It’s that time again, value hunters! This weekend, while the odds compilers are focussed on the likes of Manchester City against Spurs and Manchester United against Arsenal, we’ve managed to spot a couple of bets in the lower reaches of the English football league that we believe to be value.
The big game of the weekend in League One is undoubtedly Sheffield United’s trip to The Valley. It’s first at home to second, but don’t get too excited, as I can’t see it being a feast of football. United are top scorers in the division and Charlton are only two goals behind them, but for me, this one is a nailed on Under 2.5 Goals bet.
As we saw last weekend against Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton are more than capable of playing a more negative game where necessary. They scored in the first half and proceeded to shut up shop for over an hour. More to the point, they succeeded in doing so, and Wednesday are no mugs in front of goal.
Just one of Charlton’s last eight matches has featured more than 2.5 goals, and they’re hardly likely to be going gung-ho against their main rivals for the League One title. United will probably be happy with a point from this game, in order to consolidate their automatic promotion spot, so they too will adopt a cautious approach – as they have done in the majority of away games this season.
Two-thirds of United’s away matches have featured fewer than 2.5 goals this season, and with so much on the line for both clubs, I can see it being a tense affair. I did look at the correct score betting initially, particularly 1-0 Charlton, but I feel that The Blades can definitely get something from the tie, especially given their current form, so I think Under 2.5 Goals at 2.00 with BetVictor is the value play.
Cheltenham look to be a big price at 1.8 (BetVictor, Coral) against out of form Bristol Rovers. The Robins are top of the League Two form table and sit in second place behind Southend on Goal Difference alone, while Rovers are languishing at the wrong end of the table, having won just a single league game in their last ten attempts (and that came against a side in the bottom four).
Meanwhile, Cheltenham haven’t conceded a goal at home since the end of October and have won eight of their last ten league matches (plus two draws). The Robins defence has provided the foundations for what looks likely to be a promotion season, having conceded just six goals in 13 games at Whaddon Road.
Mark McGhee was brought in as the new manager of Rovers on Wednesday, but he won’t have had long to work with his new colleagues in Bristol and I’m a big believer that the whole “New Manager Syndrome” is a myth. There is no evidence to support it and as far as I can see, all the evidence points to a home win.