D3D4 correspondent and betting expert Tom Love is back with his tips ahead of the action in League One and Two this weekend…
Oxford vs Bristol Rovers – Over 2.5 goals at 17/20
Oxford were involved in a fantastic comeback to win 3-2 at the Valley against Charlton last week, caretaker manager Darren Fazakerley brought football league stalwart James Henry on after 70 minutes and he inspired a comeback for the Yellows which was capped by a fantastic 94th minute strike from the in-demand Ryan Ledson. David Unsworth had been heavily linked with the current job but removed himself from the running earlier this week so the current caretaker may stay on should the results keep improving.
Oxford heavily utilised the loan market in January, bringing in youth prospects from the top English clubs and those players injected the U’s with freshness and energy. I think they look quite a big price against a Bristol Rovers side that aren’t all that on the road, and I couldn’t put anyone off the 17/10 on the home side. However, the pick here is for there to be more than 2 goals, Bristol Rovers tend to be involved in goal heavy games and can easily notch against a very shaky Oxford defence.
Star player Billy Bodin departed to Championship outfit Preston which will surely be a blow for Darrell Clarke, his ingenuity in the final third was a major part of their rise up the leagues in the last few seasons. On the other hand, since his departure results have been ok for the Gas, winning against Bradford and Doncaster recently, they did concede in both games though. They still have attacking threats with Ellis Harrison and Rory Gaffney up front supported with Liam Sercombe’s forward runs and a few goals recently from Joe Partington.
Oxford looked re-energised after last week and their recent recruitment but they haven’t sured up that defence therefore I can see goals in this one, 17/20 is best price for over 2.5 goals and that looks an interesting angle, especially given the fact that 7/8 of these teams combined last 4 games have seen over 2.5 land.
Scunthorpe vs Rotherham – Under 2.5 goals at 47/50
I’m opposing goals in Lincolnshire on Saturday between two play off candidates. I have been very impressed with Rotherham recently, they battered Bradford for 80 minutes at the New York stadium a few weeks back, they look comfortable on the ball and have a physical edge. They’ve won their last three games to nil but they have a tough trip to Glanford Park to take on a currently inconsistent Scunthorpe United side.
Scunny picked up a win at Fleetwood last time out but they’d not won in four before that. Traditionally Graham Alexander has been a defensive coach and the first half of the season the Iron had one of the best defensive records in the league. They’ve conceded 5 in their last two games and he will be furious at that and will look to go back to basics.
This could be a game where both sides cancel each other out, it could end all square. The bookies have the over/under 2.5 line as a pick’em and I’m going to side with the unders here.
Crawley to beat Grimsby at 13/10
Crawley have crept up the table on the sly in the past few months. They are one of the form teams in the league winning 6 out of their last 7, amazing stuff from Harry Kewell’s men. I will hold my hands up and say I thought Crawley would be in a relegation battle this season with the ex-Leeds man in charge and a mish-mash of summer recruitment, nothing looked too positive, especially after the first two months of the season. Jordan Roberts is a player that has impressed and teams higher up were looking at him in the January window, Dutchman Enzio Boldewijn is also in great form and they are playing with a togetherness that is admirable.
Grimsby, however, have been in completely the opposite form to the West Sussex club. Mariners’ fans have seen such little entertainment this season, I was actually surprised to see them as high as 17th in the table. Simeon Jackson came in on loan and scored on his debut in the draw last week but he isn’t the player he used to be. Russell Slade has seen his side win only once on the road in their last 9 and that’s was at lowly Barnet.
Respective form is in stark contrast to each other and Crawley look a very attractive 13/10 quote which I will surely be popular with Punters and rightly so.
Exeter City vs Wycombe Wanderers – Over 2.5 goals at 10/11
Wycombe games have been supremely entertaining all season, but even more so in 2018. Their last seven fixtures in all competitions have seen 2-1, 2-1, 1-5, 3-1, 3-2, 2-3, and 4-3! Unbelievable stats, and their last game was a ding-dong battle with Carlisle with Wycombe scoring twice in injury time to win 4-3. Gareth Ainsworth is more than happy to win by any scoreline and ‘Wild Thing’ has seen his side record 13 of their 16 wins also see them concede. So I’d nod Punters towards the win + btts market when you fancy the Chairboys to win, it will enhance the price a decent amount.
Exeter are more than capable of getting on the scoresheet too. They’ve scored 2+ in four of their last five home league games and that’s why I’m happy to swerve the outright markets and back goals. Over 2.5 looks generously priced at 10/11 for a game that promises to be an exciting watch.