The English Premier League is a barren land for value bets on Saturday 6 October 2013 but there are more than enough opportunities further down England’s football pyramid.
Top billing goes to English League Two newcomer Mansfield, which is available at odds of 1.95 with BetVictor to beat Hartlepool. Mansfield did not make the best of starts to life back in England’s fourth tier following its promotion, losing 0-2 at Scunthorpe and drawing 0-0 at home to Exeter.
But Mansfield has not lost in English League Two since the opening weekend, winning five and drawing three of its last eight matches in the 46-round competition, with its most recent game resulting in a 1-0 away victory over its major rival and previously undefeated table topper, Chesterfield.
Confidence must be coursing through the veins of every Mansfield player ahead of its home match versus a Hartlepool team that is in English League Two’s bottom three after nine games. Hartlepool’s only league win was a 2-1 home success over bottom-of-the-ladder Accrington and it has failed to score in three of its four matches on the road.
Mansfield has cruised to back-to-back 3-0 home wins over Dagenham and Redbridge and Northampton, two sides that are likely to finish the campaign in the same section of the English League Two ladder as Hartlepool. Mansfield is well over the odds at 1.95 and should be around the 1.70 mark.
Also overpriced is English League One team Walsall, which is trading at odds of 2.50 with Coral for its home date with Bradford. Walsall has had an extremely tough run of fixtures, including two trips to Wolverhampton and a visit to Leyton Orient. Walsall drew its first game at Molineux 2-2 and went back two weeks later and won the match that means the most to its fans 1-0 thanks to an Andy Butler goal. Butler received a red card 18 minutes into Walsall’s game at Leyton Orient but still the Saddlers left east London with a 1-1 draw to become the first side not to lose to the Os in English League One this season.
Now Walsall welcomes Bradford to the Banks’s Stadium and even the most ardent Bantams supporters would admit that their team has made the most of its soft early schedule. By the end of the term Walsall is likely to be above Bradford so the Saddlers are worth backing at odds of 2.50. Walsall, with Butler free to play after the English Football League adjudged that he was sent off incorrectly, should be around the 2.20 mark so several bookmakers are way out of line.
Oxford is flying high in English League Two and it is more than a bit of a surprise to see the U’s available at bigger than evens to beat Southend. Oxford is second on the ladder and up against a Southend team that is without a win in six matches – four losses and two draws – and showing no signs of turning the corner. Oxford should be no bigger than 1.90 yet the Us are available at odds of 2.15 with BetVictor.
Most Oxford fans have no time for Swindon but if one likes a bet than the Robins are worth a second look at odds of 1.60 with 888sport, Ladbrokes and Unibet to become the latest side to hand out a beating to Tranmere. Swindon’s form is much better than how its LLWLD figures read because the Robins have faced some of their toughest tasks in recent weeks, including a home cup tie versus Chelsea, a home derby against Bristol City and trips to Milton Keynes, Preston and Wolverhampton. In the same period, Tranmere’s LLLLD record includes four home games versus Stoke, Brentford, Port Vale and Stevenage and an away match against Notts County. One would not be shocked if Tranmere ended up finishing bottom of English League One, while Swindon should end up in the top 12 and, perhaps, challenge for a play-off berth.
The banker of the day appears to be Queens Park Rangers at odds of 1.45 with 188bet, to take care of Barnsley in the English Championship. Queens Park Rangers is equal on points with Burnley and Leicester and has a game in hand on its joint leaders. Queens Park Rangers has kept seven consecutive league clean sheets and Barnsley has had some nightmares at the back versus some of the division’s powerhouses. Wigan scored four against Barnsley, while Blackburn and Watford went one better than scored five.
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