MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) picks his favourite three bets from the weekend Football League coupon. And there’s a chance to win another Free Bet from our sponsors 888 Sport and vital Cash Race points in our brand new competition!
Blackpool v Leeds United | Saturday 15.00
On Tuesday we made money opposing Blackpool, on Wednesday we made money with Leeds and on Saturday we’ll look to combine the two and cash-in on a White win at Bloomfield Road.
Despite that opening gambit sounding suspiciously like Craig David’s smash hit ‘7 Days’ from 2000, the same message applies from the midweek previews covering both teams’ contrasting results.
Last weekend Blackpool boss Lee Clark admitted his Tangerines team were heading down by a “massive margin” and described their 4-0 hammering at Bournemouth as “soul-destroying” and “the most angry I’ve been” as the Seasiders allowed the Cherries to walk all over them at the Goldsands.
But things didn’t improve on Tuesday night. Charlton swatted aside Pools 3-0 on the north-west coast, a sixth consecutive loss meaning Blackpool have now taken just two points from their last 30 on offer. The 18 points gap between Clark’s charges and survival is now almost mathematically unbridgeable – relegation could even be confirmed on Saturday.
The Tangerines supremo has challenged the club to deliver the change he’s sought but things are likely to get worse before they get better. The “slow death” description used by Clark in midweek will likely to be trotted out again this weekend and I just can’t ignore the even-money offering from 888 Sport on a Leeds win.
The white flag has been waved at Bloomfield Road and the Whites of United should be shining brightest at 5pm on Saturday. Neil Redfearn’s visitors are now W8-D3-L3 in 2015; collecting a hugely impressive two points-per-game average this calendar year.
The Leeds supremo said he gave his side a rollicking at half-time of their 3-0 win at Fulham on Wednesday night as the Cottagers enjoyed the best of the opening half’s play. But the Yorkshire giants are a tough nut to crack these days and ran out comfortable winners in the end to enhance their away record to W5-D2-L1 during 14-match spell.
The visitors have kept clean sheets in four of their previous five away days now and that defensive resilience should stand them in good stead against a misfiring Blackpool side that’s scored just once in six outings. Back Leeds to illuminate Blackpool’s seafront on Saturday!
Crewe Alexandra v Oldham Athletic | Saturday 15.00
I’m well aware that my first two selections are almost carbon copies to what I recommended in midweek but balls to it, they’re the best value bets (in my opinion) on what’s quite a treacherous card of Football League games.
On Tuesday I said Oldham would lose to MK Dons and they duly did, 3-1 at Boundary Park. The Latics have been crippled by an almost never-ending injury list and just aren’t equipped to deal with so many key casualties with a play-off push now rapidly turning into a fight for survival.
Caretaker Dean Holden has been given the manager’s role until the end of the season and the loan signing of Anthony Gerrard will certainly boost a side that’s conceded 15 goals in their last six outings.
The new boss questioned the character of his team post-match on Wednesday and seemed to suggest a number of players had strong words to say about the plummet down the League One table. It doesn’t sound pretty.
So with Oldham now losing six of their last seven and 11 of their previous 17 league matches, I’m certainly steering well clear of the Latics this weekend as they head to a Crewe side also scrapping for third tier survival
Steve Davis’ hosts are perched two points above the drop-zone but their five defeats in seven is probably not a fair reflection on the Alex’s capabilities. All five reverses came on the road against top-half teams (Bristol City, Preston, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rochdale) and their record at Gresty Road is certainly more encouraging.
Since losing four of their first five on home soil, Crewe have returned W7-D4-L2 figures as hosts and would be ranked ninth based on home form only. Only MK Dons have left Gresty Road with maximum points since the end of October with Davis’ team keeping four consecutive clean sheets in front of their home supporters.
So I’m happy to put my faith in the Alex continuing that excellent record. Crewe can be backed at 53/50 with a 0 start on the Asian Handicap line with 888 Sport. It’s essentially the same bet as taking a Draw No Bet selection meaning, we’ll get our cash back should the match end all square but have ourselves a winner should Crewe come out on top.
Accrington Stanley v York City | Saturday 15.00
We all like value, yes? In previous pieces I’ve tried to explain the concept of value betting (check out the paragraph under Scunthorpe-Sheffield United) and how we can identify it and so it’s pleasing to see there’s enough chance to highlight another instance of value betting this weekend.
Accrington escaped with a 2-2 draw from Wycombe on Tuesday night but in truth, it was the high-flying hosts that deserved the points. However, Accy boss John Coleman will claim that results even themselves out and that was surely the case here as, despite the 3-0 scoreline, Stanley were competitive and wasteful against league leaders Burton last weekend.
A point from two trips to teams in the automatic promotion places is more than most would have expected from Accy but once again they’ve proved their worth. Coleman’s a mastermind in charge and his decision to bring in Terry Gornell has certainly added another dimension to the Stanley attack.
Individual errors and defensive mishaps continue to cost the north-west side points but heading towards April, it’s refreshing to see Accrington clear of the relegation zone and looking relatively comfortable as we approach the business end to the season.
In Gornell, Kal Naismith, Josh Windass and Sean Maguire, the hosts certainly have the talent to hurt opposition defences and so whilst goals continue to be haemorrhaged at the back, we can normally rely on Stanley to get on the scoresheet themselves. And that’s the angle that’s offering us value on Saturday.
Visitors York are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference and are being punished for their poor finishing. On Tuesday night Bury won 1-0 at Bootham Crescent, scoring with their only shot on target. It means the Minsterman have won just twice on home soil all season.
Russ Wilcox’s team have been much more profitable on the road (W5-D6-L7) and will enjoy getting away from the awful Crescent pitch this weekend. The Crown Ground surface won’t be a carpet but York should be able to play their passing game with a little more fluency.
As well as improved performances, the Minsterman are also getting goals on the road. I’ve outlined the 15/19 (888 Sport) on Both Teams To Score as the value bet and that’s proved a winner in 10/18 (56%) of York’s road fixtures, with the visitors scoring in 15 of those games and boasting just three clean sheets.
But their impressive goal stats are dwarfed by Accrington’s at the Crown Ground. The hosts have returned 12/18 (67%) BTTS winners on home soil, only failing to score twice and keeping just four shutouts.
If we put those two Both Teams To Score records together and find the average between the two teams, it gives us a 61.5% chance of a repeat BTTS winner. In betting terms, that equated to around a 1.64 shot (just under 5/8), which is far shorter than the 1.79 on offer from 888 Sport! Value!
Blackpool v Leeds United – Leeds United to win (1/1 888 Sport)
Crewe Alexandra v Oldham Athletic – Crewe Alexandra 0 on Asian Handicap line (53/50 888 Sport)
Accrington Stanley v York City – Both Teams To Score (15/19 888 Sport)
Win A £10 Free Bet + 10 Cash Race Points
Mark’s shared his favourite Football League treble and now it’s over to you guys. Pick a win-draw-win treble from the Football League this weekend and should it win, we’ll give you 10 Cash Race points.
The player with the biggest-priced winning treble will take home the £10 Free Bet from 888 Sport plus you can earn an extra two Cash Race points just for emailing us the Video Codeword from the above YouTube video (it will be added later on Thursday)!
How To Win:
- Pick a win-draw-win Football League treble quoting 888 Sport‘s odds.
- Email your entry to [email protected]
- Include the Video Codeword in your email to earn an extra two Cash Race points.
- If your treble wins, we’ll give you 10 Cash Race points.
- The player with the biggest-priced winning treble will bag the £10 Free Bet from 888 Sport.
- Any player who doesn’t adhere to the above rules will score zero Cash Race points.