WITH five games across the Championship and League One on Tuesday night, we asked Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) to find us a winner or two.
Leeds United v Bournemouth | Tuesday 19.45
Two teams going in opposite directions meet at Elland Road on Tuesday night and it’s difficult to make a case for the game not going to form. Table-topping Bournemouth are 3/4 (BetVictor) to claim maximum points but that goes against rule #1 when it comes to my Football League betting rules.
On only very rare occasions would I entertain the thought of backing a team to win at odds-on when playing away from home. It’s the Football League after all and whilst Leeds are enduring a rotten run of results, I’m not prepared to oppose them at such short prices.
That’s not saying I don’t think Bournemouth will win. They’re the better side; Eddie Howe’s team are a joy to watch and deservedly topping the table. A win on Tuesday would send them four points clear of the pack and they’ve picked up a monstrous 36 points from their last 48 on offer.
So instead, I’m looking for something a little closer to evens. I toyed with taking the Cherries to net Over 1.5 Goals at 4/5 before stumbling across Ladbrokes’ 11/10 that Howe’s men score exactly 2-3 goals at Elland Road. Odds-against? I’ll have that.
It’s a bet that’s proved a winner in 11 of Bournemouth’s last 16 Championship games as well as in six of their nine road matches against teams outside the top-seven. The losers in that nine-game spell? Huddersfield, Blackpool and Birmingham when they fired in four, six and eight goals!
Leeds are made of sterner stuff than those three sides, especially on home soil. They’ve only lost on four occasions in front of their home fans and even beaten Derby and Middlesbrough on their own patch. But two league wins since September just can’t be overlooked with the Whites taking just 13 points from a possible 54.
Doncaster Rovers v Notts County | Tuesday 19.45
You win some, you lose some. My pre-season bet on Doncaster to suffer a second relegation is looking unlikely. Rovers are eight points ahead of the drop zone coming into Tuesday’s game with Notts County and despite my deep distaste for Paul Dickov, he seems to be doing just enough to consolidate the side.
Successive wins have taken them up to the heady heights of 13th in League One but to be frank, the football has been rather dull, uninventive and plain boring when hosting at the Keepmoat. A W3-D3-L5 record in front of their home supporters certainly doesn’t give me any inclination to follow them in for a third win on the spin.
Instead it’s the goals market that sticks out. BetBright are offering 6/5 on Both Halves to see Under 1.5 Goals and that’s a bet that holds plenty of appeal. Neither Donny nor Notts County are profitable in the goals columns when playing home/away respectively.
Dickov’s hosts have seen just 3/11 matches at the Keepmoat break the Over 2.5 Goals barrier whilst County can boast just 4/12 road fixtures to feature three goals or more. Between them, just nine of those 23 games have seen Both Teams Score.
Both sides are at their best when surrendering possession and playing on the break and those hunting a high-scoring game are likely to be disappointed as the two approaches cancel each other out. With Under 2.5 Goals a 4/5 shot, I think we’ve found a slice of value with BetBright’s 6/5.
Four of Doncaster’s last six league outings at the Keepmoat have seen Under 1.5 Goals in Both Halves and it’s the same figure over the exact spell of fixtures for the Magpies. All in all, we can count on 6/11 (55%) of Rovers’ home matches and 7/12 (58%) of County’s away games producing winners in this market.
At odds of 6/5, BetBright are forecasting a 45% chance of this bet landing and as we can see from the above trends, there appears to be a better than 56% chance of our selecting landing, making it a value pick.