THE FA Cup 2nd Round kicks-off this weekend and Paul Maddison (@LouthBigDog) is in the hot-seat to provide his favourite fancies from Saturday's coupon.
Lincoln v Carlisle | Saturday 1st December 2018, 15:00
I fancy this to be an entertaining game.
Lincoln are doing well this term – they sit second in League Two and will fancy their chances of promotion. The Cowley brothers will be keen to do well in this competition after they reached the quarter-finals in the 2016/17 campaign as a non-league outfit.
That historic run seemed to be the catalyst for the Imps to push on and gain promotion to the Football League, and has also played a big part attracting a lot more fans through the turnstiles. Lincoln’s attendances have risen from an average of just under 3,000 per-game to nearly 9,000 at present.
Carlisle have had a mixed start to the season, they sit in 11th in the fourth-tier, just four points off a play-off spot. The Cumbrians would be much higher if they could sort out their home form; they’ve picked up 17 of their 27 points on the road so will probably be pleased that they head to Sincil Bank for this tie.
I wouldn't be confident picking a winner in this match, but the angle I fancy is goals.
John Sheridan's men have failed to score just once away from home this season and scored twice against their opponents here in a 2-2 draw back in October. Both Teams To Score has landed in eight of their last 12 in all competitions.
In 13 matches at Sincil Bank this season, Lincolnshire's second-biggest club have kept just one clean sheet with BTTS landing in 11 of those 13 encounters. The bet would also have copped in nine of their last 10 in all competitions.
Boylesports are offering 20/21 on BTTS – that looks decent value.
Southend v Barnsley | Saturday 1st December 2018, 15:00
Southend required a replay and extra-time against lower league Crawley to reach the 2nd Round of the FA Cup. Unfortunately, I can't see them progressing any further in the competition after getting a tough draw here against Barnsley.
The Shrimpers have won just twice in their last eight in all competitions, one of those victories came last time out against a Scunthorpe side in poor form who also had a player sent off in the first-half. The other victory came against Southampton's youngsters in the EFL Trophy.
Barnsley have made a decent start to the season, they sit in fifth in League One. The Yorkshire based club have been posting consistently good shot data, coming out on top in xG ratio and shots in the box ratio over the course of the campaign.
The Tykes have won five of their last eight and I fancy them to bounce back after a 4-2 loss in their last match against Sunderland. You can get 5/4 on the away win, which looks a good price, but I've found another bet at a bigger price though that I like the look of.
Daniel Stendel's team have been in front at the break nine times in their 19 league games so far – they have gone on to win every one of those games. Their opponents have been fairly slow starters this term, just six of their 25 goals have been scored in the first-half and they have been trailing in seven of 20 league games, going on to lose.
My money's going on Barnsley/Barnsley in the Half-Time/Full-Time market at 14/5 with BetVictor.
Walsall v Sunderland | Saturday 1st December 2018, 15:00
These two clubs played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Bescott just seven days ago. The home side were two up and against 10 men but the Mackems managed to rescue a draw in the dying minutes of the game.
That is the sixth game in a row that Walsall have conceded two or more goals at home. The Saddlers have seen 27 goals in their last seven games as hosts and this looks likely to be another high-scoring game.
Rather than go for Both Teams To Score or Over 2.5 Goals at odds-on, I've looked at a couple of Anytime Goalscorers at nice prices.
First up is Walsall striker Andy Cook. The former Tranmere man has netted 20+ gaols in each of the last four seasons and has netted eight already in all competitions in 2018/19, with six of those coming on home soil.
Cook has an xG average of 0.61 per-90 minutes, which is amongst the best in the EFL this season. Walsall's leading scorer may also be in charge of spot kicks – I know he took one earlier in the season (and missed, but he did score the rebound) – but he's not the only player to take a penalty for the Saddlers this season.
Betway go 9/4 on Cook to score anytime against Sunderland.
The same firm are offering a big 7/2 on Sunderland's in-form Aiden McGeady finding the net.
The former Spartak Moscow and Everton player has come back from injury strongly and has netted five in his last six games, including one in the fixture between these two clubs just a week ago.
The Irish international also looks to be on penalty duty for the Black Cats, which is a big plus for this type of bet.
Lincoln v Carlisle – Both Teams To Score (20/21 Boylesports)
Southend v Barnsley – Barnsley/Barnsley (14/5 BetVictor)
Walsall v Sunderland – Andy Cook to score at anytime (9/4 Betway)
Walsall v Sunderland – Aiden McGeady to score at anytime (7/2 Betway)