, FL72 Weekend Betting Preview – 2-3 May 2015

FL72 Weekend Betting Preview – 2-3 May 2015

Sky_Bet_Championship

Championship

It’s the final day of the season. A lot of the places have been decided now with Millwall and Wigan relegated by the Millers win on Tuesday night and Watford and Bournemouth winning automatic promotion to the Premier League with their weekend victories, barring a ridiculous win for Boro and monumental collapse from Bournemouth at the Valley. The games all kick off at 12.15 and there are a few things still to be decided; who’ll go up as champions and 4 different sides vying for 2 play-off places.

Blackburn v Ipswich

Ipswich are primed to finish in the play-offs. They need just a point to ensure that but can also lose this and still land a play-off place depending on Wolves and Brentford’s results. Blackburn are unbeaten in 6 in the league though all of those were against sides with nothing to play for except Millwall. I like the nothing to play for theory of opposing these sides but only when there’s value in the selection. Ipswich certainly don’t represent value here and their price continues to shorten. Ipswich are only in the top 6 because of their home form, they’ve won just 7 away games this season which puts them 10th in the away table and I think they’ll meet their match with Rovers. They’ve not won in 7 visits to Ewood Park and since Blackburn were relegated to the 2nd tier in 2012 the Tractor Boys have beaten them just once in 5 ties. Ipswich have the highest scoring defence in the league with 12 goals, most of those being headers, that aerial advantage is probably lost against Rovers who have scored the most headers in the league, 18.  No side wants to end the season on a low, especially at home.

Blackburn double chance – 4/5

Brentford v Wigan

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Brentford can still pinch a play-off spot depending on the results of Derby and Ipswich’s games. The real focus here is that if Derby draw or win and Ipswich lose that would leave Brentford level on 78 points with both sides assuming they can beat Wigan. Wolves can also finish on 78 points but their inferior goal difference would rule them out in this instance unless they win by 7 or more. It is very likely that Derby will dispatch of Reading but I would not be surprised if Ipswich lose at Ewood Park but they are unlikely to lose by more than one goal which would mean if Brentford win by 3 goals they would land a play-off spot on goal difference. Brentford are very handy in front of goal, especially at Griffin Park and with Wigan already relegated they could tear through them here. They are averaging just a shade under 2 goals per game at home but I think they’ll find at least 3 in this situation and in order to keep that goal difference high they’ll need to keep it tight at the back. That shouldn’t be too hard against goal-shy Wigan who’ve failed to score in 20 games this season, more than any other side. A Bees win by 2 or more goals appeals at a nice price.

Brentford -2 handicap – 14/5 Betvictor

Derby v Reading

There’s plenty of permutations in the play-off picture even on this final day but Derby know one thing; win and they’ve made the play-offs. Derby’s recent problems have been at the back more than anything. With Darren Bent and Chris Martin both back they have hit 11 goals in their last 3 games, scoring at least 3 in each of those. Tom Ince has also chipped in with 3 in 3. Reading have lost 4 on the bounce and look fairly uninterested after their cruel exit from the FA Cup with goalkeeper Adam Federici’s howler. Derby are the joint highest scorers at home in the Championship and I’m expecting them to keep up their good scoring form for the play-offs by putting Reading to the sword and end their poor recent head to head record with the Royals.

Derby to score 3 or more goals – 31/20 Boylesports

Middlesbrough v Brighton

Let’s not beat about the bush, there might still be a mathematical chance of Boro getting automatic promotion but the stark reality is that they are going to have to do it the hard way, through the play-offs. Many were surprised at how good Brighton were against Watford last weekend, myself included, but there’s no hiding from the fact that they are very weak in front of goal. Brighton are the 5th lowest scorers in the division and with Joao Texeira’s broken leg their top scorer is Lewis Dunk and he’s a centre back. That ties in nicely with the fact that Boro have kept a league high 20 clean sheets in the Championship this season, 11 of them have been at home and it’s actually 11 in the last 19 at the Riverside. Odds against on the hosts shutting the Seagulls out looks great given that Boro will want to finish 3rd and keep momentum for the play-offs.

Middlesbrough to keep a clean sheet – 6/5 Bet365

Forest v Cardiff

The season’s been petering out for both of these sides for some time now. Interestingly they have exactly the same amount of points and same number of wins, draws and defeats. I would not be surprised their season’s end that way with a draw at the City Ground. Forest have lost 3 on the bounce at home but they will want to end that barren run in front of their home fans on the last day of the season whilst Cardiff have had a decent couple of months on the road losing just 1 of their last 8 away games and scoring in 12 of their last 13. There is nothing to call between these two except Forest’s home advantage but I don’t think that will count for much and the draw looks a huge price for these two teams of equal ability.

Draw – 11/4 Betvictor

Watford v Sheffield Wednesday

I was surprised at the way Wednesday let Leeds back in to the game at Hillsborough last weekend and I’m inclined to believe that a buoyant Watford looking to win the title will give them hell here. Troy Deeney has scored 21 goals and assisted 9 in his 41 appearances meaning he’s been the most active player in the Championship this season. Strangely, he was the only Hornets player to make the PFA Team of the Year. Watford look short at around 4/11 so I’d rather chance my arm with an anytime scorer pick and any Watford victory is likely to involve the form man. The Owls have now conceded 2 or more in 5 of their last 8 games and that probably reflects the fact that they’ve had nothing to play for for a while now. I’m not suggesting they’ll roll over and let Watford win the league but I doubt they’ll have much ambition and Deeney is a livewire.

Troy Deeney to score anytime – 11/10 Betfair

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