On the other hand, we should remember that the National League trundles along much quicker than the top leagues of Europe. We are almost at the half-way stage of the season. As such, we are witnessing the pattern of the season unfolding, and it looks like it will be one of the tightest finishes in memory.
Indeed, we should remember that many teams will have their eye on a Playoff spot. With 7th place currently occupied by Harrogate on 32points, there is a feeling that anyone from Maidenhead and Boreham Wood up the way could grab a Playoff spot. Expect plenty of shocks and twists, but the second half of the season looks like it could be a vintage one.