FOOTBALL LEAGUE expert Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) returns with three more Saturday fancies from his sick bed.
Cardiff v Norwich | Saturday 15:00
I’m very surprised to see Norwich chalked up as solid favourites at Cardiff on Saturday. My Championship ratings rank the two teams almost neck-and-neck in the top-12 but with very little to choose between the two.
- Cardiff have W8-D4-L6 in 18 games under Neil Warnock – 1.56 points per-game. Over the same period, Norwich have W6-D2-L9 – earning 1.25 points per-game.
- Cardiff have scored in 15/18 games under Warnock and have only lost once in the Welsh capital since the veteran boss arrived.
- Cardiff are ranked 12th in terms of expected goals – Norwich are only 11th. And in the shots in the box stats, Cardiff are fourth with Norwich eighth.
- Cardiff have won the shout in in 8/10 home games and the aggregate shots in the box count in home games 95-40 across that same 10-match sample.
- Cardiff are averaging 1.41 expected goals at home, conceding only 0.87 per-game. And the hosts have also performed strongly away recently at Brighton and Reading – restricting Reading only 14 touches inside the penalty box; Cardiff enjoyed over 40 in Reading’s box.
- Norwich have collected 18 of their last 20 points at Carrow Road and have only W0-D2-L6 in their last 8 away games.
- Norwich have won just three away games all season, two of which arrived before mid-September.
- The Canaries have conceded an average of 2.00 goals per-game and kept 1/14 clean sheets away.
- Norwich beat out-of-form Birmingham last time out but still endured some shaky defensive moments as two Birmingham efforts hit the crossbar.
Cardiff +0.25 on the Asian Handicap will make us money if Norwich fail to win and is a very generous price at 13/16 (188BET).
Rochdale v Bristol Rovers | Saturday 15:00
- Rochdale have seen 16/27 (59%) of League One games feature Over 2.5 Goals this season, including 9/14 (64%) at Spotland with 5/9 (36%) producing Over 3.5 Goals.
- Rochdale have scored in 31/36 home games since the start of last season with 24 (65%) breaking the Over 2.5 Goals barrier.
- Rochdale have scored at least twice in 9/14 (64%) home games and three or more goals in 5/9 (36%) home games.
- Bristol Rovers have seen 20/29 (69%) games since promotion feature Over 2.5 Goals, including 9/14 (64%) away games.
- Bristol Rovers have scored in 25/29 games this season, including 11/14 away games.
- Bristol Rovers have only kept 5/29 clean sheets this season, including 1/14 away.
Collectively, Over 2.5 Goals has won in 36/59 (61%) of league games this season, implying odds shorter than 4/6 should be expected.
Collectively, Over 2.5 Goals has won in 18/28 (64%) of the clubs’ respective home/away games, implying odds of 4/7 should be expected.
Over 2.5 Goals can be backed at 11/14 (188BET) – a price that suggests only a 56% chance.
Exeter v Crewe | Saturday 15:00
- Exeter were bottom of League Two on the 19th November – the Grecians are now fourth and only 4 points off automatic promotion following a W9-D2-L0 run.
- Exeter have kept 8/11 clean sheets in that run, recording 7 wins by at least a two-goal margin, racking up an aggregate 25-4 in goals.
- Exeter have won 6 on the spin in League Two, as well as 4 on the trot at home by an aggregate 13-2.
- Crewe have W2-D9-L13 across all competitions since mid-September – in League Two the visitors have W2-D8-L10 during that sample, keeping only 4/22 clean sheets.
- Crewe have W0-D3-L7 in their last 10 league games, failing to score in 6/10.
- Crewe have W0-D1-L4 in their past 5 away fixtures, conceding 12 goals.
- Crewe have lost 6 games away from home this season – 5 were by more than a 1-goal margin.
Exeter are flying at the minute and it’s hard to ignore 13/16 (188ET) on the Grecians with a -0.75 start on the Asian Handicap line.
We’ll make money if Exeter win the match – a half-stakes profit is pocketed should the hosts win by exactly one goal with a full pay-out ensured should Exeter win by at least two goals.