It may be international weekend but Sportingbet’s Mark O’Haire is back this weekend with his best three bets from the Football League.
These are two teams I talked up for opposing fortunes during the summer: Preston to win promotion; Crewe to battle relegation, and so far, things are looking good for my ante-post selections.
But at 1/2 quotes, you can’t put Preston up against Crewe at Deepdale. So after a bit of digging I’ve landed upon the HT-FT market with Preston a backable 21/20 price from Sportingbet.
First of all, it’s worth noting that Preston are missing Iain Hume, Chris Humphrey and Will Hayhurst because of international call-ups. How big a miss are they? Well Humphrey certainly is and he’s played in 8 of their 10 league games, Hume’s a player I really rate (especially at League One level) but he’s featured in under half of their league fixtures whilst Hayhurst has only made two starts. So you can see why Lilywhites boss Simon Grayson didn’t feel the need to postpone this match…
Grayson rotated his squad in the midweek JPT defeat at home to Oldham which caught a lot of people out but I get the impression he and the club weren’t too fussed. He bemoaned his teams decisions in the first 15 minutes which saw them go 2-0 down. They had a mountain to climb against an Oldham team that made only 2 changes; Preston took the opportunity to blood a few debuants.
And last Saturday PNE were on the wrong end of a 2-0 defeat at home by Peterborough. It was their first league loss of the season and Declan Rudd their on-loan Norwich goalkeeper was at fault for both goals. So encouragingly for us, you can find the reasoning behind the back-to-back losses.
Preston had won their previous 5 games before those defeats and that’s the form I’m concentrating on. They scored 11 goals in that run of fixtures and they’ve scored 2 or more goals in 4 of their 5 home League One matches. Grayson’s men hold a W3 D2 home record in league outings but crucially for this bet, they’ve led at half-time in 4/5 home matches in League One.
Saturday’s opponents Crewe have had a wretched run of form – they’ve lost their last 3 and their last 5 results read – lost 3-0, lost 3-0, drew 1-1, lost 4-0, lost 4-0.
The Ralwaymen have Lost 8 of their 13 games in all competitions, leaking 20 in 7 away and 17 in their last 6 games. In the league, they’ve Lost 4 of their 5 away and had L/L double results in all 4 defeats, not to mention they’ve managed just 1 goal in their 5 road games.
Preston HT/FT at 21/20 v Crewe with Sportingbet
Two teams who continue to feature in my League One punting meet on Sunday but I’m going against the grain and not backing goals when Coventry meet Sheffield United.
We’ve been eulogising about goals in Coventry games and I’ve been opposing Sheffield Untied matches all season but at 19/20 I think Under 2.5 Goals holds more appeal than backing Coventry for this game.
The Sky Blues have scored just once in their last 3 games nd that was a very fortunate Winner when they went to struggling Stevenage in their last league match – a terrible pass back allowed Leon Clark to grab the Winner. But Coventry have kept back-to-back clean sheets though so it’s definitely not all doom and gloom.
But for this bet to be a Winner we can take comfort from the fact that 4 of their last 6 games have seen Under 2.5 Goals in League One now and 5 of their last 7 games in all competitions have seen fewer than three goals.
Sheffield United have tried to make up for their lack of goals by bringing in Marlon King. He scored against Crawley last Friday night but to me he looked well overweight and is probably still getting fit. The Jose Baxter signing still doesn’t look to be paying off as a replacement for Kevin McDonald and David Weir’s possession game doesn’t lend itself for high-scoring games.
The Blades have Drawn 2 Lost 7 of their last 9 games and failed to score in 5 of those. They were also beaten in midweek by Hartlepool 1-0 at home in the JPT so the pressure is really starting to mount on David Weir.
8 of those last 9 league games and 9 of their last 10 in all competitions have seen Unders bank. Away from home in League One football they’ve managed just two goals in five games. So I think going against the crowd in this game could pay.
Under 2.5 Goals at 19/20 with Sportingbet
The second longest serving manager in the Football League, Paul Tisdale, continues to work minor miracles over at Exeter. Last weekend’s derby win over Plymouth saw the Grecians move into third with their 4th win in 6 in League Two football.
Their home form has been something to savour too – winning 4 of their 5 at the other St James’ Park and they’ll want to make that 5 against Hartlepool. I can see a lot of people being sucked into the even-money on offer too but I’d urge caution – Hartlepool haven’t lost away since the opening week of the season and they’ve long shaken off their dreadful start.
After failing to score or win in their opening 5 league games, Hartlepool smashed Bradford 5-0 in the JPT and haven’t looked back since. They scored in their next 6 games – a total of 16 goals in that 7-match streak. And that’s why I’m getting on Both Teams To Score in this clash.
The Monkey Hangers ave scored in their last 5 league games smashed Mansfield 4-1 away last weekend – no fluke in that result either – and followed it up with a 1-0 win at Sheff Utd in the JPT on Tuesday too; that midweek result ended a 5-game streak of BTTS matches.
Also in our favour, Hartlepool have kept just 2 clean sheets – both coming in August and their last 5 games have produced 19 goals and all seen Over 2.5 Goals.
Looking at Exeter, they’ve scored in all but one home league game and 4 of their last 6 fixtures have seen three goals or more. But more relevant for us in this bet is the fact they’ve conceded in 4 of their 5 home games and in 8 of their 10 League Two fixtures anywhere.
Nice, strong trends to get behind a BTTS bet in League Two.
Both Teams To Score at 7/10 with Sportingbet