Football League: Table-topping Imps to make their mark


FOOTBALL LEAGUE analyst Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) returns with his best bets from the New Year's Day EFL action.

Brentford v Norwich | Tuesday 1st January 2018, 15:00

  • Brentford have W1-D7-L9 since mid-September now, beating only Bolton and Millwall in that time. The Bees have won only 6/25 Championship games this season.
  • Brentford have W2-D7-L10 against teams above them in the table and W1-D4-L5 against the top-10.
  • Brentford topped the majority of performance data metrics before Dean Smith left – the Bees are now rated eighth for shots in the box ratio, ninth for xG ratio and 12th for xG from open play ratio.
  • Brentford have only kept 5/25 clean sheets this season, four of which came against clubs in 16th or below.
  • Norwich have W13-D5-L2 since September, including W6-D4-L0 away in the Championship.
  • Norwich have scored in 22 of their 25 games this season, averaging 1.88 goals per-game.
  • Norwich have W13-D5-L1 when excluding the top-six, scoring in 17/19 matches.
  • Norwich average the most shots in the box per-game in the Championship, the third-highest xG figure and fourth-best xG from open play figure.
  • Norwich have generated 25.14 xG from their last 11 games, an average of 2.29 per-game.
  • Norwich boast the division’s second-best xG ratio record away (68%) and are their biggest pre-match price since mid-October.

Back Norwich with a +0.25 Asian Handicap start at 7/9 (188BET).

Doncaster v Rochdale | Tuesday 1st January 2018, 15:00

  • Doncaster have W5-D2-L1 in their last eight League One matches, scoring 17 goals and notching twice or more in 6/8.
  • Doncaster have won half of their 12 home games this season, scoring at least twice in 8/12 and averaging 1.58 goals per-game. Rovers generate 1.66 xG per-game at home.
  • Doncaster have W10-D3-L1 against teams in 12th and below, scoring twice or more in 12/14, averaging 2.50 goals per-game.
  • Doncaster average the second-most shots in the box in League One and generate the third-highest xG from open play figure.
  • Rochdale have returned a reasonable W4-D4-L4 away, but conceded an average of 2.00 goals per-game on their travels, shipping twice or more in 7/12.
  • Rochdale have kept only 2/12 clean sheets on the road, giving up 1.64 xG per-game.
  • Rochdale concede the fourth-highest xG from open play per-game and have leaked two or more goals in 14/25 games overall in League One this season.

Back Doncaster to score Over 1.5 Goals at 17/20 (Betfair).

Lincoln v Port Vale | Tuesday 1st January 2018, 15:00

  • Lincoln have won 15/24 League Two matches this season, including 8/12 at home. The Imps have W9-D2-L2 against the bottom-half.
  • Lincoln average 2.00 goals per-game at home, scoring at least twice in 8/12 at home. The Imps average 1.51 xG per-game.
  • Lincoln concede the fewest shots from inside the box per-game, xG and xG from open play. The Imps operate off a 72% xG ratio at home this season.
  • Lincoln W12-D4-L2 at home to bottom-half teams since returning to the EFL.
  • Lincoln have been shorter than their current 3/4 to win at home to Newport, Morecambe, Carlisle, Cambridge, Crewe, Crawley and Notts Country.
  • Port Vale W1-D4-L4 in their last nine League Two games, failing to score on four occasions.
  • Port Vale have failed to score in half of their 12 away games, only twice scoring more than once.
  • Port Vale have W2-D3-L11 against teams in 14th and above, firing 8/16 blanks. Vale have lost 9/17 when travelling to top-half teams under Neil Aspin.
  • Port Vale generate the second lowest xG from open play figure, and return the worst xG from open play ratio in League Two.

Back to Lincoln to win at 3/4 (BetVictor).

Best Bets

Brentford v Norwich – Norwich +0.25 Asian Handicap (7/9 188BET)

Doncaster v Rochdale – Doncaster to score Over 1.5 Goals (17/20 Betfair)

Lincoln v Port Vale – Lincoln to win (3/4 BetVictor)

About Author

The big cheese at WLB. After starting his career in newspaper journalism, Mark soon found his way into the online betting world, forging a career in content, social media and marketing production before setting WeLoveBetting up soon after the 2014 World Cup. With a huge passion for stats, analytics, the EFL and European football, Mark’s other interests include playing rugby, following his beloved QPR and travel.

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