The Mercer Mix | 17th January 2015

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IN the first of a brand new column, Danny Mercer (@OneDannyMercer) takes us through his best bets of the weekend.

My NAP

I expected Swindon to be much shorter then evens (Coral) for their home clash with Chesterfield. After all they’re top of the league and cruised past Coventry on Monday night. Yeah, they’re missing Massimo Luongo and Yaser Kasim at the Asian Cup, but they have so much quality going forward to make up for that.

Town have four top-notch strikers for this level in pacey Andy Williams, home bird Michael Smith, powerful Jonathan Obika and fresh face Jermaine Hylton. It’s a frightening thought for Chesterfield!

Opponents are so in awe of Swindon at the moment that they park the bus, but that’s not Paul Cook’s style. I expect the Spireites to have a go and attack the league leaders. That could be a risky move.

It’s also worth remembering Chesterfield had a tough game in the FA Cup midweek that went to extra time. Will fitness tell in this game? Let’s hope so!

Team Goals

Yeovil are bottom of the league with four consecutive defeats to their name and look massively vulnerable against Bradford. The picture gets gloomier when you add in the fact they’re missing key midfielders Simon Gillet and Kevin Dawson, plus centre back Ben Nugent through suspension.

Bradford are fresh from thumping Championship side Millwall in the FA Cup and look stuffed full of goal threats. Jon Stead, Andy Halliday, Billy Knott and James Hansen are the reason why they’ve scored two or more in four of their last six league games.

Phil Parkinson’s side hit two away against Bristol City, MK Dons, Rochdale, Preston and Fleetwood, so if they can pose a serious threat to top 10 sides I expect the same against bottom side Yeovil. They’re 7/4 with Coral to net Over 1.5 Goals.

Anytime Goalscorer

There are so many players I’ll be backing to score this weekend but if you gave me just one bet it would be a man they call JET, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas for Bristol City.

This boy was with Arsenal and was hotly tipped to go far, but lack of first team opportunities cost him in the end. He’s still only 24 and when he’s on song he’s unplayable at this level. Thomas has scored five goals in his last six games in all competitions and is linking up beautifully with Matt Smith.

Scunthorpe are on a good run, but they’ve had just one clean sheet in the league all season and are always prone to conceding one or two goals. I expect JET to woosh past their defenders and score for Bristol City. He’s 11/5 with Bet365 to net.

First-Half Goals

I saw Plymouth and Luton play earlier in the season on Sky and Reuben Reid ran John Still’s side ragged so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the difference again here. He might just get Arygle off to a flyer.

John Sheridan’s side may be winless in four league games now, but are so tough to beat at home. OK, they lost their last game at Home Park, but they went to down to 10 men against Oxford that day when they were 1-0 up and that shifted the balance of the game. Before that they’d won six of their last seven home games. Luton haven’t won in four on the road.

Plymouth have scored in the first half in their last 10 home games and 15 of their last 20 home goals have come in the first-half. Overall 17 of their 29 goals in the league this season have come in the first half. Persuasive stats eh? They’re 11/8 (William Hill) to score before the interval this weekend.

Vanarama Value

Lincoln got hammered last weekend by Eastleigh, but ignore that result as they had 10 men for 72 minutes of the match. Before that they’d won six of their previous seven league games and I feel they can bounce back here against Aldershot in what could be a goal-laden game.

The Imps have won five home league games on the spin while the Shots are in very bad form losing seven of their last nine league games. They have however scored in six of their last seven away league matches though and I reckon they can nick a goal here.

Lincoln to win and both teams to score would have copped in four of the last six City matches and I’m confident of collecting on Saturday at 3/1 with Coral.

Happy punting with whatever you’re backing. Now let’s nail some winners!

Best Bets

Swindon v Chesterfield – Swindon to win (1/1 Coral)

Yeovil v Bradford – Bradford to score Over 1.5 Goals (7/4 Coral)

Scunthorpe v Bristol City – Jay Emmanuel-Thomas to score anytime (11/5 Bet 365)

Plymouth v Luton – Plymouth Over 0.5 First Half Goals (11/8 William Hill)

Lincoln v Aldershot – Lincoln to win and both teams to score (3/1 Coral)

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I was brought into the betting world from a young age when my parents asked me to pick out a few horses. I’ve been hooked since but only seriously started punting in the past four years. I’ve used my wealth of knowledge from the English game along with my passion for stats and trends to try to find that winning angle. I work hard but enjoy nothing more than studying the form in the hope of getting that extra edge, whether it be from the non-leagues or the Premier League. And if I can help anyone pocket a few quid, it makes the hard work even more worthwhile.

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