The Champions League will take centre stage in midweek with the 5th round of group matches, as that particular competition really hots up. However, back in England on the domestic front there is a full fixture list in Leagues One and Two, and punters who prefer the to stick to the football league will be looking for value in the lower divisions.
We’ve assessed the options in League One and come up with some decent bets in what is one of the tightest leagues in English football. Coventry are top dogs at the moment after Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing of previous leaders Gillingham saw them leapfrog that rival and rise to the summit. Early-season favourites for the title, Peterborough, have come back to form recently with three wins in four, but they remain three points outside the play-off zone; while Wigan are another side to hit their groove with five wins in six catapulting them into the top four.
However, it’s Posh who are our headline tip this midweek, as they welcome relegation-threatened Barnsley to London Road on Tuesday evening.
Peterborough v Barnsley
Peterborough are an attractive 21/202.05+1051.051.05-0.95 with BetVictor to take all three points, and that looks a generous price.
Posh have long been something of an unpredictable side, but manager Graham Westley has been getting the right tune out of his players recently, and they’ve won four of the last five in all competitions, scoring 16 goals in the process. Saturday’s 5-1 win away at Crewe included a brace from young midfielder Jermaine Anderson. Westley has gone on record as saying that Anderson can follow in the footsteps of Under-18 England colleague Dele Alli, which is high praise indeed for the 19 year-old. Posh have risen to ninth in the table, but remain three points outside the play-offs and have plenty of work to do to achieve the dream of promotion.
In contrast, Barnsley have had a torrid season so far, and are under real threat of relegation from the division. They are 21st in the league just four points above bottom club Crewe. Saturday’s 2-1 away win at fellow strugglers Oldham brought to an end a run of 8 straight defeat in the league, but that last-minute winner doesn’t mean that the corner has been turned at Oakwell. The Tykes have lost on each of their last two visits here, and with Peterborough in such great goal-scoring form, it’s hard to see Barnsley being able to live with them.
Gillingham v Rochdale
Next up it’s Gillingham who are priced at 6/52.20+1201.201.20-0.83 with BetVictor to bounce back from the disappointment of the Coventry defeat, when they take on Rochdale at home on Tuesday night.
The Gills remain second in the league after being deposed by Coventry, but manager Justin Edinburgh will want to put that result behind them as quickly as possible as they continue the push for promotion. They’ve been held to draws on home ground by Southend and Oldham this season, but have won all of the other seven home games they’ve played this year. They are traditionally very strong at home, and it’s a long trip down to Kent for Rochdale.
The Angels are 13th in League One, with a nicely symmetrical record of won 6, drawn 6, lost 6. They’ve been on a fair run of late, with 3 wins, 4 draws, and 3 defeats in the last ten games, although Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Doncaster was their first win on the road for nine games. More noticeably they’ve lost away games at sides in the higher reaches of the division – Millwall, Sheffield United and Burton have all beaten Rochdale – and Gillingham are right up there among the best in the league, particularly on home ground.
Bury v Scunthorpe
Our final tip is on the match between Bury and Scunthorpe which looks like it could be a high-scoring game as two attacking teams go toe-to-toe.
Over 2.5 goals is a decent price of 10/111.91-1100.91-1.100.91 with BetVictor, BoyleSports and William Hill for two sides whose games tend to feature at least three goals on a regular basis.
Just looking at the bare facts shows that Bury’s last ten games have included 28 goals at an average of 2.8 per game; while Scunthorpe’s last ten fixtures have seen 27 goals at an average of 2.7 per game. Further analysis shows that Bury’s last ten home games have also featured 28 goals at an average of 2.8 per game; but more interestingly Scunthorpe’s last ten road games have included a whopping 34 goals at an average of 3.4 per game.
What this tells us is that Scunthorpe tend to go for broke away from home, and although they often end up on the losing side, they’ve scored in all but one of those last ten away trips. What it also tells us is that Bury tend to play an attacking and open style of football, which is bourne out by the fact that they’ve conceded by far the most goals (27) in the top half of the table.
Each of the last four meetings between these two has gone over 2.5 goals, and it looks a fair bet again this Tuesday night. Only seven points separates the two, but Bury are in 6th place just inside the play-off zone and looking upwards; while Scunthorpe are back in 13th, only seven points outside the play-offs but only six points above the drop zone. However, both sides are inconsistent in terms of form, with Bury losing three and winning two of the last five, and Scunthorpe having the same record of lost three and won two in their last five. In that sense the win-lose-draw market is best avoided, and goals looks a much better option.
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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