MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire)'s bagged six winners from his eight Football League bets in the past week. Want more? Plus, there’s another chance to win one of two £10 free bets courtesy of our new Football League video sponsors, 888 Sport!
Millwall v Fulham | Saturday 15.00
Millwall proved a profitable selection for us last weekend as they were edged out 1-0 in a low-scoring game at Leeds, as we foresaw in this column. But the Lions return to The Den on Saturday for a London derby with Fulham and I’m expecting the goals to flow.
888 Sport have made Over 2.5 Goals a 23/25 shot which 1.92 in decimals (better than 10/11 in old money) and I’m happy to put my backing behind that price. Ian Holloway’s hosts are a volatile team to follow when playing in South London, in terms of goals. But I’m confident this weekend’s game will be a feast rather than famine for those chasing high-scoring games.
Five of the Lions’ 15 (33%) fixtures at The Den have featured one goal or fewer whilst eight have produced three goals or more (53%). Millwall have already lost eight of those 15 matches and sitting just one point away from safety, know they must start picking up points at home to coincide with their recent upturn in performance levels on the road.
Saturday’s clash is certainly a game in which Holloway should have pencilled in as a realistic chance to pocket maximum points. Like in their Premier League days, Fulham just can’t seem to get the hang of picking up results on their travels. This season’s W3-D2-L10 away record is the third worst in the division with their shoddy defence the major reason behind their below-par results this season.
The Cottagers have leaked 55 goals in their 31 games at an average of 1.77 goals-per-game – only Blackpool are conceding more goals. Away from their West London base, Kit Symons’ charges have haemorrhaged 35 goals in 15 outings – again, that record is shared with rock bottom Blackpool. No surprise then that the Whites have kept just five clean sheets in 31 Championship matches in 2014/15!
Only five points separate these two teams with Fulham’s six defeats in nine dragging them into the dogfight for survival. Despite their inept defensive records, the visitors should get on the scoresheet; they’ve done so in all bar four games away from home. But with a backline leaking at least two goals in 11/15 away games, it’s hard not to imagine this derby throwing up plenty of goalmouth action.
Preston North End v Scunthorpe United | Saturday 15.00
I feel a bit like a broken record when it comes to Scunthorpe. Since Mark Robins took charge of the Iron they’ve been one of my go-to teams for a bet in League One. It went as far as eyeing up the 14/1 on Scunny securing a top-six finish before their midweek win against Chesterfield. Suffice to say, I forgot to pull the trigger, they beat the Spireites and now 9/1 is the best available price. I’ve missed the boat!
This weekend they travel from east to west to face a Preston side that I backed to win the league back in August. Trailing table-topping Bristol City by 11 points (with a game in hand) I’m ready to rip that slip up, especially as Saturday’s showdown with the Iron is by no means a given.
Simon Grayson’s hosts have W2-D3-L1 in their last six at Deepdale and their six draws from 14 fixtures on home form is the main reason why the Lilywhites are so far adrift of the league leaders as we reach the final few days of February. But rather than enter the Match Odds markets, I’m more interested in a goals-based bet between these two teams.
I was surprised to see Both Teams To Score offered by 888 Sport at 17/20. Preston boast the second meanest defence in the division but they are averaging a goal-a-game against at Deepdale and have leaked in nine of their 14 games as hosts in League One; that’s a surprisingly high figure. As you’d probably expect, all nine of those matches also featured BTTS winners.
Scunthorpe’s midweek shutout against Chesterfield was only their second of the season and it’s difficult to imagine Preston not grabbing a goal on Saturday. But like the home side, the Iron boast an excellent record in the attacking third, scoring in 23/29 league outings since winning promotion last season.
Away from Glanford Park, Scunny have netted in 13 of their 14 games, notching at least twice in eight! Twelve of those 14 outings have proven successful for Both Teams To Score backers and I’ve plenty of faith in their feared front pairing of Paddy Madden and Tom Hopper doing some damage at Deepdale.
Newport County v Morecambe | Saturday 15.00
Those that have followed this column in recent weeks/months will know I’m always fond of a Both Teams To Score bet in the Football League when we’re getting close to even-money. Well Newport’s match-up with Morecambe give us a chance to get involved with a BTTS bet at odds-against, thanks to 888 Sport’s 53/50 offer.
It’s a fabulous quote when you compare the two teams on show. Firstly, Newport have begun life after Justin Edinburgh with a promising four points from six under the watchful eye of Edinburgh’s former assistant Jimmy Dack. The players have gone public in their hope of Dack fulfilling the role fulltime and he’ll be looking to add to County’s impressive W8-D5-L2 record at Rodney Parade this weekend.
We should expect the hosts to score, naturally. The Exiles have only failed to net in two of their 15 fixtures in South Wales (against Shrewsbury and Wycombe) but surprisingly for a top-six club, Newport have only managed to shut out their opponents in four of those 15 matches at Rodney Parade – that’s led to 9/15 winners in the Both Teams To Score column this season.
Morecombe travel down the west coast sitting comfortably in mid-table and only eight points adrift of the play-off places. Jim Bentley continues to upset the odds with the Shrimps but their W1-D5-L2 record this calendar year has stalled their progress after wining 10 of their first 24 games this season.
But Bentley’s boys continue to prove a menace when playing away. Although they’ve kept just four clean sheets on the road, they’ve also managed to score in 11 of their 15 outings away from the Globe Arena. Unlike most League Two clubs, the Shrimps boss has the luxury of rotating his forwards with Kevin Ellison, Paul Mullin, Jack Redshaw and Padraig Amond all capable of grabbing goals.
Morecambe’s last six league matches have featured goals at both ends and I’m at a loss to explain why the bookmakers think this fixture could be different. I see now reason why we shouldn’t pull the trigger and take advantage of the tasty odds-against quotes. Cheers 888 Sport!
Millwall v Fulham – Over 2.5 Goals (23/25 888 Sport)
Preston North End v Scunthorpe United – Both Teams To Score (17/20 888 Sport)
Newport County v Morecambe – Both Teams To Score (53/50 888 Sport)
Win A £10 Free Bet With 888 Sport
We’ve got two £10 free bets to give away thanks to our brand new Football League video sponsors 888 Sports. All you need to do is tell us is, which Football League team you think will LOSE this weekend.
To enter, just post your selection in the comments section below. You must also quote the 888 Sport odds of your pick otherwise your entry will not count. So a sample entry would look something like this;
- Wolves to lose 4/7 (888 Sport)
The two shortest-priced losing selections will win the free bets and the winners will be notified by email. WeLoveBetting’s decision will be final.
Steve Milner and Jack Lewin were last week's winners – both selected Southend to lose at odds of 1/2.
Any questions? Just ask us on @WeLoveBettingUK or we'll get back to you in the comments box below. Good Luck!