Results in the Championship have conspired lately to make this one of the most open promotion battles in recent memory. Middlesbrough top the league by a point courtesy of their 1-1 away draw at MK Dons through Jordan Rhodes late goal in midweek, but just seven points in total separate the top six and it’s going to be a fight to the finish.
We’re backing three upwardly mobile sides this weekend as we look to make the bookies pay for what look like some very generous prices. Nottingham Forest are up to 10th in the table after a 13-game unbeaten run, and a late play-off charge is not out of the question. They take on a Huddersfield side on the back of a four-game losing run, and are great value at home. Sheffield Wednesday continue to do us favours this season, and they are worth following again to continue their excellent recent home record when Brentford make the trip up North. Meanwhile Hull, who are currently 2nd in the league, travel to an out-of-sorts Blackburn team which hasn’t won a league game since the 11th of December.
Nottingham Forest v Huddersfield
First up for us it’s Nottingham Forest who look over-priced at 7/52.40+1401.401.40-0.71 with BetVictor for the visit of Huddersfield.
Forest’s superb league run stretches back to late November when they lost 2-1 to Brentford, but since then they have managed to avoid defeat for 13 games, with 6 wins and 7 draws. Manager Dougie Freedman won’t be getting carried away, but if they can continue this sort of form a place in the top six isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. They’ve amassed 42 points to reside in 10th position, and are eight points behind Sheffield Wednesday in 6th. They’ll need to win their home games to make it happen though, and they have a great opportunity to bag another three points against 17th placed Huddersfield.
The recent 1-0 away win at Leeds saw Freedman describe his side as a ‘very complete team’, and they’ve taken some impressive scalps recently, including Middlesbrough. They’re unbeaten in ten at the City Ground and have won on five of the last six occasions that Huddersfield have visited.
The Terriers main aim this season would have been to avoid relegation, and while they still have work to do, they’re relatively comfortable in 17th position with 32 points – 7 points clear of danger. However, they’ll need to start picking up the points to lead them to safety soon, after a four-game losing run in which they’ve conceded 12 goals. They were thumped 5-2 by Reading in the FA Cup before losing successive league games to Brighton, Cardiff and Preston. They’ve only won 3 of 15 away matches this term and they have a poor record on this ground too.
Sheffield Wednesday v Brentford
Sheffield Wednesday have been a profitable team to follow this year and they’re worth backing again for the visit of Brentford at 11/102.10+1101.101.10-0.91 with BetVictor, Betfred, and Totesport
The Owls have quietly made their way into the play-off places and last week’s 2-1 away win at Birmingham was testament to their quality in recent games. Gary Hooper scored two second half goals to take his tally to six in his last six for Wednesday, and they’re now unbeaten in six league games too. Home form has been elusive over previous seasons but Hillsborough has become something of a fortress again this term with the Owls winning 9 and drawing 5 of the 15 fixtures in front of their own fans. The only loss was way back in August at the hands of Middlesbrough.
They’ve won five of the last six games at home and will look to make it six from seven against a Brentford side that has lost five in seven. The Bees are 12th in the table with 40 points – some 10 points off the play-offs – and inconsistency has been the problem all year. They’ve played well in patches and had several small unbeaten runs, but they’ve also played poorly for prolonged periods where they’ve lost three or four on the spin. They are in one of those patches at the moment with five defeats in the last seven and the only victory a 3-1 away win at Preston. This is a tough place to go and Brentford may be making the long trip back to London empty-handed.
Blackburn v Hull
Hull are another top team that stand out when they visit Blackburn, and the 13/102.30+1301.301.30-0.77 on offer with Coral, Ladbrokes and Totesport looks more than fair.
The Tigers are making an assault on the title and a quickfire return to the Premier League under Steve Bruce, and they’re just a point behind leaders Middlesbrough. The recent six-game winning run was brought to an end last week as they lost out 1-0 to Burnley, but Bruce was happy enough with the performance and will expect his team to get back on track here. Away form has been questionable for Hull this season – they have a 6-3-6 record from 15 games – but they’ve won on 3 of the last 4 road trips and are in excellent form all round.
Blackburn are in 18th place just six points clear of the drop zone, but their only recent wins have come against lower league opposition in the FA Cup. They’re now eight games without a win in the league and they’ve only managed to win once at Ewood Park in the last eight home games. Manager Paul Lambert is slowly turning things around at the club, but he will have to work on a budget and without the services of star striker Jordan Rhodes, who was sold to Middlesbrough in January.
Hull have only conceded twice in the last six games and can get back to winning ways here as they battle for the league title.
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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