WITH four winners from his past six Football League tips, who’s Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) backing this weekend?
Blackburn v Huddersfield | 15.00
Value is a term branded around a lot in the betting world. What is it? Well there’s plenty of different interpretations but in simple terms, it’s when a price is bigger than the actual odds should be for a particular market or match. So when I noticed the odds on Both Teams To Score in the Blackburn v Huddersfield match was 5/6 I was intrigued.
The price suggests this bet has a 54% chance of winning but if you look at the stats, 8/10 Rovers games and 7/10 Town matches have seen Both Teams Score this season. So we’re onto something…
Gary Bowyer’s team were well fancied in midweek but went down 2-0 at Rotherham. But the biggest surprise for me, was Blackburn failed to score for the first time this season. It was only the second game in 22 league outings they’ve failed to score – in that period they’ve hit 47 goals! Impressive, eh?
Now the hosts are in the midst of an injury crisis and Rudy Gestede is the latest to join the list of absentees but let’s not forget they’ve a certain Jordan Rhodes leading the line and they’ve netted two or more goals in 8/10 at Ewood Park.
Onto Huddersfield who bagged a terrific three points at Wolves on Wednesday evening. It’s back-to-back wins now for Chris Powell’s men and after a difficult start, they appear to be on the right road.
On their travels they’ve scored eight in five, only failing to score once. And last season they managed to net in 16/23 away fixtures. Like Rovers, the Terriers have a few sharp finishers, most notably Nakhi Wells, whilst Grant Holt was lauded for his performance when making his full debut in midweek.
Between them, the two teams have played 20 games this season and kept just two clean sheets. The pair also make up two of the top-five positions in the Most Shots On Target table in the Championship, so good luck if you’re opposing goals.
Walsall v Bristol City | 15.00
League One looks a much weaker division compared to last season but don’t let that put you off Bristol City. They’ve made a superb start, unbeaten with seven wins from 10 games, to lead the league by five points. It would be hard to oppose them at this point.
Steve Cotterill’s done a marvelous job and anyone who watched last week’s Football League Show will see there’s a real air of confidence and belief around Ashton Gate. This weekend they’ve got a potential banana-skin in waiting when they head to Walsall. But you’ve got to fancy the Robins at 29/20 quotes with BetVictor to take all three points home.
I mentioned the potential banana-skin and that’s why I’m taking Bristol -0.25 in the Asian Handicap market here at odds-against. It’s 11/10 with Bet365. What it means is – should the game end in a draw, you only lose half your stake. But if they win, you win the lot. So only a defeat would leave you completely empty-handed…
Why am I wary? Well Walsall beat Preston 3-1 at the Bescot recently and have only lost the one home game in front of their fans – that was against Yeovil early on. And Dean Smith loves the battles against the big teams.
Although their recent record against the top-half doesn’t stand up too well. Last season Walsall W2 D4 L5 against the top-half at home and they’ve only won nine of their last 28 at home since the start of last season. So getting odds-against on the league leaders -0.25 seems like great bet to me.
Oxford v Newport | 15.00
I mentioned value in my first bet and I’ll do so again here. Why? Well the prices appear a little more generous than they should be for Oxford’s clash with Newport.
The U’s lost 2-0 at Luton last week to end their unbeaten five-game streak and they’re second from bottom now. They held a club forum in midweek and support is still very much behind Michael Appleton but he’ll need to start collecting wins soon, or that will change.
Newport also made a slow start but are now unbeaten in seven, and they’ve won three of those to move up to 15th and Justin Edinburgh will have his sights on getting another positive result this weekend. But on the road, County are a much more disciplined outfit and that should lead us to a low-scoring encounter.
Staying on County, 7/10 away games now have featured Under 2.5 Goals – 6/10 of those even saw Under 1.5 Goals. This season they’ve had two 0-0s, two 1-0s and a 3-2 on the road. That’s led to three clean sheets and also three fixtures in which they’ve failed to score in their away games.
Go back further and 18/28 away matches since promotion have seen fewer than three goals – that’s 64% and the equivalent to a 4/7 shot. We’re getting 4/5 here from BetVictor!
Back to Oxford then and they’ve failed to net in two and been scoreless in 5/10 overall. Three of those five games came at the Kassam (0-0, 0-1, 0-1) although they did record a 3-1 win against a ragged Accrington and played out a 3-3 with Dagenham. But when teams come to defend, they struggle.
On their own patch they’ve seen 7/10 go Under 2.5 and since the start of last season, 17/28 home games have also seen Unders bank – that’s 61% and the equivalent of a 4/6 shot. And yep, we’re being given 4/5 here, so take it.