Our round-up of the weekend’s football wouldn’t be complete without dipping into the Championship to boost up the accumulators! England’s second tier is often a happy hunting ground for value and Suffolk side Ipswich take the headlines slot this Saturday when they welcome Notts Forest to Portman Road.
Mick McCarthy has been with the Tractor Boys for a long time and is once again proving his credentials as a Championship manager. Investment has never been huge on the playing side at Ipswich, but McCarthy is adept at getting the best out of his squad. The Suffolk club is up to 9th after the impressive 1-0 win at Derby in midweek and the bookmakers are offering decent odds about them beating a Forest side which has lost five of the last six on the road.
There are plenty of options on the rest of the fixture list and two games catch the eye for an over 2.5 goals bet. Bolton and Barnsley can be described as a relegation six-pointer even at this early stage of the season, with the Trotters bottom of the table and the Tykes in 18th. It also has the look of a game which could feature lots of goals. The same can be said of the Sheffield Wednesday v Hull match, particularly as the Tigers have one of the best attacks and one of the worst defences in the division.
Ipswich v Nottingham Forest
Ipswich are 8/52.60+1601.601.60-0.63 with Bet365 to get the better of Forest, odds which underestimate the home side.
The Tractor Boys have won five of their nine home games in the Championship and are tough to beat on their own patch. Sheffield Wednesday held them to a 2-2 draw in their latest home outing, but Ipswich beat Preston 3-0 in the game before that. The win at Derby means they’ve lost just once in the last five games, and that was away at Aston Villa. It’s a decent run of form after a sticky month in October when they lost four of five games. Mick McCarthy will know his best realistic chance of success is through the play offs, and with just three points to make up on the top six, he will view this as a good opportunity to grab those points.
Forest are only two points behind Ipswich in the league table and they are the only side in the division yet to draw a game. It’s win or bust it seems for Forest, and on the road, it’s been bust more than win. They’ve played nine Championship away games this season, winning three and losing six. Five of those defeats have been in the last six away matches, with a win at Hull the odd game out.
Bolton v Barnsley
The game in Bolton brings together two sides struggling near the foot of the table, and over 2.5 goals is a good bet at odds of 22/251.88-1140.88-1.140.88 with 888Sport.
Bolton have spent most of this year at the bottom of the league after a dismal start to life back in the Championship. They’ve found life tough since promotion from League One but there have been positive signs in the last six weeks. They put together a run of five draws and two wins since October, which was only brought to an end last week with the 5-1 thrashing at Wolves. Few sides will take points from the league leaders at the moment, so the Trotters will see this as a good opportunity to bounce back and continue their search for survival. A home game against a side which has lost the last three without scoring is one which Bolton surely have to attack if they are to earn the points to stay up.
The Tykes have been beaten to nil by Reading, Leeds and Cardiff in the last three, but will take solace from the fact that these are calmer waters against a Bolton side with the second-worst defence in the division. That trio of defeats has seen them drop to 18th in the table they’d only lost one in eight previously. It would be no surpise to see Barnsley get on the scoresheet here, and they could easily come away with something in a game which could go either way.
Sheffield Wednesday v Hull
Sheffield Wednesday and Hull is another fixture where over 2.5 goals looks a fair bet at 39/501.78-1280.78-1.280.78 with 888Sport.
Hull are enduring a nightmare season after relegation from the top flight and any hopes of bouncing straight back have been long since forgotten. The Tigers are 20th in the table, just four points above the drop zone and have failed to win in six matches. It’s been a dramatic fall from grace but at least it’s been entertaining – they are among the top scorers in the league with 32 goals, but they also possess one of the poorest defences with 35 goals conceded. Five of their last six games have had four goals or more, and Saturday’s match may well go the same way.
First and foremost, Sheffield Wednesday will regard this as a must-win game if they intend to challenge for promotion again. The Owls are 11th in the table, some six points behind the top six. They are proving up to the challenge after a run of six without defeat, and their home record is even better. Wednesday have only been beaten on their own ground once all season and five of the last seven at Hillsborough have had three or more goals.
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.
SBO.net Bookie Selector
Our Bookie selector is designed to find the perfect place for you to bet. Simply answer a few quick questions and we’ll choose the best online bookmaker for you.