D3D4 betting expert @tomlove_18 is back with his hot tips ahead of the action in League One and Two this weekend…
Blackburn to win at Northampton – 8/11
Blackburn keep motoring on and it shows no signs of stopping any time soon. Tony Mowbray’s men have been in scintillating form for a good 2 months now, currently on a 6 game winning streak they are a side that teams quite rightly fear, especially with Bradley Dack pulling the strings. Rovers have shown spirit and conviction in equal measure with resounding wins over Blackpool and Charlton as well as coming from behind to beat Bristol Rovers and Peterborough in recent times. I put him up to score at a hefty 4/1 to score a few weeks ago and he’s carried on his great goal scoring form since then, that man is a defender and his name is Mr Charlie Mulgrew. At the time of writing no price is available in the goalscorer market but look closer to the kick off and these markets will appear. If the Scotsman is available at north of 7/2 to notch anytime then I couldn’t put anyone off having a dabble on him. The Aden Flint of the 17/18 league 1 season.
Lowly Northampton Town play hosts to high flying Rovers this Saturday and they snatched a badly needed 2-1 win against a resurgent Walsall side last week, a real turn up for the books. Unfortunately for Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink they do not have a favourable fixture to capitalise on that result and I can’t see them troubling the Lancashire side. Cobblers removed themselves from the drop zone after that aforementioned victory and I do think they have the quality to stay up this season, however I have to oppose them this week.
Note: This game is a 2pm kick off.
Wigan to win at Oxford – 1/1
Bookies are looking to lure punters in with the even money available on table toppers Wigan to beat a very inconsistent Oxford side and I’ve had to grab that dangling carrot. I’ve noted in previous articles that the underlying performance data backs up the Latics’ superb season so far and you can see why they’re such a good team when you look through their squad, particularly in the forward areas. Michael Jacobs, for me, is the best player in this division, add Gavin Massey, Ivan Toney, Will Grigg and Nick Powell to him and it’s actually quite frightening that they’re playing in League 1. Paul Cook watched his team demolish AFC Wimbledon 4-0 last week at Kingsmeadow, it included a quite spectacular strike from Max Power from all of 30 yards hammering it into the top corner. Power by name, power by nature.
Oxford are a side that has me scratching my head, their performance data has been pretty good but they’re too unpredictable to have any faith in backing. The sheer volatility of their results have seen them with a W8 D7 L7 record so far this term. Most of their good work came under the early weeks of Pep Clotet’s stewardship but more recently the U’s seemed to have lacked a cutting edge and a real meaning to their play.
All in all it’s a team you can rely upon vs a team who simply cannot be. Even money on the away side looks too good to turn down.
Forest Green Rovers +0.5 Asian handicap vs Carlisle – 13/16
Looking back to the first two or three months of the season it was commonplace to find an anti-Forest Green bet on this column, a highly penetrable defence, dearth of football league experience and a real lack of confidence created a cocktail of disaster for the Gloucestershire outfit. Once the winter arrived so did FGR, superb battling performances away at Coventry and Notts County were the catalyst for an injection of belief and consequently an upturn in form. This revival coincided with a hot streak from striker Christian Doidge, someone who has proved to be a cool finisher and is up there with the best in the country in terms of goalscoring ratios. With Doidge in their ranks I always fancy FGR to get at least a goal and I think they’re more than capable of getting something against Carlisle this weekend.
Keith Curle’s Carlisle side have a 500 mile round trip to deal with from Cumbria to the Stroud area, they also played in the FA Cup on Wednesday night so will have no more than a day to prepare on the training pitch for this clash. Granted, they tend to do most of their good work on the road but I’m struggling to understand why they have been priced up as skinny as 11/10 here, criminally short.
Onlookers might well note that FGR are currently bottom of the table, however, it’s incredibly tight between the bottom 5. Also, should Rovers win this then they will move to 5 points behind their visitors. More than anything this is a price play, we can get two results on our side by back FGR on the +0.5 Asian handicap at 13/16, that’s a smidgen bigger than 3/4 and that appeals. This selection will see us win if Carlisle fail to take all three points.
Barnet vs Cheltenham – Both Teams To Score – 4/5
Barnet picked up a vital three points at home to Morecambe last week in a bottom of the table meeting, Mark McGhee has seen star striker John Akinde return to the fold and he will give the bees a focal point up front. Goals haven’t been a problem for the North London side this term, in fact they’ve found the back of the net in 18 of their 22 games this season! Yet they’re 22nd in the table. This can only be due to their terrible defensive record. BTTS then, has been a regular feature in Barnet games and I can see it occurring once again at the Hive on Saturday afternoon.
Cheltenham make the trip east in no great form, a 1-0 victory against Crewe, three draws and two losses in their last 6. Having said that, the games they lost were against Notts County and Coventry and the Robins did manage to notch in both those defeats. Gary Johnson has players available who can be a danger to the opposition, the physical presence of Danny Wright, the sharpness of Mo Eisa and the running power of Kevin Dawson to name a few strings to the Cheltenham bow. 7 out of their 11 away games this season have seen BTTS land so stats are in our favour. 4/5 looks a value quote on no clean sheets been kept in this fixture.