Tottenham - Reading Betting Preview: Spurs set for easy win despite absence of Bale

Andre Villas-Boas' in-form side have a third straight league win in their sights which Jamie Dickenson thinks that can be achieved comfortably and has a 7/2 value bet in mind
Tottenham maintained their position in the top four of the Premier League with a well-earned 2-1 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Andre Villas-Boas' side will be without star winger Gareth Bale for Reading's trip to White Hart Lane on New Year's Day, but they remain the odds-on favourites to win with Bet 365 at 1/3 (1.33).

That price is quite short for a Spurs side that has already lost at home this season to Wigan and Chelsea, but accurately reflects the current form of the north Londoners.

Reading earned just their second win of the campaign last time out after a narrow 1-0 victory over a lacklustre West Ham, and are priced as 9/1 (10.0) outsiders for this clash to make it back-to-back wins.

With Bale out, the Royals will be more hopeful of getting something out of the game than if the Wales international was playing, and Brian McDermott would be pleased with a point at 4/1 (5.0) considering Spurs' impressive form of late.

However, the depth of Tottenham's squad means they should have enough talent to call upon to dispatch Reading, and given the away record of the opposition they could do it comfortably.

The strength of Villas-Boas' squad was highlighted against Sunderland, when Clint Dempsey, Scott Parker and Gylfi Sigurdsson were all called upon off the bench to help consolidate the visitor's second-half advantage at the Black Cats.

And after two away day triumphs (4-0 Aston Villa, 2-1 Sunderland), Spurs return home looking for a third clean sheet on their own patch against the relegation-threatened Royals.

For their part, Reading have failed to score on their last four trips on the road in the Premier League, which all ended in defeat.

The newly promoted side are yet to win away from home, and have a miserly traveling record of two draws and eight defeats when playing away from the Madejski Stadium.

With all that in mind, backing Tottenham to win to nil at 11/10 (2.10) will be the best bet to follow for this match.

As Bale is missing, the onus for goals falls heavily on 10-goal marksman Jermain Defoe to find the net.

Spurs beat Reading 3-1 at the Madejski earlier this season, and had Defoe to thanks for two well-taken goals that day, as well as an effort from Bale.

Tottenham's last home league game against the Royals was a stunning 6-4 victory, in which Defoe also netted.

The 30-year-old might be a touch short for some to score anytime at 5/6 (1.83), but Defoe to open the scoring is a tempting 7/2 (4.5) bet and is worth a smaller stake.

Tottenham to win to nil at 11/10 (2.10) with Bet 365
Jermain Defoe to score first 7/2 (4.5) with Bet 365

Jamie Dickenson is a 22-year-old freelance journalist who specialises in football, sports and betting.

More of his work can be found here
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