Gillingham the Stand out Bet in Football League


With the European Championship qualifiers grabbing all the headlines this week it would be easy to forget about domestic football, but there are full fixture lists in League One and League Two. With the bookies concentrating on the big games where the weight of money will go, there are some great punting opportunities at good odds in the lower divisions. Gillingham have had a brilliant start to the season in League One, and as a side that is traditionally very strong at home, they are the bet of the weekend in the third tier. We’re also sweet on the chances of Walsall as they welcome Bury, while Portsmouth also look a sound bet in the division below.

Gillingham v Doncaster

Gillingham can be backed at +115  with Betfair and Coral to overcome Doncaster on home soil, and are worth following to do so.

The Gills are unbeaten this season after three wins and two draws. They opened the season with an excellent 4-0 home win against promotion favourites Sheffield United, and followed up with an away draw at Port Vale and a cracking away win at Bradford. Next up was another home win against a well-fancied side in Wigan, where Gillingham prevailed 2-0. Last weekend they faced an away trip to Peterborough and almost came away with another three points, but were pegged back by a last-minute equalizer to draw 1-1. That left them sitting in 4th place in the league, just two points behind leaders Walsall.

Doncaster are currently 14th in the league after an average start which has seen them win one, lose one, and draw three. They had to wait until the fifth game of the season for their first win – a a 2-0 home victory over Fleetwood last weekend, but before that had lost to Port Vale and drawn with Southend, Bury and Wigan. They were also in action in midweek in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, and had to endure 120 minutes of football before eventually overcoming Burton Albion on penalties.

Gillingham have won the last five games on the trot at home, including both matches this season with a 6-0 aggregate goal difference. Doncaster have lost three of their last four away games in the league, and will find it tough to get anything on Saturday. The Gills have had an extra three days rest having not had a game in midweek, and that extra rest is crucial at this level. The Donny players may well be running on empty after a full-length cup tie on Tuesday night, and Gillingham can take advantage.

Walsall v Bury

Another side worth following in League One is Walsall, who can be backed at +130  with William Hill

The Saddlers are top of the table right now after a blistering start to the season, which saw them win the first four games, before being held to a draw by Oldham at the weekend. They were knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in midweek after fielding a weakened side at Morecambe, but recently beat Brighton in the Capital One Cup, and their priorities surely lie with promotion. They’ve beaten Blackpool, Rochdale, Coventry and Southend, and along with the Oldham stalemate, that’s left them with 13 points from five games.

Bury have struggled for form this season, but they have at least been hard to beat, drawing four of five games so far. Those stalemates were against Oldham, Crewe, Doncaster and Swindon, while their only defeat has been to Fleetwood. They were finally victorious in a game this season during the week when they beat Accrington in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, but traveling to Walsall will be a completely different challenge.

The Saddlers have won five of the last six competitive home games, and have an 11-3 goal difference in the league do far this season. There’s no doubt that Bury have an excellent away record, but most of that stretched back to last season where they were competing in League Two, and they are yet to win on their travels at this level. Tellingly, Bury’s aggregate goal difference this year is scored 10, conceded 11, and Walsall will take advantage of a leaky defence.

Portsmouth v Accrington

Finally, dropping down into League Two, Portsmouth are the stand out bet at -163  with William HillSkybet and BetVictor to beat Accrington when they make the long trip down South on Saturday afternoon.

Pompey have spent a decent amount of money (for this level) on recruitment this summer, and the fortunes of the club could be set to change after years in the doldrums. Manager Paul Cook has come under fire this week for fielding six debutantes in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat against Exeter during the week, and it is crystal clear where the club’s priorities lie this year. Promotion is the be all and end all for Pompey, and they are unbeaten in the league so far. They sit 4th in the table after three wins and a couple of draws, and should be well set for victory on Saturday after resting players with this game in mind.

Accrington are 15th in the league table, and have managed just one win so far – against Mansfield. They’ve lost to Morecambe, and drawn with Notts County, Northampton and Luton. Their home form will be crucial in keeping them afloat this season, but they haven’t won away in ten games. It’s been five draws and five defeats on the road during that sequence, and they are unlikely to improve that away record on Saturday.

Portsmouth haven’t been completely dominant at home, but they have won two of the last four in their own ground, and the fans won’t forgive them for ‘throwing’ the cup game in midweek if they don’t win convincingly here. It should prove to be a long and fruitless trip down South for Accrington.

Tips Summary

Gillingham to beat Doncaster
Saturday 5th September 15:00 GMT
Odds:  +115

Walsall to beat Bury
Saturday 5th September 15:00 GMT
Odds:  +130

Portsmouth to beat Accrington
Saturday 5th September 15:00 GMT
Odds:  -163

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