EFL Betting Tips: Town to click into gear


FOOTBALL LEAGUE fan James Potter (@thebettingdeskoversees Saturday's EFL schedule, picking out his three best bets. 

Ipswich vs Wimbledon | Saturday 28th August 2021, 15:00

We are back to Portman Road this Saturday for another bet for WeLoveBetting after last week’s success where we backed Over 2.5 Goals. I think there will be more goals again, but Ipswich will finally get their first win of the season.

It was always going take time for the Tractor Boys to settle, especially with such a high turnover of players in the summer. Yet, I think they have been a little unlucky not to pick up some wins already this term.

The opening day draw with Morecambe was a little unlucky as they dominated the game winning the xG 1.82 vs 0.64 but one defensive error and some soft defending cost them the three points. They then went to play Burton and Scott Fraser misses a penalty, which would have probably sealed the win, but they then were undone by a Burton penalty very late on.

The 2-1 away defeat at Cheltenham saw the Blues dominate for the opening 30 minutes and Macauley Bonne managed to miss from the goal line, which changed the course of the game. If he scores that they go 2-0 up and the game is over – the Tractor Boys still won that game on xG comfortably.

MK Dons last weekend was a more even game with Ipswich winning the xG 1.71 vs 1.14, but a huge defensive error again let in MK and the game ended 2-2.

I have Ipswich 7th on xPTS and 3rd on xG ratio, which would suggest that their performances have been better than the 20th place they currently sit and it’s a matter of time before they move up the table.

Wimbledon have carried on where they left off last season with some decent displays and currently sit on W1-D2-L1. The draws have been with Bolton and Gillingham with a win over struggling Doncaster. They were probably a tad fortunate against Donny coming from 1-0 down winning the game with a xG score of 0.94 vs 0.35, scoring with two of their three shots on target. I have them 14th on xPTS and 13thon xG ratio, so would suggest they playing as a mid-table team.

There is no doubt in my mind that the visitors will come here and look to take the game to Ipswich, but the hosts should have too much quality over the pitch for them. Ipswich manager, Paul Cook knows he needs to get a win here and the pressure is starting to mount given the levels of spending over the summer. This should game see the debut for 1st choice centre back George Edmundson start and with the rest of the squad spending more time playing together we should see an up tick in performances.

The game should see goals as both sides like to attack and I think Ipswich can come out on top at 11/10 with Boylesports

Peterborough vs WBA | Saturday 28th August 2021, 20:00 | Sky Sports

West Brom have very quickly adapted to life under new manager Valerien Ismael. It was always a question my pundits had of how quickly the squad could and would adapt to his style, tactics and press but the team have looked very impressive so far with W3-D1-L0 so far this term.

They have had a tricky start on paper with games against Sheffield Utd and Bournemouth, two of the top six ante post favourites along with Luton, who many were predicting as dark horses for a top six finish. They beat Blackburn last weekend 2-1, but that doesn’t tell the story. They generated a xG of 3.98 with 22 shots, 10 shots on target and 15 shots in the box, hitting the woodwork on four occasions.

I have the Baggies in 4th place on xPTS and no side has created more non penalty xG than them so far this term. They are a team that likes to press and bully opponents before causing havoc from set-pieces.WBA have average 9.0 shots from set pieces the next side are Coventry with 5.75, so you can see the pressure they but onto sides from dead ball delivery.

The Posh have started the season with four points from their four games. Their one win was against Derby scoring in the 9th minutes of injury time to clinch the three points. As yet they haven’t kept a clean sheet with 2-2 draw at home to Cardiff and defeats on the road to Preston and Luton. I have them 13th in xPTS, but 15th on xG ratio, 21st on shots on target ratio and 19th for shots in the box ratio. Overall, its less then ideal when facing the sides from the Hawthorns.

Captain and centre back Beevers has been ruled out for eight weeks with a hamstring injury, which wont help with the onslaught of deliveries into the box, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the hosts get on the score sheet with both Siriki Dembele and Jack Marriott now nearing full fitness and Sammie Szmodics could start for the first time since the opening game of the season.

The Baggies are aiming for promotion back to the Premier League this season whilst Peterborough will be happy to avoid relegation. There will be better sides that struggle to deal with WBA this season and I can see the visitors scoring at least a few goals against a side that struggled to keep the better League One sides out last season with just five clean sheets against the top 10 sides home and away.

This is a massive step up from facing sides like Gillingham to a squad that I feel will be the side to beat in the Championship this season

WBA to win and over 1.5 goals is available at 21/20 with Bet365

Cambridge vs Bolton | Saturday 28th August 2021, 15:00

Bolton have started life in League One well currently sitting 7th with W2-D2-L0 with some impressive performances and results. They have beaten both Oxford and Lincoln whilst drawing 3-3 with both MK Dons and Wimbledon.

It’s a tough start for Bolton with Oxford, Lincoln and MK Dons all fancied by many to be in and around the top six this season and Wimbledon having real momentum after their excellent finish to last season. Yet, they have come through this spell undefeated and sitting 11th on xPTS. Whats more impressive is that they have the 2nd highest non penalty xG with 1.44 and that has come against some of the better sides in the league.

I like the look of their squad with some real quality throughout. Josh Sheehan at the base of midfield with Lloy Isgrove and Oladapo Afolayan and then Antoni Sarcevic tucked in behind Eoin Doyle. It’s a squad that should go well in League One and I would expect them to have a little too much for Cambridge.

Both these sides came up from League Two last season with Bolton taking the honors and a 1-1 draw in the other fixture. However, since then Bolton have improved as a squad whereas Cambridge have lost last seasons top scorer in Paul Mullins and haven’t replaced him.

They have started the season with W1-D2-L1, but I have them in 18th place on xPTS, 23rd on xG ratio, 20th for shots on target ratio and 21st for shots in the box ratio. Its safe to say they have done well to achieve their five points.

The 3-0 win over Burton was lucky. Their keeper Dimitar Mitov was named man of the match with The Us scoring three goals with a xG of 0.38 from three shots on target with Burton failing to score despite generating a xG of 3.29 with 18 shots, eight shots on target and 15 shots in the box. Its worth noting that two of the Cambridge goals were in fact own goals form wicked deflections off the unlucky Tom Hamer.

I can’t see Cambridge been this lucky again and Bolton are a better team man for man and have the players to win this game. The fact we can back Bolton on draw no bet at 20/27 with Manison is an excellent bet in my view.

Should the game end in a draw we will get our stake back in full. The only way we lose money is if Cambridge win the game and looking at the results and underlying performance of both sides so far this season, I believe that to be unlikely.

Best Bets

Ipswich vs Wimbledon – Ipswich to win (11/10 Boylesports)

Peterborough vs West Brom – WBA win and Over 1.5 Goals (21/20 Bet365)

Cambridge vs Bolton – Bolton Draw No Bet ( 20/27 Mansion Bet)

About Author

I started betting on football more seriously whilst at university where I thought I knew everything about football. However, I quickly realised that the use of data gave you an edge. All my bets are based on statistical model output and research. When I haven't got my head in data I am life long Ipswich fan.

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