A side with the third-best home record in the Championship up against a team with the fourth-worst away record in the division. That’s a scenario which you’d expect to result in short odds-on prices about the home team, but Ipswich are a huge odds-against price for the visit of QPR on Boxing Day.
Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys can give home supporters plenty of Christmas cheer while lining our wallets to replace the festive overspend! Ipswich are 8th in the table (at the time of writing) and in the hunt for the playoffs. QPR are loitering above the relegation zone and have been in poor form of late, notwithstanding a good 2-1 away win at fellow battlers Birmingham last week.
Another team deep in trouble is Sunderland, who are only one point and one place above the bottom three as things stand prior to the Christmas rush. Chris Coleman has had a positive impact since his arrival at the Stadium of Light and Boxing Day will provide another test as he takes his team to play at high-flying Sheffield United. The Blades have dropped down to 6th in the league after a run of four defeats in five and this match could be a sign of the changing times at both clubs.
Nottingham Forest have served us well as a side that features in high-scoring games this season, and that’s the bet that stands out when they welcome Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday. Both sides are languishing in mid-table but both score goals, and this match has the potential to be a thriller.
Ipswich v QPR
First up, Ipswich are overpriced at 13/102.30+1301.301.30-0.77 with BetVictor to claim three points on home ground against QPR.
The Tractor Boys have a home record which reads 7-1-3 from eleven games this season, third only to Cardiff and Wolves as the most productive home teams. They’ve won three of the last four at home, including wins over Reading and Preston. Ipswich are 8th in the league, but only two points outside the playoffs and a promotion challenge is not beyond the realms of possibility.
QPR would be 21st in the league based on away results only, after a record of 1-4-6 from eleven on the road so far. That one victory came from last week’s 2-1 away win at out-of-form Birmingham, but they’d lost the previous three without scoring a goal at Preston, Derby and Forest.
Sheffield United v Sunderland
Sunderland could be good value to avoid defeat at Sheffield United at odds of 11/102.10+1101.101.10-0.91 with BetVictor in our second bet of the day.
19 points separate these two clubs at present, with the Blades in 6th place and the Black Cats way back in 21st. However, recent results suggest that the gap may be considerably smaller by the end of the season. These two were two divisions apart last season – United in League One and Sunderland in the Premier League – so the bookies are taking a chance by making the Blades such hot favourites to win.
Sunderland have had some excellent results since Coleman left the Wales job to take over in the North East. A 0-0 draw away at leaders Wolves was impressive, and they broke their home hoodoo with last week’s win against Fulham. In order to pull away from the drop zone, the Black Cats must have a much better second half of the season, and the early signs are that they are on the up under Coleman’s stewardship.
Sheffield United have exceeded expectations this term and have been challenging at the very top of the table for much of the season so far. It may be too early to say that the wheels have fallen off, but four defeats in five since that incredible 5-4 loss to Fulham is a poor run of form. They are now without a win at home in three games after being held by Birmingham and beaten by Bristol City.
Nottingham Forest v Sheffield Wednesday
Finally, we’re backing over 2.5 goals when Forest host Wednesday at odds of 87/1001.87-1150.87-1.150.87 with 888Sport.
Nottingham are 12th in the table and remain the only side in the division yet to draw a game after 22 fixtures. They’ve won 10 and lost 12 – the sign of a side which plays a ‘kamikaze’ brand of football. Forest fans certainly haven’t been short of entertainment this season, as a recent 3-2 win against Bolton and a 4-2 defeat against Ipswich demonstrate. Their last three games have had at least three goals, as have the last four meetings with Sheffield Wednesday.
The Owls do not look like a side which can challenge for the playoffs again this season – they sit 15th in the league, three points and three places behind their Boxing Day rival. They’ve gone six games without a win (four draws and two defeats), but three of the last five have gone over 2.5 goals, including a pair of 2-2 draws with Ipswich and Hull.
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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