Weekend betting preview
Millwall v Bolton Wanderers (Friday)
Millwall may only have picked up one victory in their last seven games but they head into Friday night’s clash with fellow strugglers Bolton as 23/20 favourites. The Lions ended their winless run with a 1-0 triumph at Brighton last weekend while the Trotters, who also have 23 points from 21 games, are 12/5 to win and 23/10 to come away with a draw. Bolton have ground out goalless draws in their previous two outings and a repeat of that scoreline is priced up at 8/1. A low-scoring game is expected with under 2.5 goals priced at 4/6. Ricardo Fuller is 6/1 favourite to open the scoring and 7/4 to net anytime, while Bolton striker Craig Davies is reportedly injured, which could see Eidur Gudjohnsen step in. He’s 8/1 to net the first goal of the game and 11/4 to score during the 90 minutes.
Top tip: Draw and under 2.5 goals in the match 11/4
Derby County v Norwich City (Saturday)
Derby’s promotion bid was hit by a 2-0 defeat at fellow contenders Middlesbrough last Saturday before being beaten by Chelsea in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals so they’ll be eager to justify their 23/20 favouritism with a win over Norwich on Saturday lunchtime. The third-placed Rams have been inconsistent of late with four victories and four defeats in their last eight Championship games while Norwich, who are 9/4 to bag all three points and 5/2 to draw, look like they might be finding some form. The Canaries have won their last two games to nil, including a 5-0 thumping of Huddersfield last time out but beating Derby without reply here is 5/1. Chris Martin is 9/2 to score first and 5/4 to net anytime, while Norwich duo Cameron Jerome and Lewis Grabban can both be backed at 13/2 and 2/1 in those same markets.
Top tip: Chris Martin to score first at 9/2
Blackburn Rovers v Charlton Athletic
Blackburn need a victory over Charlton to re-ignite their push for a play-off spot and they are 7/10 favourites to do just that on Saturday. Rovers have failed to win any of their last three, including two defeat,s while their opponents, who are 15/4 to triumph and 11/4 to draw, travel up to Ewood Park on a run of four games without success which leaves them a point behind the hosts in 10th place. The previous eight games featuring Blackburn have all seen both sides finding the net so this clash might be one for your ‘both teams to score’ accumulator at 4/5. Rovers duo Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes are 4/1 joint favourites to open the scoring and even-money to net anytime while Charlton’s best hope in these markets is regarded to be Igor Vetokele at 7/1 and 12/5 respectively.
Top tip: Draw and over 2.5 goals in the match at 12/1
Blackpool v AFC Bournemouth
High-flying Bournemouth are 4/6 favourites to make it three wins in a row when they make the trip to rock-bottom Blackpool on Saturday. The league-leading Cherries beat Cardiff 5-3 in a thriller last weekend to extend their unbeaten run in the Championship to 11 games and should be confident of seeing off a Blackpool side who are 4/1 for victory at 14/5 to earn a point. That said, the Seasiders are showing signs of resistance at long last having strung together four games without defeat and although they’ve managed only one win in that sequence and just two all season, they may attract some backers at 11/10 with a one-goal start. Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson is 7/2 favourite to score the first goal and 10/11 to net anytime while Blackpool duo Ishmael Miller and Steve Davies are 9/1 and 3/1 in those respective markets.
Top tip: Callum Wilson to score a brace at 9/2
Cardiff City v Brentford
Promotion hopefuls Brentford have won six of their last seven but still head to Cardiff as 2/1 outsiders to chalk up yet another victory in this impressive season so far. The Bees beat Blackburn 3/1 last week to bounce back from defeat at Huddersfield while Cardiff head into this fixture as 5/4 favourites (draw is 5/2) despite taking just one point from their last two, including a 5-3 defeat at Bournemouth. Although Brentford games tend to feature goals at both ends, there are often ‘nils’ in Cardiff matches so it’s not the easiest game to call in terms of goals expectation. Cardiff striker Kenwyne Jones is 11/2 favourite to score first and 6/4 to net anytime while Brentford’s Andre Gray is 6/1 and 7/4 in the respective markets.
Top tip: Andre Gray to score first at 6/1
Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday
Mid-table duo Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday do battle at Craven Cottage on Saturday with both sides needing a win to stay in with an outside chance of a play-off push. The hosts are 21/20 favourites to make it four wins from their last six although this run includes a thumping 5-0 home defeat to Watford so Sheffield Wednesday, who are 5/2 for victory, shouldn’t be too fazed. The Owls were beaten 1-0 by Wolves last weekend but before that had won two in a row while there will be several punters keen on a point apiece at 12/5 considering Wednesday are second in the ‘draw table’ with 10 from their 21 games. Fulham’s Ross McCormack is 5/1 favourite to score the first goal and 11/8 to find the net anytime, while Stevie May is Wednesday’s best hope at 13/2 and 2/1 respectively.
Top tip: Draw and under 2.5 goals in the match at 3/1
Huddersfield Town v Birmingham City
Huddersfield Town are 6/5 with Sky Bet ahead of Saturday's clash with Birmingham City at the Galpharm Stadium. The Blues are 11/5 as they bid for just their third away win of the Championship campaign and the draw is priced at 5/2. Town have been going well at home of late and haven't lost in front of their own fans since a 2-1 defeat to Middlesbrough in the middle of September, but they will be looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat at Norwich last weekend. Birmingham put a surprise loss to Blackpool behind them when thrashing Reading 6-1 last Saturday and punters expecting another goal-fest can get 2/1 that four or more goals feature in this match. The home side's Nahki Wells tops the first scorer market at 4/1 and he's even-money to find the net any time, with Birmingham's Clayton Donaldson 6/1 and 7/4 in those respective markets. Both teams have scored in six of the last seven meetings between these clubs and it's 4/6 for that trend to continue.
Top tip: Draw and both teams to score at 3/1
Ipswich Town v Middlesbrough
Ipswich Town are 19/10 to pick up all three points when they play host to Middlesbrough on Saturday. The away side are level on points with Bournemouth at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table coming into this weekend’s round of games and are 7/5 for the win. Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich, who occupy fourth spot, have drawn more games than any other side among the top eight in the league and it’s 9/4 for the points to be shared at Portman Road. Ipswich are unbeaten at home since the end of August and are 11/4 to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 here, while Boro arrive on the back of a 2-0 victory over Derby and they are 10/1 to repeat that scoreline. Town’s Daryl Murphy is the league’s top scorer with 13 strikes to his name and he’s 6/1 second-favourite in the first goalscorer betting, a market topped by Middlesbrough’s on-loan and in-form forward Patrick Bamford. The layers are expecting a trappy encounter, with under 2.5 goals priced short at 8/13.
Top tip: Patrick Bamford to score any time at 11/8
Reading v Watford
Reading and Watford cannot be split by Sky Bet ahead of their Championship clash at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday. Both sides can be backed at 13/8 to pick up all three points, with the draw a 12/5 chance. A 1-1 result tops the correct score market at 5/1, with a repeat of the 3-3 in the corresponding fixture last season a massive 50/1. Reading will be hoping for a change of fortune under new manager Steve Clarke having lost 6-1 at Birmingham last weekend, while the away side bid to complete a hat-trick of wins after 5-0 and 2-1 victories over Fulham and Wigan respectively. Watford’s Troy Deeney is 5/1 favourite to score the opening goal of the game, with Glenn Murray considered the most likely to do the same for Reading at 6/1.
Top tip: The draw at 12/5
Wigan Athletic v Rotherham United
Wigan Athletic are odds-on favourites as they look to get the better of fellow Sky Bet Championship strugglers Rotherham United at the DW Stadium on Saturday. Malky Mackay’s Latics have lost three on the spin but are 17/20 to hit back with a win over Steve Evans’ Rotherham, who go into the weekend just one place outside of the relegation zone. Rotherham have drawn their last three and Wigan have drawn more home games than anyone else in the division. It’s 12/5 against this one finishing all square, with the Millers 100/30 to claim their first win since October 17. A dearth of goals has been the key trend in Rotherham’s recent outings and backing under 2.5 goals to be scored would have paid off their last five games. That eventuality is an 8/13 shot here, while those expecting four or more goals will be rewarded with odds of 3/1.
Top tip: Draw and under 2.5 goals at 11/4
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brighton & Hove Albion
Wolverhampton Wanderers are 11/10 to follow up last weekend’s win with victory against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday. That triumph over Sheffield Wednesday saw the Molineux men arrest a slump of form that stretched back to their 2-1 win at Leeds at the end of October. Star striker Nouha Dicko could return to inject some much-needed pace up front and they will look to pile the pressure on under-fire Brighton boss Sami Hypia. The Seagulls have gone five games without a win and find themselves in the relegation places going into the weekend’s action. An away win is 13/5 with Football League sponsor Sky Bet, who make a 1-1 draw the favourite correct score at 9/2. Brighton have been beaten 3-0 and 1-0 by Derby and Millwall respectively in their last two league outings and are 6/4 to draw another blank here. Dicko tops the first goalscorer market at 5/1, with Wolves team-mates Leon Clarke and Bakary Sako both available at 6/1, while Brighton’s Darren Bent is considered most likely for the visitors as a 13/2 chance.
Top tip: Nouha Dicko to score and Wolves to win at 2/1
Nottingham Forest v Leeds United
Nottingham Forest are odds-on favourites to get the better of Leeds United in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Saturday evening. Forest head into the latest round of games five points off the play-off pace on the back of a 0-0 draw at Rotherham and are 4/6 to regain the winning thread. Neil Redfearn’s Leeds have lost three of their last four, including a 1-0 home defeat to Fulham last weekend, and are 4/1 to emerge on top at the City Ground. The draw is available at 14/5 with Football League sponsors Sky Bet, while 1-0 to Forest and the 1-1 draw are the most popular correct scores at 6/1. Saturday was the first time that Leeds had failed to find the net since a 0-0 draw with Reading at the start of October and the Elland Road outfit are 4/1 to score two goals in this game. The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 2-1 win for Stuart Pearce’s side and it’s 7/1 against a repeat outcome, with Forest 6/4 to be winning at half-time and full-time and 9/2 to win 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2. Forest’s Brit Assombalonga is 10/11 to enhance his impressive goals tally by netting at any time during the match and 7/2 to score first. No goalscorer is priced at 11/1.
Both teams to score at 8/11
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