VALUE-HUNTER Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) shares his best bets from the final day of the regular Championship season.
Luton vs Reading | Saturday 7th May 2022, 12:30 | Sky Sports
My memory of final days of Championship seasons is a little hazy, often because my side – West Bromwich Albion – have been involved in the drama far too frequently for my liking!
However, I did wonder if their tend to be more goals so looked at the last couple of seasons as a barometer. Last season, seven of the 12 Championship matches saw four goals or more and it was the same case in 2020, meaning 14 of the last 24 matches (58%) on the final day have seen the over 3.5 goals bet line.
I wanted to use this angle on matches with little riding on them but thanks to their seven goal annihilation by Fulham, that is not the case for Luton, who now need a win to guarantee themselves a playoff berth.
Fortunately, they are playing a Reading side who have conceded 86 goals in 45 games. Peterborough are the only other side to have conceded more than 75 goals this season. Indeed, 16 of Reading’s 45 league matches this term have seen over 3.5 goals land, which already suggests the 15/8 Unibet are offering on over 3.5 goals is more than fair.
Swansea vs QPR | Saturday 7th May 2022, 12:30
It is another over 3.5 goals bet here for the reasons identified in the first paragraph but with the added bonus that neither of these sides have anything to play for.
QPR manager Mark Warburton is also leaving the club at the end of the season so you would have thought he would send his side out to express themselves. This hasn’t been a problem for either of these sides this season, with Swansea matches featuring 125 goals (join fourth most in the league) and QPR’s 118.
With goals generally high on the agenda in final day encounters, I am happy to take the 6/4 with BetVictor on over 3.5 goals here.
West Brom vs Barnsley | Saturday 7th May 2022, 12:30
My final bet comes from The Hawthorns, scene of some of the dullest matches in the Premier League this season. It has been a disappointing season for both sets of fans with West Brom’s promotion challenge a damp squib and Barnsley getting relegated without much of a fight.
As an Albion fan, it is fair to say this season has been very poor. Under previous manager Valerien Ismael, West Brom started the season well before a combination of poor football and poor results saw an end to his reign.
The football, performances and results have been even worse under Steve Bruce though, with The Baggies managing just 19 points from 16 games. Their matches have combined for just 35 goals, with Albion failing to score more than two in any matches.
They are as short as 5/12 here and while they should win this encounter, that is too short. 11/4 (SkyBet) on Albion to win by a single goal is more enticing, however, and that is where my money is going. Three of West Brom’s five wins under Bruce have been by a single goal and I can see another at The Hawthorns on Saturday lunchtime.