As the son of a racehorse owner, Tommy Elphick knows a thing or two about betting.

He reckons the bookmakers have it about right in predicting Albion are on course for the play-offs in League One this season.

Russell Slade’s Seagulls are a best-priced 14-1 with Sky, Coral and Blue Square.

That makes them joint sixth favourites alongside Millwall and behind Leeds, Norwich, Charlton, Huddersfield and MK Dons.

Ladbrokes are even more cautious, bracketing Albion with big-spending Huddersfield at 10-1 The odds layers are clearly impressed by Slade’s summer business so far. They have singled out the side he is assembling as the potential big improvers following last season’s narrow escape from relegation.

Elphick said: “They have obviously been taking a lot of notice of what has been happening in the summer.

“We have signed a lot of very good League One players who can also make the next step up and they have gone more on that than last season.

“It was a warning to us last season that you cannot take anything for granted but I don’t see any reason why we cannot get into that top six.”

Elphick is happy with Albion’s pre-season preparations, which continue with their third friendly at AFC Wimbledon tonight (7.45).

“It’s been very good up to now,” he said. “Matt Miller (fitness coach) has been doing the running sessions and the gaffer (Russell Slade) the ball work with Dean White and Bob Booker, which works well.

“We had a bleep test yesterday and everyone was at about the same level, which reflects well.

“We were not at our best at Stevenage on Saturday after an extremely hard week but there is more of a structure and game plan this season.

“There were still positives to take out of the Stevenage match. We don’t want to be peaking now but it was also a wake-up call. There is a lot of work to do yet.”

Elphick faces extra competition at centre half this season following the signing of James Tunnicliffe from Stockport.

They partnered each other in the first half of the 2-1 defeat at Stevenage after Elphick played alongside Adam Virgo for 45 minutes in the opening 2-0 friendly victory at Havant and Waterlooville last week.

“Jamie’s career path has been quite similar to mine,” said Elphick. “He didn’t play much in his first year at Stockport, then became more prominent. He is in my age group as well and it’s good to have competition.

“I am still aiming to play in every game and be part of something big happening at the club. I am not saying we weren’t professional before but there is an added professionalism in what we are doing now.”

Elphick is expecting another stiff test tonight against Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow, which they share with Kingstonian.

They have been promoted from Blue Square south to the premier and followed up an 8-1 thrashing of triangular tournament hosts Ramsey with a 3-0 victory against Isle of Man on Saturday after launching their pre-season programme with a 1-0 defeat at home to Peter Taylor’s Wycombe Wanderers.

Elphick said: “The Conference is a good standard now, basically a professional league. Wimbledon are full-time, as Stevenage were.

“They have always got a point to prove and are definitely at it, so they are good games for us.”