NON-LEAGUE expert Paul Maddison (@LouthBigDog) shares his favourite fancies from a Saturday card of National League action.
Boreham Wood v Gateshead | Saturday 17th February 2018, 15:00
Gateshead are firmly stuck in mid-table and at this stage it looks like they won’t be fighting off relegation or battling for promotion come the end of the season.
Surprisingly, they very rarely lose though. The north-east outfit have lost just four of their last 20 games in all competitions and one of those was against League Two leaders Luton.
Away from home their stats are just as impressive – Gateshead have lost just once in their last 14 on their travels, and that came after a mammoth journey to the south coast against Eastleigh. They lost by one goal that afternoon and it came in the 95th minute.
Of those 14 away games, they have drawn half of them, hence why they are stuck in mid-table.
Boreham Wood are having a good season and sit in sixth. They have only won four of their last 13, and won just once in five at home (in 90 minutes), including a 2-1 loss to Gateshead in the FA Trophy just last month with both clubs playing virtually full-strength teams.
For me, the bookies have Boreham Wood way too short for this game. I feel the best way to get Gateshead onside is in the Asian Handicap market and the +0.50 start at 10/9 with 188BET is a good price to me.
The bet will win as long as Gateshead avoid defeat.
Chester v Eastleigh | Saturday 17th February 2018, 15:00
Chester have really struggled this season, both on and off the pitch, and I can’t see the on-pitch situation getting better any time soon.
They sit second from bottom in the league, having scored the fewest goals and having the third-worst defence. They have found the net just five times in their last 10, losing four of their most recent five.
Chester’s fans aren’t happy either, with growing calls for manager Marcus Bignot to be sacked.
Their opponents, Eastleigh, will be disappointed with how their season is going as well. They sit in 12th, eight points from the play-off spots, which is the minimum they would have expected at the start of the season.
They may be hitting form at the right time though to make a late push for the end of season lottery. They have won four of their last six and three of their past four on the road. The visitors have scored 17 in seven and so should be able to outscore their toothless opponents here.
Eastleigh are 5/4 with Betfred to win the game and that looks decent, to me.
Tranmere v Bromley | Saturday 17th February 2018, 15:00
Tranmere are starting to make up for their very poor start and are finally looking like they could make it out of this division and back into the Football League.
It’s their home form that has been particularly impressive. They have won their last eight league games at Prenton Park, scoring over an average of 3.00 goals per-game. Seven of those victories were by two or more goals, and five by three or more, so they’re beating teams pretty comfortably here.
Bromley are having a good season, sitting just a place, and a point, off the play-offs. At first glance their away form looks good, but they’ve only won away from home once against the current top-10, and that was on the second day of the campaign.
The price for a home win is a bit too short to be backing but Tranmere -1 on the Asian Handicap is 15/13 at Unibet and offers better value. If Tranmere win by one goal our stake is returned, but a two-goal success or better sees our selection win.