MARK O’HAIRE (@MarkOHaire) shares his betting thoughts on Good Friday night’s match-up between League One rivals Peterborough and Coventry.
Peterborough v Coventry | Good Friday 19.45 | Sky Sports 1
Can someone pass the sick bag, a bottle of your finest vodka and just leave me alone at 7.45pm on Friday night, please?
The mention of Peterborough sends chills down my side but I’ll be a man about things and confront this head-on. However, I’m still at a loss to explain what the hell happened at London Road this season.
In my Half-Term Report on League One I’d highlighted Posh as potential 25/1 shots for the League One title and 5/1 candidates for promotion. Why? Well their stats and trends were literally streets ahead and country miles clear of divisional rivals.
After arriving, Graham Westley guided Peterborough to W10-D2-L4, scoring 40 goals and conceding 21 in his first 16 fixtures – an average of 2.00 points-per-game by an average of 2.50 goals scored to 1.31 goals conceded.
Posh only kept five clean sheets in those 16 fixtures but they scored at least themselves on 13 occasions with seven successes by at least two clear goals. Westley’s troops were averaging 2.50 goals-per-game, firing in an average of 19.31 shots-per-game with 7.62 efforts on-target per-game – they were dismantling and destroying opponents.
With the top-scoring side in League One taking the title in four of the last 10 renewals – and winning promotion in seven of those seasons – Peterborough appeared on an unstoppable march towards the top. Oh how wrong I was.
Posh saw off Chesterfield on Boxing Day but their league form since reads W3-D2-L9 as they fell dangerously close to the bottom-four before seeing off Doncaster away last time out (2-1). In nine of those 14 outings, Westley’s men have shipped at least two goals.
A run to the FA Cup fourth round may have taken attention away from the bread-and-butter but Westley was guilty of sin for an extended sequence of drastic changes to his first XI, hampering Friday’s hosts aim for any sort of consistency.
Posh have suffered five successive London Road losses – they've never lost six in a row in their Football League history – and have five defenders Michael Smith, Gabriel Zakuani and Kgosi Ntlhe as well as forward Martin Samuelsen and midfielder Harry Toffolo away on international duty.
There’s just no way I can trust Peterborough to produce the goods here at 31/20 (Boylesports) quotes. After all, the hosts have bagged just 6/18 (33%) home league wins this season and have W3-D5-L10 when taking on top-10 teams.
That’s not to say Coventry (15/8 Bet365) are in much better shape. Like Posh, the Sky Blues have fallen off a cliff in 2016, returning W3-D3-L7 this calendar year. Bizarrely, Tony Mowbray’s have notched more than one goal just twice in that spell and in doing so they thrashed Crewe 5-0 and Bury 6-0.
City are still just two points off the play-off positions coming into this contest but Newcastle starlet Adam Armstrong has failed to net in four of his past 15 appearances and is on international duty along with Jack Stephens and James Maddison this weekend.
Mowbray appeared at ease with the situation in his Thursday press conference but with only four wins from 19 since mid-November, you wouldn’t be rushing to support the Sky Blues here, right? No.
If you’re looking for a punt, there’s still a slice of value available in the Over 2.5 Goals market – it’s proven profitable in seven of Peterborough’s last eight as well as 10/14 (71%) of London Road encounters under Westley, nine of which featured both sides scoring.
Coventry’s stats aren’t quite as strong but they’ve still produced a healthy 9/18 (50%) winning Over 2.5 Goals selections on the road with eight matches involving goals at both ends.
If we took both teams’ respective home/away records literally and turned the average 58% success rate for Over 2.5 Goals into implied odds, you’d be looking at a 7/10 shot. So Marathon’s 5/6 offer (when others are quoting 7/10) represents a solid piece of value for Friday night.
Peterborough v Coventry – Over 2.5 Goals (5/6 Marathon)
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