After the usual anguished deliberations over about a dozen potential bets, the list has been whittled down somewhat. The reason we’re so late here is that there has been a late drift in some of the prices, which make certain teams backable, that weren’t. QPR at Birmingham in the Championship is one such example. Birmingham were looking pretty good under Gary Rowett before his employers decided they wanted somebody with a more glamorous playing career behind them. In stepped, or rather slipped in via a side-door, Gianfranco Zola, under whom the Brummies trajectory has taken a downward turn. It is hard to sympathise with him or his club for that. QPR, meanwhile, are on a different tack with the excellent Ian Holloway in charge, and are fancied for this one.
Others in the Championship have been declined on marginal grounds. Barnsley are certainly value to beat nervy Brighton at home, but I can see the seasiders proving their mettle for promotion in this game; and Rotherham should never be as large as $7 to win at resurgent Cardiff. We’ve lost a good few bob on them already and, while they do have an away win in them, this week they are resisted. (If they win, you will find my clothes on a Dorset beach, and that’s all).
League 1 also has some tempters, with intriguing matches lined up between the divisions better teams. It’s incredible to see Boltonquite drift quite so big to win at Bradford, and we’re going to have them despite their lack of Jay Spearing in midfield. This is too close to call for the Trotters to be as large as $3.9, so take them for the away win
Fleetwood Town have also upset a few this year, largely because they’re not a big name like Sheffield United, Bolton, and Bradford. But they’ve fared well against some of the better teams, and they too have drifted to a good price. Take them to win at MK Dons at $3.6.
Elsewhere, Charltonare in good form and can win at Rochdale at $3.5
League 2 presents us with Yeovilto win at Cheltenham in a west country affair. Both of these teams have been approved by acquisitions in the loan market last month, and the away side look to be more potent for it so far. Take them at $3.2 +
Crawley vs Morecambeis an interesting one, and could go either way. Strange then, that Morecambe are as big as $3.5 given their knack of winning on the road. They’re a bet.