MARK O’HAIRE (@MarkOHaire) talks us through his best two bets from Tuesday’s Football League fixtures.
Morecambe v Dagenham & Redbridge | Tuesday 19.45
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley is targeting an improvement in home form against Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday, with his side having not won in front of their own fans for over a month.
Bentley’s men have not triumphed at the Globe Arena since toppling Crawley 3-1 on 20th October, and on Saturday conceded four goals for the third time in four games in a 4-3 loss at Stevenage.
Bentley has insisted he understands fans’ frustration as his side look to end their five-game winless run as their defensive woes show no sigh of abating. With a 4-2 FA Cup defeat to the Daggers two Tuesdays ago still fresh in mind, revenge is on the menu.
“We know we’re capable of going four wins on the spin like we did recently. But we’ve now gone five or six without a win, that’s the nature of this league.
“Now we go back home against Dagenham looking for revenge and we’ve got to give it our best shot. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, it’s about sticking together.
“I can understand fans’ frustration. Our lads are struggling for confidence.”
The Shrimps boss has revealed that a couple of his players are at “rock bottom” meaning he tried to add more than just Blackburn Rovers striker Anton Forrester when the loan window closed on Thursday.
He said: “Their confidence is at an all-time low. They’re good players, they’re honest but they are only human beings and sometimes players are playing at the height of confidence and sometimes when things aren’t going well it can become really testing times.
“It’s not rocket science, we know where the problem lies. We are too easy to score against.”
The Globe Arena head is expected to make changes in defence, with Adam Dugdale and Chris Doyle hoping for recalls. Aaron McGowan remains Morecambe’s only injury concern and this fixture looks like yet another Both Teams To Score showdown with the Londoners also struggling to keep the goals out.
Daggers boss Wayne Burnett will be hoping for a similar performance to that which earned his side a point against high-flying Plymouth on Saturday.
Burnett, who welcomed Andre Boucaud and Jack Connors back into his starting line-up at the weekend, is keen for his players to shake off the disappointment of conceding a last-minute equaliser.
“We were better in every department and were undone by a deflected goal. That’s football, you have to get on with it and pick yourselves up and go again because we have a game on Tuesday,” he said.
Veteran striker Jamie Cureton could be rested having played the whole of the Plymouth clash but that’s not putting me off a BTTS punt with the two teams figuring heavily in the goalscoring columns.
Since the start of last season, Morecambe have rewarded BTTS backers on 18/32 (56%) occasions at home with Dagenham following suit in 19/32 (59%) away games. Between them, they’ve managed 13/64 (20%) clean sheets in their respective home/away matches.
This season, the duo have been involved in Both Teams To Score winners in 25/38 (66%) of League Two fixtures with their respective home/away results reading 6/9 (67%) for Morecambe and 7/9 (78%) for the Daggers. Between them, they’ve kept just five shutouts across those 38 outings in 2015/16.
Taking purely their home/away BTTS records this season, we should be expecting a 72% chance of Both Teams To Score banking again – that’s shorter than 2/5 when transferred to betting odds. And since the start of last season, an average 57.5% success-rate relates to betting odds of around 8/11. Either way, Betfair’s 4/5 on both teams scoring is a big value bet and I’m all over it.
Bristol Rovers v Wycombe | Tuesday 19.45
Since the start of last season, Wycombe have boasted English football’s best away record. Gareth Ainsworth’s group have recorded W18-D11-L3 on their League Two travels at an average of 2.03 points-per-game.
This season the Chairboys have W5-D3-L1 away from Adams Park to continue along their two points-per-game average and despite dropping two points when leading Portsmouth 2-0 on Saturday, Wanderers look tasty 12/5 (Bet365) shots to maintain their excellent run of road results at Bristol Rovers.
Last year’s play-off finalists have again been built from a solid base, conceding just four goals in their previous nine away days with a remarkable 14/32 (44%) shutouts kept on their travels since the start of last season.
However, Ainsworth must do without centre-half Aaron Pierre on Tuesday night. In the seven games he’s missed since signing, Wycombe are yet to keep a clean sheet. But I remain more than hopeful the Chairboys can get a positive result from their trip to the Memorial Stadium.
Like Wanderers, Rovers threw away two points on Saturday having conceded a last-gasp equaliser to Exeter to make their recent league run return read W2-D3-L2. But the Gas operate in similar lines to their visitors, doing their best work away from home.
The Pirates have W2-D1-L6 at the Memorial Stadium since promotion, failing to score in four of those nine matches and only once notching more than a solitary goal. With Wycombe only failing to net in just six of their past 32 road trips, one goal is unlikely to be enough to see off the determined Chairboys and we can side with them at attractive prices.
I can’t ignore the 12/5 on offer but I’m going to have a much sterner punt on the +0.25 Asian Handicap at 19/20 quotes from BetVictor. With this play, we’ll win should Wycombe win but we’ll also pocket half of that potential full pay-out should the Chairboys collect a point. The only way in which we won’t make money is if Bristol Rovers come out on top. Sounds good, eh?
*For more information on Asian Handicap betting, take a look at our beginners guide*
Morecambe v Dagenham & Redbridge – Both Teams To Score (4/5 Betfair)
Bristol Rovers v Wycombe – Wycombe +0.25 Asian Handicap (19/20 BetVictor)
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