IT’S international week and that means the Football League takes centre stage on Tuesday night. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) chases the value in the two League One fixtures.
Oldham Athletic v Rochdale | Tuesday 19.45
Oldham gave their survival prospects a big lift on Saturday when they edged out Crewe 1-0 at Gresty Road. It downed one of my Football League bets but looking at the extended highlights and various reports from that match, it sounded (and looked) pretty grim.
Andy Holden has been given the manager reigns until the end of the season and was naturally delighted with his troops’ display, exclaiming that “everyone gave everything” in the battle and he’ll certainly need a repeat on Tuesday night for the derby against a buoyant Rochdale side.
Dale were comfortably the better side against Scunthorpe on Saturday, winning 3-1 with Ian Henderson collecting another Man of the Match award for running the Iron ragged down the flanks. And boss Keith Hill was quick to lay down the gauntlet to his players post-match, knowing the visitors are just three points off the top-six with two games in hand.
A run of four wins in five have seen Hill’s charges bounce back into form with the goals flowing freely once again. Dale are the fifth top scorers in League One and have plundered 11 in that five-match spell and it’s an angle I’m keen to try and profit from on Tuesday night.
Sportingbet have chalked up Over 1.5 Rochdale Goals at 7/5 and that’s got my attention. Away from Spotland, the visitors have netted at least twice in 11/18 (61%) of fixtures, including eight of their 10 trips to bottom-half sides. Only four teams have shut Hill’s slick side out in those 18 outings.
Interestingly, Rochdale have only collected maximum points on the road when scoring at least twice, losing all seven matches in which they’ve netted once or failed to score at all. With that in mind, I’ll also have a small nibble on the 13/8 from Betfred on an away win.
Despite their welcome victory on Saturday, Oldham have lost their last four at Boundary Park and have leaked two or more goals in 8/18 (44%) as well as four of their six when hosting top-nine teams. So I’ve faith in eighth-placed Rochdale doing the business and climbing into the top-six on Tuesday night.
Sheffield United v Scunthorpe United | Tuesday 19.45
Sheffield United kept only their second clean sheet in 21 League One games on Saturday as they edged out Port Vale 1-0 at Bramall Lane. Nigel Clough claimed it was the “most important three points of the season” as the Blades ended their five-match winless run.
But Clough’s charges were forced to work hard in the second-half to preserve that shutout as Vale produced a stirring display when rallying for an equaliser. However, I’m not prepared to believe the Blades’ defensive woes have been solved and believe Scunthorpe have enough firepower to grab a goal on Tuesday night.
The Iron were beaten 3-1 at Rochdale on Saturday, meaning Mark Robins’ men have failed to record three points in their last seven matches. Having collected just one point from a possible 12 on the road and being beaten on their three previous trips to top-five opposition, the visitors are going to be in for another stern examination.
Scunny have slipped to within a point of the relegation zone and Robins’ bemoaned his side’s defending at the weekend. The Iron’s number one claimed his team were “having to work extra hard for our goals and conceding really poor goals ourselves”. It’s a potent cocktail when you’re aiming to stave off the threat of relegation.
But Robins should be pleased with Scunny’s goalscoring ability. The visitors have scored in 15/18 (83%) away games since promotion and although they’ve only kept one shutout on the road, it’s led to 14/18 (78%) of Both Teams To Score winners.
Having already mentioned Sheffield United’s lack of clean sheets, the Blades have only failed to score twice on home soil this season in league action, leading to 11/18 (61%) fixtures featuring goals for both teams, including eight of their last 11 at Bramall Lane.
If we put the two teams successful home/away BTTS percentages together and find the average, we should be expecting around about a 69.5% probability of a Both Teams To Score bet landing again on Tuesday evening.
Translating that percentage probability to odds suggests the price of BTTS should be around 4/9. William Hill are giving us the chance to back it at 10/11, implying just a 52% chance of success! I’m in.
Oldham Athletic v Rochdale – Rochdale to win (13/8 Betfred)
Oldham Athletic v Rochdale – Rochdale to score Over 1.5 Goals (7/5 Sportingbet)
Sheffield United v Scunthorpe United – Both Teams To Score (10/11 William Hill)
What’s your best bet from Tuesday’s Football League coupon? Are you keen to back Mark’s value selection?
Let us know in the comments box below.