MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) shares his best bets from the final weekend of regular Football League action.
Leeds United v Rotherham United | Saturday 12.15
Well done Rotherham! I’ll say it as not many else will; mainly because of the man in charge of the Millers, big sweaty Steve Evans. But I’ll not have a bad word said about Sweaty Steve – the Football League is a better place for characters like him and I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing him decked out in his sombrero, shorts and flip flops on Saturday. But not in a weird way, like…
Rotherham are in party mode after securing their Championship status and having to endure the drama and rollercoaster journey that came with their three-point deduction. Naturally, that elation should have taken their eye off the ball as the players look forward to their summer holidays.
Step forward Leeds. Neil Redfearn doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would allow his players the chance to bask in the spring sunshine. With all that wranglings behind the scene at Elland Road, I expect the Whites players and management to be motivated heading into this Yorkshire derby; after all, they’re literally playing for their futures at the club.
Last week’s 2-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday was well deserved and I’d expect another spirited display from Leeds this time around. Sure, they’ve lost three on the spin in front of their home supporters but I’m happy to throw the form book out of the window and have a go on the Whites scoring two goals or more at 6/5 with Bet365.
Redfearn’s charges have netted in 16/21 league outings in this calendar year and should be presented with enough opportunities to help this bank. Rotherham have leaked two or more goals in six of their last eight on the road and have already packed up for their beach break.
Swindon Town v Leyton Orient | Sunday 12.15
OK how do we put this say this without offending the kids? HOW THE EFFING HELL ARE LEYTON ORIENT FAVOURITES TO WIN AWAY AT SWINDON!?
Swindon’s league position is finalised. Swindon are out of form. Leyton Orient have to win. Yeah, I’ve been through it all four, five, six times and still there’s absolutely no solid foundation to make me think these prices should be reversed.
The Robins will finish fourth and should already be preparing for the play-offs but why would they want to put in a poor performance in their final home game of the season? Mark Cooper will be wanting to ensure his side are prepped and ready but he’ll also be hoping to enter the end of season finale with a bit of momentum. Surely?
Swindon have W2-D2-L4 in their last eight and of course that’s a concern. But hang on a sec, this Orient side have collected just one more point over the same period as their hosts (W2-D3-L3). They’re winless in six and were dismembered on their last visit to one of League One’s highest flyers. The O’s are just 1/6 for relegation but 8/5 to win at the County Ground? Not for me, thanks.
I’ll gladly have a slice of Swindon at 9/5 thanks to BetVictor because the Robins are… well, they’re just better!
Accrington Stanley v Mansfield Town | Saturday 15.00
I’m never normally a fan of getting stuck into end of season fixtures involving two sides with little to play for but exceptions can be made. Accrington have survived another season in League Two and it’s been comfortable. John Coleman continues to do a sterling job at the Crown Ground and I’m delighted they’ll sticking around for another season.
Stanley are concluding their season with a glut of stalemates. Their previous 11 fixtures have returned W1-D7-L3 figures and whilst that run of results is hardly inspiring, performance levels have remained reasonably good. Good enough to give Accy my respect for Saturday’s showdown with Mansfield.
Excluding the top-half of the League Two table and Accrington have returned a very encouraging W6-D3-L1 and I reckon they can enhance that return with another victory this weekend. BetVictor are offering 11/10 on Stanley -0.25 in the Asian Handicap market and that will give us a bit of protection against the draw.
With this selection, we’ll bank a winner should the home side come out on top. But if the match ends all square, we’ll only lose half of our stake and have the second part returned. The only way in which we’ll end the day penniless is if Mansfield win.
The Stags can’t wait for the season to end and arrive on the back of seven defeats in their last eight. Sure, Adam Murray’s men have put in a few decent displays in that run but it’s hard to defend those damming statistics and it only gets worse when looking at their road record.
The visitors have W3-D4-L15 when playing away, failing to even net in 10/22. Unsurprisingly, Mansfield are bottom of the away table, are second bottom of the form table and second bottom of the goals scored league ladder. I’ll happily oppose them again.
Leeds United v Rotherham United – Leeds United to score Over 1.5 Goals (6/5 Bet365)
Swindon Town v Leyton Orient – Swindon Town to win (9/5 BetVictor)
Accrington Stanley v Mansfield Town – Accrington Stanley -0.25 Asian Handicap (11/10 BetVictor)
What’s your best Football League bet this weekend? Reckon Mark’s got it all wrong?
We’d love to hear your views so let us know in the comments box below.