Football League Betting Preview & Tips: In-form Posh to impress


FOOTBALL LEAGUE fan James Potter (@thebettingdeskoversees Saturday's EFL action, picking out his favourite fancies. 

Peterborough vs Wigan | Saturday 27th February 2020, 15:00

Posh are on a 5-game winning streak at the moment as they look to finally clinch promotion to the Championship. 9 goals in their last 3 games with just 1 conceded it looks like they have hit form at the right part of the season.

Posh have accumulated the most home points in the league and sit top of the home expected points table. Their home record reads W11-D2-L1, scoring in 13 of these games.

The games they failed to win have been against Blackpool, Bristol Rovers and Burton. They were poor at home to Blackpool with Posh manager Ferguson later saying it was one of the worst opening 30 mins he had seen in a long time.

Bristol Rovers were 0-0 but they won the xG 1.62 vs 0.61 and had 18 shots and 12 SOT and the tale was similar in the 2-2 draw winning the xG 3.29 vs 2.99 with 17 shots and 9 SOT to Burtons 14 shots and 4 SOT.

Looking back over the last two seasons their home record is W23-D5-L3 -Defeats to Doncaster, Fleetwood and Blackpool – I would say that all 3 of these sides are better than Wigan.

Despite the good run Ferguson has been quick to play it down and wants to make sure his team stay focused, and they have an excellent chance on Saturday as they welcome Wigan.

The Latics did win midweek at Bristol Rovers, although from a metric point of view that victory appears to be slightly fortunate as they lost the xG 2.01 vs 0.47, scoring twice with their only 2 shots on-target from the game.

Over the last 8 games, Wigan have picked up just 6 points with wins over Rovers and struggling Northampton. A quick look at their results since mid December its W3-D4-L7. They have kept just 2 clean sheets in their last 4, conceding 1.5+ in 8 with 32 conceded in total. Looking at the season as a whole its W5-D6-L17 losing 53% of away matches.

Looking at the key metrics, Wigan struggle away. Ranking 20th for xG and no side has fewer shots on-target, just 2 sides have fewer shots, and they sit 20th for shots in the box. Defensively 17th for xGA, 18th for shots on target conceded and 23rd for shots in the box conceded. In contrast no side has scored more home goals than Posh, had more shots on target or shots in the box. Wigan will be up against it here.

I fancy Posh to win this and score at least 2 goals, they have done so in 9 of their 10 home wins this season. This is currently 7/10 with Bet365, but if we add Posh to hit over 3 corners then we can boost this to even-money. Posh have managed 4 or more corners in 12 of 14 home games this season with an average of 5. Wigan have conceded 4 or more in 13 of 15 away games with an average of 6 conceded per game.

Peterborough win, Peterborough to score Over 1 Goal and Peterborough Over 3 Corners (1/1 Bet365)

Carlisle vs Oldham | Saturday 27th February 2020, 15:00

Carlisle only played 2 games in January due to several of their games being postponed. Before the postponements they had won 6 of their last 8 and looked on course for one of the automatic promotion spots.

Since the start of February, they have W0-D1-L3, they now sit 10th yet are still 3rd favourites for the title and as low as 1.5 for promotion. They need to get their promotion bid back on track but may not have it all their own way vs Oldham.

The hosts have an impressive underlying process – no side has more shots, shots on target and they have the 4th most shots in the box, therefore its no surprise to see them have the 2nd highest home xG with 1.61 and the highest number of goals scored at home with an average of 2.08.

Defensively, no side concedes fewer shots, shots on target or shots in the box, yet they have an xGA of 1.05 and only 6 sides concede on average more home goals. They are giving up big chances.

The hosts have scored in every home game this season with 8 of their 13 games seeing them hit 1.5+ goals. Yet they have just 5 clean sheets, 4 of which came against the bottom 5 sides. Carlisle have seen 69% of home games go over 2.5 match goals and 46% over 3.5 goals with BTTS landing in 62%. It’s no surprise to see that their home games average 3.31 match goals per game.

Oldham are no mugs away from home. Despite sitting 17th in the league table, their away form is strong with them sitting 4th in away PPG.

They score an average of 1.79 goals and concede 1.86, giving them an overall away match average of 3.64. 93% of their away games have seen over 1.5 goals, 71% over 2.5 and 36% over 3.5. The Latics have scored in 10 of their 14 games and conceded in 13.

The underlying metrics certainly back up that poor defensive record with an xGA of 1.66, the highest for an away team in L2. Only 1 side concedes more away goals, no side faces more SOT and they sit 23rd for most shots in the box conceded.

Carlisle will have opportunities to score goals here. At the other end Oldham are impressive – no side has a better record of scoring away goals, 4th for shots, 3rd for SOT and 8th for shots in the box. Much like Carlisle, Oldham will also create opportunities to get on the score sheet.

No side in the league has conceded more goals than Oldham this season with 53 so I am not sure I can see them suddenly finding some defensive form here. Oldham will have chances; they have already scored twice at league leaders Cambridge and 3 times at Forest Green. They’re record against top half sides is good scoring 14 in 8 games. Famous last words, but I see goals here.

Over 2.5 Goals (4/5 William Hill)

Mansfield vs Morecambe | Saturday 27th February 2020, 15:00

Mansfield were motoring along nicely under Nigel Clough until late January. Up until that point he had over seen 24 points from 14 games, which is promotion form, however, they are now winless in the last 5 with 3 straight defeats.

Over Clough's 19 games in charge, it has been interesting to note that they have only kept 3 CS – Cambridge who managed 14 shots and 4 on target that day, Southend who sit 22nd and Port Vale, 18th. Yet they have scored in 15 of the 19 games – Harrogate twice, the return fixture with Cambridge and Carlisle the sides that stopped them.

Their home games average 2.93 goals with 57% going over 2.5 and BTTS landing in 64%. The underlying process for Mansfield is a little odd. Defensively they have a home xGA of 1.17, which is the 16th best in the division, but concede 1.64 goals per game with only 1 side conceding more. 6th for shots conceded but 21st for shots on target conceded – They are conceding a goal every 2.5 SOT and conceding on average 4.14 per home game.

They are underachieving for goals score with a xG of 1.51 but goals scored of 1.29 although sit 3rd for shots taken, 6th for SOT and 2nd for Shot in the box. You can see another scenario where both sides get in the scoresheet here.

Its expected that Clough will look to freshen things up here and make several changes in order to try to get back to winning ways.

Morecambe are flying and sit 4th in the league table. Away from home they have the 7th highest points per game and on expected points I have them top of the away table.

Goals are normally on the menu when they play away with 94% of games seeing 2 or more goals and 69% over 2.5 goals with average match goals of 2.94. They have only failed to score in 2 away matches – Crawley and Leyton Orient, keeping clean sheets in just 2 games.

Morecambe have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 7 matches and kept just 1 away CS in their last 9 away games. At the other end they have scored in 22 of their last 24 games. The underlying metrics are as you would expect for a team that has these records – xG 1.41, 3rd highest in the league, 1,38 goals scored, 5th for shots, 12th for SOT and 4th for shots in the box.

Defensively, 1.56 goals conceded, 19thin the league, 14th for both shots and shots on target conceded.

The visitors should be full of confidence having scored twice in injury time in their last game as they beat Salford 2-1.

Both sides need a win here and given the previous underlying metrics of both sides and previous results, it’s hard to imagine a game with no goals. BTTS has landed in jointly 70% of their games and over 2.5 goals has landed in 63%, which would suggest the odds should be closer to 1.6, yet William Hill are offering even money.

Over 2.5 Goals (1/1 William Hill)

Best Bets

Peterborough vs Wigan – Peterborough win, Peterborough to score Over 1 Goal and Peterborough Over 3 Corners (1/1 Bet365)

Carlisle vs Oldham – Over 2.5 Goals (4/5 William Hill)

Mansfield vs Morecambe – Over 2.5 Goals (1/1 William Hill)

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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