Fresh from winning the marquee match of its English League One campaign, Walsall is grossly overpriced at odds of 2.50 with BetVictor to follow up its away win over Wolverhampton with a home victory over Rotherham at the Banks’s Stadium.
Walsall deserved its 1-0 triumph on the road to its biggest rival, dominating long spells of the derby match and hitting the woodwork either side of Andy Butler’s winning goal. A tough run of league and cup fixtures – Preston at home and Brentford, Stoke and Wolverhampton away, the latter twice – brought Walsall undone in late August and early September, although the Saddlers were unlucky to lose to Preston and Stoke. Walsall found its feet again last weekend with a crushing 3-0 away win over Crewe and then outplayed the English League One title favourite during the week.
Rotherham has made an superb start to life back in English League One, winning four and drawing the other three of its seven games, and the Merry Millers travel to Walsall having won three matches on the spin. But Rotherham’s early program has been relatively kind – four home games, at least two of them very winnable, plus trips to Crawley, Crewe and Notts County, none of which is likely to be in the promotion mix – and the Merry Millers are too short to beat Walsall away.
One may look back on this clash in a few months from now and wonder how bookmakers did not quote Walsall at odds of 2.00 or shorter because the Saddlers are highly likely to finish the season above Rotherham. Do not forget that Walsall was the form non-promoted English League One team of the second half of last term when Rotherham was a division beneath it.
Wycombe is very attractively priced at odds of 2.10, also with BetVictor, to win its English League Two home match versus York. Wycombe has every right to be around the 1.80 mark based on the first seven rounds of the championship, with the Chairboys having won their last three English League Two games, all of them on the road. Only Accrington is between York and the bottom rung of the English League Two ladder, with the Minstermen having lost their last four matches. A recent direct form line involves Exeter, with Wycombe leaving Devon with a 2-0 victory and York travelling back home having gone down by the odd goal in three.
Gillingham beat Bradford home and away in English League Two last season and, while there is no doubt that the Gills have been playing pretty poorly compared to the Bantams, odds of 3.40 with, yet again, BetVictor about Martin Allen’s side picking up three points are too good to ignore. One could make a decent case for the game being a toss-of-the-coin affair between two promoted teams as Gillingham is not as bad as the English League One ladder suggests and Bradford is not as good. Gillingham may end up in a relegation fight but Bradford may not be too far ahead of it in the scrap.
Saturday’s English Premier League fixtures do not throw up an obviously appealing home win, away win or draw bet but there are a couple of matches that are more likely to go under 2.5 goals than bookmakers think – West Bromwich against Sunderland and West Ham versus Everton.
The immediate coaching careers of Steve Clarke and Paolo Di Canio will go on the line when West Bromwich and Sunderland battle at The Hawthorns. West Bromwich and Sunderland are the only two English Premier League sides without a victory after four rounds and, in particular, the Baggies look very light on for goals. This is a huge game that neither West Bromwich nor Sunderland can afford to lose, with both the Baggies and the Black Cats having tough matches coming up. West Bromwich plays Manchester United at Old Trafford and Arsenal at The Hawthorns in its next two English Premier League games, while Sunderland has back-to-back home matches against Liverpool and Manchester United, a trip to Swansea and a derby match versus Newcastle at the Stadium of Light. Under 2.5 goals is available at odds of 1.83 with 32Red and one could certainly have a smaller play on either under 1.5 goals at odds of 3.50 with BetVictor or 0-0 at odds of 11.00 with several bookmakers. One will be able to cut the tension with a knife and a not particularly sharp one at that.
West Ham and Everton are struggling to score goals as well, with the Hammers missing their target man, Andy Carroll, pretty badly. All four West Ham games in the English Premier League this term have gone under 2.5 goals, as have three of Everton’s four matches. The sides have featured in four goalless draws this season so, in addition to backing under 2.5 goals at odds of 1.82 with 888sport, under 1.5 goals at odds of 3.40 with many bookmakers.