One To Watch – Hop aboard the Newport bus

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EFL analyst Gab Sutton (@_FootbalLab) reckons Newport are underrated by the bookies and recommends getting behind them while there’s value.

One To Watch – Hop aboard the Newport bus

In the Tuesday night EFL coupon, Stoke are 4/7 to beat a Bolton side five points above them while a Brentford side winless in four are 7/9 to defeat draw-specialists Birmingham. Heck, Barnsley are as short as 7/19 to win at home to table-propping Plymouth.

It is somewhat surprising, therefore, that Newport County are as big as 4/5 with Marathon to beat Macclesfield.

Surely that’s not right?

The maths

Michael Flynn’s side have won seven of their first 10 league matches, while Macclesfield have lost seven in 10.

The bare W-D-L stats, alone, would suggest the Exiles have a 70% chance of winning this match and an implied probability of 70% would, ordinarily, give us odds of approximately 4/9.

We haven’t yet considered the fact that Newport are at home.

The Exiles have won four (80%) of their five encounters at Rodney Parade, while their visitors have lost all five (100%) of their away league encounters.

Granted this is a small sample size, but if we were to look purely at home and away form, then Newport would have a 90% chance of winning this match and that would give you odds of around 1/10; the price Manchester City are to beat Burnley later this month.

Of course, we’re not saying Michael Flynn’s Amber Army are quite as reliable as Pep’s charges, but still, they deserve more respect…

Newport underestimated

It was revealed from WLB Towers on Monday that, if we had put £10 on a Newport win in each of their 10 league games so far this season, we would have made an overall profit of £103.20.

The longer their current form continues, the more the value may dwindle as traders will begin to recognize the capabilities of the South Wales outfit.

For now though, it is worth hopping on the Newport bus.

The recent 6-0 defeat at the hands of Yeovil has been rendered an anomaly by subsequent back-to-back wins, highlighting the team’s strength of character under Flynn.

What is most impressive is their ability to win games in different ways.

We saw the solid, defensive display at Tranmere in which centre-backs such as Fraser Franks thrived in the opposition’s box as well as their own.

Then, when they fell two goals behind to Cambridge on Saturday, Flynn made changes that turned the tide.

He replaced attacking midfielder Josh Sheehan with target man Jamille Matt, who occupied centre-backs and offered a focal point from Dan Butler’s pin-point deliveries, as we saw for two of the goals in a 4-2 win.

Newport’s adaptability will serve them well – and Tyreeq Bakinson, on loan from Bristol City, has lit up the division with some vibrant performances in midfield.
Macclesfield’s woes

On Macclesfield Town’s last road trip, they were humiliated by an 8-0 defeat at West Ham, in which they failed to close down and track runners; pretty much the basics at any level of football.

Mark Yates, who has faced criticism from sections of fans, didn’t necessarily help his cause by neglecting the travelling band at full-time in the capital.

While Saturday’s deserved home point against Forest Green offers some encouragement – and forward Scott Wilson might offer some more pace in behind after coming into the side – the Silkmen remain winless.

Securing the National League title last season was undeniably a huge achievement, but there are major question marks about whether they have come up with the necessary infrastructure to compete in the EFL.

Had John Askey stayed, they might have summoned the spirit to bridge the budgetary disadvantage like Morecambe have been able to but, without even a sense of togetherness, there is very little going in their favour.

Newport for promotion?

Newport are currently 8/1 with 888 for promotion. Interestingly, the same bookmaker in the same market offers 5/1 on Carlisle, who are a bigger club but six points below them, having managed only one goal and five shots on-target in their last three games.

The Exiles currently have 20 points, more than 10 of the last 12 teams to go up from League Two managed at this stage of their promotion campaigns and the same number as 2017/18 champions Accrington.

While Newport aren’t given quite the level of respect from the bookies that they should be, it is worth getting behind them.

Article first published on 1st October 2018.

Best Bets

Newport v Macclesfield – Newport to beat Macclesfield (4/5 Marathon)

League Two – Newport to win promotion (8/1 888)

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About Author

Gabriel discovered the betting world through his passion for English football; he had a mixed start in April 2014, landing a solid treble before being let down the week after by beleaguered Torquay winning at Bristol Rovers. Although he often follows his beloved Birmingham City, he also covers other teams in the Midlands and enjoys visiting new grounds further afield now and again. Quite likes sitcom Not Going Out, too.

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