Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton have drawn 0-0 twice this season.

Back 0-0 Draws Blind in Play-Offs Semi-Final First Legs

Sheffield Wednesday and Brighton have drawn 0-0 twice this season.

Betting on 0-0 draws is not something that football punters do for fun – there is nothing worse than having a heart attack every time that the ball enters the penalty area – but there are grounds for placing such bets on the first legs of the English Football League play-offs semi-finals.

It is not common knowledge that the away goals rule does not apply in the English Football League play-offs even though that has been the case since the 1999-2000 season. David Sheepshanks, then chairman of Ipswich, led a campaign to change the laws after the Tractor Boys lost two English Football League play-offs semi-finals in three campaigns.

The absence of the away goals rule in the English Football League play-offs means that there is no requirement for the visiting teams in the semi-final first legs to risk life and limb to get on the scoresheet. Therefore, the angle that one has chosen to investigate concerns backing goalless draws in each of the five remaining English Football League play-offs semi-final first legs, a strategy that will produce a profit if one or more of those matches produces a 0-0 result.

The 2014-2015 season was the first time in the last nine editions of the English Football League play-offs that none of the semi-final first legs ended goalless – the games had scorelines of 0-1, 1-1, 1-1, 1-2, 1-2 and 2-3. Only three of the 16 editions of the English Football League play-offs played without the away goals rule have not featured at least one semi-final first leg that finished 0-0 – the 2003-2004, 2005-2006 and 2014-2015 seasons – with 15 of the 96 matches ending goalless. Fifteen out of 96 equates to a betting percentage of 15.63 and betting odds of +540 . Odds greater than +540  are available on each of this season’s English Football League play-offs semi-final first legs finishing 0-0 so shop around and back all of them blind.

Tips Summary

Back 0-0 Draws in each of the five remaining play off first legs:

Sheffield Wednesday v Brighton
Friday 13th May, 19:45 GMT
Odds:  +650  with William Hill

Derby v Hull
Saturday 14th May, 12:30 GMT
Odds:  +600  with Bet365

Barnsley v Wallsall
Saturday 14th May, 17:30 GMT
Odds:  +900  with Betfair

Bradford v Millwall
Sunday 15th May, 12:15 GMT
Odds:  +700  with William Hill

AFC Wimbledon v Accrington
Saturday 14th May, 19:30 GMT
Odds:  +850  with Coral

For the record, here is the list of English Football League play-offs semi-final first legs since the 1999-2000 season.

2014-2015 season
Brentford 1 Middlesbrough 2
Ipswich 1 Norwich 1
Chesterfield 0 Preston 1
Sheffield United 1 Swindon 2

2013-2014 season
Brighton 1 Derby 2
Wigan 0 Queens Park Rangers 0
Peterborough 1 Leyton Orient 1
Preston 1 Rotherham 1
Burton 1 Southend 0
York 0 Fleetwood

2012-2013 season
Leicester 1 Watford 0
Crystal Palace 0 Brighton 0
Sheffield United 1 Yeovil 0
Swindon 1 Brentford 1
Bradford 2 Burton 3
Northampton 1 Cheltenham 0

2011-2012 season
Cardiff 0 West Ham 2
Blackpool 1 Birmingham 0
Stevenage 0 Sheffield United 0
Milton Keynes 0 Huddersfield 2
Crewe 1 Southend 0
Cheltenham 2 Torquay 0

2010-2011 season
Nottingham Forest 0 Swansea 0
Reading 0 Cardiff 0
Bournemouth 1 Huddersfield 1
Milton Keynes 3 Peterborough 2
Torquay 2 Shrewsbury 0
Stevenage 2 Accrington 0

2009-2010 season
Blackpool 2 Nottingham Forest 1
Leicester 0 Cardiff 1
Swindon 2 Charlton 1
Huddersfield 0 Millwall 0
Aldershot 0 Rotherham 1
Dagenham and Redbridge 6 Morecambe 0

2008-2009 season
Preston 1 Sheffield United 1
Burnley 1 Reading 0
Scunthorpe 1 Milton Keynes 1
Millwall 1 Leeds 0
Shrewsbury 0 Bury 1
Rochdale 0 Gillingham 0

2007-2008 season
Crystal Palace 1 Bristol City 2
Watford 0 Hull 2
Southend 0 Doncaster 0
Leeds 1 Carlisle 2
Darlington 2 Rochdale 1
Wycombe 1 Stockport 1

2006-2007 season
Southampton 1 Derby 2
Wolverhampton 2 West Bromwich 3
Yeovil 0 Nottingham Forest 2
Oldham 1 Blackpool 2
Bristol Rovers 2 Lincoln 1
Shrewsbury 0 Milton Keynes 0

2005-2006 season
Leeds 1 Preston 1
Crystal Palace 0 Watford 3
Barnsley 0 Huddersfield 1
Swansea 1 Brentford 1
Lincoln 0 Grimsby 1
Wycombe 1 Cheltenham 2

2004-2005 season
West Ham 2 Ipswich 2
Preston 2 Derby 0
Sheffield Wednesday 1 Brentford 0
Hartlepool 2 Tranmere 0
Lincoln 1 Macclesfield 0
Northampton 0 Southend 0

2003-2004 season
Crystal Palace 3 Sunderland 2
Ipswich 1 West Ham 0
Hartlepool 1 Bristol City 1
Swindon 0 Brighton 1
Lincoln 1 Huddersfield 2
Northampton 0 Mansfield 2

2002-2003 season
Nottingham Forest 1 Sheffield United 1
Wolverhampton 2 Reading 1
Cardiff 1 Bristol City 0
Oldham 1 Queens Park Rangers 1
Bury 0 Bournemouth 0
Lincoln 5 Scunthorpe 3

2001-2002 season
Birmingham 1 Millwall 1
Norwich 3 Wolverhampton 1
Stoke 1 Cardiff 2
Huddersfield 0 Brentford 0
Hartlepool 1 Cheltenham 1
Rushden and Diamonds 2 Rochdale 2

2000-2001 season
West Bromwich 2 Bolton 2
Birmingham 1 Preston 0
Stoke 0 Walsall 0
Wigan 0 Reading 0
Blackpool 2 Hartlepool 0
Hull 1 Leyton Orient 0

1999-2000 season
Birmingham 0 Barnsley 4
Bolton 2 Ipswich 2
Millwall 0 Wigan 0
Stoke 3 Gillingham 2
Barnet 1 Peterborough 2
Hartlepool 0 Darlington 2

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