Steve Cotterill’s first match in charge of Nottingham Forest is a daunting one despite the Tricky Trees’ home advantage for their clash against Middlesbrough.
Of all the teams to face at home in the Championship, Boro will have been last on Cotterill’s list as he seeks to mark the beginning of his tenure with a win.
Tony Mowbray’s side have the best away record in the division with four wins and a draw from their five matches.
Even more galling for Cotterill is the fact that Forest have the second-worst home record in the league, with two draws and three defeats from their five games at the City Ground.
As such, it is Boro who go into the match as 31/20 favourites to earn all three points, with a draw priced at 11/5 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market and a home victory at 17/10.
It hasn’t gone right at either end of the pitch for Forest, with just five goals scored at home – only five teams have an inferior record – and 11 conceded, which is the joint-worst total in the league.
Meanwhile, Boro’s run has been built on a solid defence, with just 1.4 goals scored on their travels on average but only one conceded away from the Riverside.
With this in mind, punters could take advantage of the odds of 9/4 on Boro to win a game with fewer than three goals.
A successful £25 free bet on Middlesbrough to beat Forest with under 2.5 goals scored in the game would return £81.25, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
Alternatively, Boro could be backed to be ahead at the break as well as the final whistle at 16/5.
This bet looks good given Forest have let in more goals in the first half than any other team in the division.
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