THERE’S a full programme of midweek Football League action so we asked Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) to find three bets at decent prices.
Birmingham City v Millwall | Tuesday 19.45
A play-off charge isn’t yet beyond Birmingham but the 12-point gap between the Blues and sixth-placed Watford could and probably should have remained at 10 points on Saturday. Gary Rowett’s team wasted a catalogue of chances at Craven Cottage, having to settle for a point apiece in a 1-1 draw with Fulham.
David Cotterill’s dead-ball deliveries caused the Cottagers plenty of problems and the Blues boss said the first-half performance in the weekend’s result was the best 45 minutes of football he’s seen since he’s returned to the club. Clayton Donaldson was a threat in the air but the ex-Brentford hitman spurned a cracking chance that would have sealed the points for the away side.
Birmingham are unbeaten in six now but four successive draws have slowed the rapid progress made under Rowett’s watch. Still a W7-D6-L2 record under the former Burton boss is play-off form and with improvements made to their St Andrews results, it’s hard not to resist a punt on the Blues at even-money (William Hill) against Millwall.
That home record now reads W4-D2-L1 under Rowett with only table-topping Derby leaving the hosts pointless in front of their home supporters. Should they display the same pace and quality going forward, I’ve no doubt they can pile more misery on a Millwall side that appears destined for the drop.
Eight of Birmingham’s nine wins have come against teams below them in the table and the Lions occupy the final place in the Championship relegation zone, two points from safety. Saturday’s 3-1 home reverse to Huddersfield was their sixth in eight games and led to manager Ian Holloway labelling his team’s performance as “crippling” and “an embarrassment”.
Red-faced Ollie found it hard to explain another meek Millwall display as they were out-played by the 10-man Terriers at The Den. The Lions have won just three league games since August and although they’ve only been beaten in six of their 14 road matches, a record of W1-D3-L5 at teams in 14th and above won’t be filling supporters of the South London club with confidence.
Oldham Athletic v Swindon Town | Tuesday 19.45
Oldham featured in my weekend column as I went chasing goals in their trip to Scunthorpe. The match that followed was not what I had in mind as neither side carved out any opportunities of note before Latics flyer Carl Winchester capped his Man of the Match display with a fabulous individual winner.
That three-points propelled Lee Johnson’s men into the top-six but Bradford’s Monday night victory has edged Oldham back down to seventh. And although their weekend win was their third League One outing in five to feature fewer than three goals, there’s plenty of reason to believe we could see the net bulge a few times on Tuesday evening.
Firstly, only four of the Latics’ last 12 league encounters have been played at their Boundary Park home and that has tended to skew their most recent Over/Under trends. Taking home fixtures alone, eight of Oldham’s last nine have featured Over 2.5 Goals with seven also banking for Both Teams To Score backers.
Next up is a visit from high-flying Swindon and the Robins tend to deal in high-scoring affairs when away from their County Ground nest. Their last away day at Sheffield United was only the second occasion in 13 League One road trips that Swindon games have produced fewer than three goals with Mark Cooper’s men notching at least twice in 10 of their 14 away.
Chelsea loanee John Swift hogged the headlines in Saturday’s 2-0 home victory against Barnsley and with international stars Massimo Luongo and Yaser Kassim back in the fold, Cooper has a wealth of attacking talent in midfield areas.
The Robins have bagged 10 wins in their last 13 league fixtures and won’t sit back to defend a result. With 11 of their 14 away games featuring Over 2.5 Goals, the even-money on offer from Bet365 for a repeat at Boundary Park has to be snapped up.
Luton Town v York City | Tuesday 19.45
Luton are available at odds-against quotes to extend their excellent record at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night but I’ve found a way of boosting that price, for the visit of struggling York. The Hatters were held to their fifth draw in seven games at Oxford last time out but boss John Still was pleased with the performance levels of his side.
Despite that recent run of stalemates, the fourth-placed side have W9-D2-L0 in their last 11 matches in front of their home fans. The hosts can also call upon the league’s second best defence that includes eight clean sheets across those aforementioned 11 games. The Hatters also have a reputation for over-powering the lesser lights in the division with a strong W9-D5-L1 record against bottom-half clubs this season.
So there’s plenty of room for encouragement when backing Luton. Visitors York slumped to a fourth defeat in a winless run of six games at home to Dagenham on Saturday. Boss Russ Wilcox was fuming with his team’s inept display, claiming the Minsterman were “poor” and simply “not good enough in all areas” of the pitch.
Only five defeats in 14 on their travels at least gives York fans hope but it’s also interesting to note that the visitors have lost all four trips to top-four sides this season and they’ve only scored one goal in their last five games. They’re pretty damming statistics and the club are most certainly in a dogfight for League Two survival.
So how do we boost the 21/20 on offer for a home win? Well Boylesports are offering 29/20 for a Luton win and Under 3.5 Goals. The Hatters have seen 20/28 league outings produce Under 2.5 Goals with a whopping 25/28 also collecting for Under 3.5 Goals backers. It’s a similar story for York with 22/29 matches featuring fewer than four goals.
Birmingham City v Millwall – Birmingham City to win (1/1 William Hill)
Oldham Athletic v Swindon Town – Over 2.5 Goals (1/1 Bet365)
Luton Town v York City – Luton Town to win and Under 3.5 Goals (29/20 Boylesports)
Sky Bet are offering ALL players 4/1 on an enhanced treble involving Middlesbrough, Bristol City and Burton all winning on Tuesday night.
Middlesbrough, Bristol City and Burton all to win – 4/1 Sky Bet
What’s your best Football League bet this midweek? Do you have a tasty Tuesday treble you’d like to share?
We’d love to hear what you’re backing so let us know in the comments box below!