A bumper midweek of football action in England this week gives us plenty of betting to get stuck into. the Premier League fixtures are all covered here on SBO, and our attention now turns to the Championship to find the best bets of the week.
The first fixture that jumps off the page is Newcastle v QPR, where the Magpies are a warm order to run away with another three points. A more profitable play might be to back the division’s second place side to beat a 1.5 goal Asian Handicap at much more attractive odds. Rafa Benitez has overseen wins by two or more goals in four of the Magpies last five matches, and they come up against a QPR side which doesn’t carry the biggest goal threat.
Leeds were the centre of media attention over the weekend as they were dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league Sutton, but they are a fair price to bounce back against Blackburn on Wednesday night. Garry Monk chose to rest several players for Sunday’s cup tie, and a positive result here is a must if his decision is to be vindicated. One suspects after the bad press, Leeds players will be determined to show their worth and continue the promotion challenge – this season’s ultimate aim.
Finally, Burton snatched a much-needed three points from the Hoops over the weekend, and the news that manager Nigel Clough has turned down Nottingham Forest’s advances is a huge boost. Fulham scored a brilliant 4-1 victory over Hull at the weekend, but it might be a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ here, in what is a tough away match.
Newcastle v QPR
Newcastle stand out at 119/1002.19+1191.191.19-0.84 with BetVictor to beat a -1.5 Asian Handicap, especially bearing in mind their recent record.
Rotherham (4-0), Birmingham (3-1, FA Cup), Nottingham Forest (3-1), Birmingham (4-0, League) are four if the last five results in front of the Newcastle faithful. The surprise 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday interrupted that sequence. It’s also 12 wins in the last 15 home games, so Newcastle are more than worthy of being odds-on just to win.
QPR’s defeat at home to Burton brought to an end a run of four Championship games unbeaten, and it was a hugely damaging result with the Brewers now just five points behind them. Ian Holloway has led QPR to victory at Reading and Wolves in his last two away matches, but lost the previous three at Brighton, Rotherham and Ipswich. The Hoops have also lost on their last three visits to St James Park, and another long trip back to London is anticipated.
Blackburn v Leeds
Leeds are a tempting price to win away at Blackburn at 3/22.50+1501.501.50-0.67 with Bet365 and William Hill.
The ‘War of the Roses’, as this Yorkshire-Lancashire derby is often dubbed, takes on extra importance for fans in terms of bragging rights. It’s always a full-blooded fixture, but Leeds won here in March 2016 in last year’s Championship, and the fact that it’s a derby shouldn’t draw attention from the teams’ relative league positions.
Leeds are 4th in the table, and a concerted run has taken them to within seven points of Newcastle in second. It’s also put them a healthy seven points above 7th placed Barnsley, and anything less than a play off place in May will come as a disappointment from this stage. Garry Monk clearly put all of his eggs in the promotion basket by selecting a weakened team for Sunday’s FA Cup defeat Sutton, and he will be hoping that the strategy comes to fruition here.
The Whites have won away at Wolves, Norwich, Rotherham and Preston in the last seven divisional away matches, drawing at Villa and losing at Brighton and Barnsley.
Blackburn are still deep in a relegation battle – just two places and two points above the drop zone in 20th. Recent wins over QPR and Blackpool have come in the FA Cup, and Rovers only victories in the last ten Championship games have come against Newcastle – a team they appear to have the hoodoo over.
They can at least say they are unbeaten in the last pair of league games at home – a 1-0 win over Newcastle and a 1-1 draw with Birmingham – but they were beaten by Brighton and Reading in the previous two. Leeds are a better side this term, and are decent value to bounce back from an embarrassing defeat at the weekend.
Burton v Fulham
Finally, not many punters will be rushing out to back a team that has lost it’s last four home matches, but circumstances dictate that Burton are decent value to avoid defeat at 17/201.85-1180.85-1.180.85 with 188Bet and Ladbrokes.
A 2-1 win at QPR and Nigel Clough’s decision to stay at the club, have rounded off a great week for Brewers fans. It was a vital three points too, as it lifted Burton out of the bottom three. An alarming run of eight defeats in ten games has only been punctuated by a 2-1 win at Rotherham and Saturday’s result, and turning around home form is next on the agenda. The last four matches on front of Brewers’ fans have ended in defeats to Wigan, Preston, Newcastle and Huddersfield. However, those results paint a poor picture of Burton’s overall home profile. Prior to that they’d played eleven games at the Pirelli Stadium and only finished on the losing side three times.
Fulham’s excellent 4-1 win over Premier League Hull was a result we highlighted in our FA Cup analysis, and it was notable for the Tigers’ Abel Henandez missing two penalties in quick succession. The Cottagers were good value for the win, but it does mean they’ve had a day’s less rest than Burton, and there were surely one or two celebrations on Sunday evening. It’s not uncommon for team’s to suffer a low after such a high, and the Brewers will be bang up for spoiling the party as Fulham players look forward to a London derby against Spurs in the 5th round of the FA Cup.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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