THERE’S a place in the Football League Trophy Southern final up for grabs on Wednesday night. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) examines the best bets available.
Bristol City v Coventry City | Wednesday 19.45
Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill blamed the lighter FA Cup balls on his team’s below-par performance on Saturday. The Robins needed a last-minute goal from Kieran Agard to secure victory at home to rock bottom Conference outfit Telford.
It was the third game in four at Ashton Gate to feature Under 1.5 Goals with Oldham and Preston both battening down the hatches on their visits to the south-west. But I’m not convinced it’s a trend that’s here to stay.
Since Cotterill took charge at Bristol City they’ve been a haven for punters looking for goals-based bets with 16/26 (61%) home fixtures producing Over 2.5 Goals winners and the same number banking for Both Teams To Score backers.
For the record, the Robins have W14-D8-L4 of those 26 matches with eight victories coming from their last 11 games played at Ashton Gate.
Following their humbling FA Cup exit to Worcester, Coventry have clearly changed tact in their approach to games. Steven Pressley’s team have conceded just once in their last four fixtures as they adopt a more defensive mindset.
However, they remain a fragile side when playing away. In 2014 they’ve W6-D5-L14 of their fixtures on the road with two of those victories secured in the first week of January.
Like Bristol City home games, the Sky Blues have proved a profitable source for goals-based punters when on their travels. From that 25-game sample we can see that 16/25 (64%) featured Over 2.5 Goals and 15/25 (60%) delivered in the Both Teams To Score column.
Moreover, Pressley’s men have netted in nine of their last 11 road games and kept just two clean sheets in their previous eight away.
I’m willing to invest my faith in the long-term goal trends of both sides in this clash and take Both Teams To Score at almost even-money with Coral (10/11) and purely for a bit of interest, I'll have a wee play on Bristol City to win and Both Teams To Score at 13/5 with William Hill – it's a bet that's won in eight of those aforementioned 14 Bristol City's home victories and in nine of Coventry's 14 away defeats.
Bristol City v Coventry City – Both Teams To Score (10/11 Coral)
Bristol City v Coventry City – Bristol City to win and Both Teams To Score (14/5 William Hill)