Once again there is very little value in the English Premier League but there are betting opportunities in the English Football League’s three divisions, with the pick of being Blackburn to beat Charlton in the English Championship.
Blackburn’s glory days of the 1990s are behind it, with the best for which Rovers can hope in the post-Jack Walker era being a seat at England’s top table. Challenging for honours is beyond the Lancashire team these days, although Blackburn does have one of the English Championship’s finest players in its forward line and any second-tier side with Jordan Rhodes up front should win more matches than its loses.
On paper, Blackburn’s English Championship form is patchy, with Rovers having won two, drawn two and lost two of its last six games. But Blackburn’s two wins have been over a couple of top-eight teams – Bournemouth and Watford – and, apart from its 0-0 home draw with Huddersfield, Rovers have been okay. Blackburn drew 1-1 at Burnley in its biggest away match of the season and there was no disgrace in Rovers losing 1-2 at Leicester and going down 1-2 at Wigan.
On a recent line through Burnley, Blackburn is a few notches better than Charlton, who lost 3-0 at Turf Moor two weeks after Rovers held their deadly rivals to a draw. Charlton has drawn three and lost three of its last six games, while the Addicks have drawn two and lost four of their six road matches this term. Charlton has not celebrated an English Championship away victory since the middle of April 2013.
Blackburn should be well into odds-on territory to stay in with the touch with the English Championship frontrunners by beating Charlton at Ewood Park. Irish giant Paddy Power is offering odds of 2.00 that Blackburn extends its English Championship home unbeaten sequence to five games with a win over travel sick Charlton, odds that are a couple of rolls over the top.
One is reluctant to say that Bolton has turned the corner but Wanderers do appeal at odds of 2.00 with Paddy Power and Sky Bet to defeat Sheffield Wednesday at the Reebok Stadium.
Bolton boss Dougie Freedman made a big impact on Wanderers after arriving from Crystal Palace for the second half of last season and that is why fans have not been screaming for his head on a platter. Bolton’s form is ordinary at best – it is not worth getting carried away with a 2-1 away win over Birmingham because the Blues are terrible – but Wanderers are unlikely to remain near the foot of the English Championship ladder for many more months.
Sheffield Wednesday, on the other hand, looks set for a long campaign fighting against relegation. Sheffield Wednesday is the only English Championship side without a league win this term – there is one such team in each of England’s top four divisions – and the Owls lost 1-4 away to Birmingham just under one month ago. David Jones is a decent operator but even he looks lost for answers to the Sheffield Wednesday puzzle. Back Bolton to heap more pressure on the Scouser.
Odds against when it should be odds on is English League Two side Morecambe, with Sky Bet chalking up odds of 2.30 about the Shrimps getting the better of Wimbledon. Morecambe is unbeaten at home in the league this season and its victims include table-topping Chesterfield and high-flying Exeter.
Basically, Sky Bet’s market means that its odds compilers believe that Wimbledon would be the favourite if it were to play Morecambe at a neutral venue. That is nonsensical given the English League Two ladder after 11 rounds. Furthermore, Wimbledon has accrued only four points out of a possible 15 away from home this term, failing to score in its road losses to Cheltenham, Chesterfield and Exeter.
Blackburn, Bolton and Morecambe are three cracking value bets on the football coupon for Saturday 19 October 2013. Other sides that almost made the elite cut were Brentford, Leyton Orient and Portsmouth, while only surprisingly tight odds prevented Southampton not to lose at Manchester United getting highlighted in the English Premier League.
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