Championship Weekend Betting Preview

Saturday, 22nd October

Peterborough United (7th) v Leeds 11th)

Home 13/10   Draw 23/10    Away 19/10

Betting tip: The boys from Elland Road are currently on a six game unbeaten run in the Championship and in fact have only tasted defeat once in their last nine league outings. Posh are the second highest scorers in the league this season and are coming into the game on the back of a confidence boosting late win over Cardiff in midweek. Both sides have leaky defences at the moment and expect a real firecracker here as both sides go all out for the win. The bet that stands out for me here is for there to be over 4.5 goals at 11/4.

Blackpool (8th) v Nottingham Forest (20th)

Home Evens   Draw 11/5      Away 11/4

Betting tip: In May 2010 these two sides slugged it out in a Championship playoff-off semi-final, with the Tangerines coming out 6-4 winners in a real classic encounter. Since then there have been mixed fortunes for the two clubs. Blackpool thrilled Premier League fans last season with their brand of attacking football while Forest have struggled to live up to their promotion contenders tag in the last two seasons. A disastrous start to their season saw Steve McClaren walk away from his position at the City Ground and the mantle now falls to Steve Cotterill to try and awake the sleeping giant that is Nottingham Forest. A new manager often brings a new lease of life to a side and Cotterill’s first game in charge saw his new charges pick up a solid 2-0 win at home to Middlesbrough. Forest’s new found confidence could see them take the lead here but ultimately I predict a draw as Ian Holloway’s men are strong at home. Bet in the run of play market on this one, with the lead-draw at 25/2.

Cardiff City (13th) v Barnsley (15th)

Home 7/10     Draw 12/5      Away 4/1

Betting tip: The Bluebirds are looking to get their promotion challenge back on track, having not won in three league games. They host the Tykes this weekend at the Cardiff City Stadium, a side who have only lost once in their last nine outings, although there were five draws in that sequence. Malky Mackay would have been hoping to see his boys higher in the league at this stage of the season but knows there is still enough time left to make their charge up the table. I fancy Cardiff to come out on top of a close encounter and recommend betting in the half time/ full time market here, with Barnsley holding on until half time before Cardiff edge to the victory at 18/5.

Coventry City (19th) v Burnley (17th)

Home 33/20   Draw 11/5      Away 31/20

Betting tip: Eddie Howe has seen his side only manage one goal in their last three league encounters and could find it tough to register this weekend when they travel to the Ricoh Arena to face a Coventry side who have only conceded four goals at home all season. After a poor start to the season the Sky Blues have found some form in recent weeks and will be confident of picking up another three points at home, following a 1-0 success in their last home clash with Nottingham Forest. Back Andy Thorn’s men to edge this game 1-0 at 27/4.

Hull City (12th) v Watford (21st)

Home 7/10     Draw 12/5      Away 4/1

Betting tip: Fans watching their football at the KC Stadium have not been treated to an abundance of goals so far this season with four of the five league games finishing 1-0. Watford are the visitors this weekend and they have failed to score in their last two games, so don’t expect a goal fest here. I can’t see The Hornets getting anything here I’m afraid and the bet that stands out for me is for Hull to win the game and there to be under 2.5 goals in the contest at 9/2.

Ipswich Town (6th) v Crystal Palace (5th)

Home 19/20   Draw 23/10    Away 11/4

Betting tip: Two of the Championship’s in-form teams meet at Portman Road and this could be one of the highlights of the weekend’s action. The Eagles are soaring on the back of a four game unbeaten run, and having kept clean sheets in their previous two games fans travelling to support Dougie Freedman’s side will arrive in Suffolk full of confidence. Paul Jewell has finally got his talented Tractor Boys firing after a difficult start to life in East Anglia and they are unbeaten in six games. Ipswich should have too much for Palace given their home advantage and back them to be leading at half time and go on to win at 2/1.

Leicester City (9th) v Millwall (22nd)

Home 13/20   Draw 5/2        Away 17/4

Betting tip: Big spending Leicester are primed to launch their promotion charge after an inconsistent start to the season. In recent weeks they have begun to show their potential and this weekend host a Millwall side who are in free fall. Kenny Jackett’s Lions have been toothless since the second game of the season and are in desperate need of a win here. The boys from the New Den have yet to win on the road and worryingly for fans have only hit the back of the net on four occasions away from home. I expect a win for the Foxes and a comfortable one at that. Leicester are 33/20 to win the game to nil and given Millwall’s out of form strikers I’d say this is hard to ignore.

Middlesbrough (3rd) v Derby County (4th)

Home 3/4       Draw 23/10    Away 17/5

Betting tip: This promises to be a real close encounter at the Riverside as these two promotion chasers go head-to-head. Surprisingly Middlesbrough have only won once at home this season, drawing the other five. The Rams have surprised many by their start to the Championship season and Nigel Clough has finally started to show his ability as a manager, and he will need to fire his side up for this one as he takes his men to the north-east without a win in four league games. Given Boro’s home record and the fact that Derby have drawn three of their last four game, this has draw (23/10) written all over it for me.

Portsmouth (18th) v Doncaster Rovers (23rd)

Home 4/5       Draw 23/10    Away 7/2

Betting tip: Manageress Pompey will be looking for maximum points at Fratton Park on Saturday given that their next two league games are against sides in the top six. Rovers have had to send their on loan keeper Chris Kirkland back to his parent club this week following an injury sustained in their last game and that will be a big loss to an already very leaky defence. Odds of there being over 3.5 goals at 13/5 is therefore a very tempting bet.

Reading (14th) v Southampton (1st)

Home 17/10   Draw 11/5      Away 3/2

Betting tip: Since Nigel Adkins took the reins at St Mary’s the Saints have embarked on an incredible rise up the football league. He has been in charge for 60 games and has only tasted defeat in nine of those matches, and given their start to the Championship it won’t be long before we see the Saints back in the big time. They travel to last season’s beaten play-off finalists Reading, who after a slow start to the season have begun to find their form, currently unbeaten in six league games. This should be a closer game than the league standings suggests it will be and I think the Saints will hit the front early but ultimately I am going for a score draw. Back Adkins men to be in the lead at the break and the final score to be a draw at 25/2.

Sunday, 23rd October

Bristol City (24th) v Birmingham City (16th)

Home 7/4       Draw 11/5      Away 29/20

Betting tip: It’s been a very tough season so far for the Robins’ fans – yet to win a game at home and rock bottom of the Championship – and it could be a very bleak winter for the boys from Ashton Gate. Four straight defeats is not the preparation needed to face a side who have won their last four games in all competitions, including two impressive away wins in the Europa League. Chris Hughton will hope his men don’t suffer a European hangover as he looks for his side to continue their recent form. Chris Wood has been on a fine run of goalscoring, hitting the net four times in his last three games and will be eager to continue that run against a City side who have shipped 23 goals in the league this season. I am going for a comfortable away win, to boost the odds give Bristol City a 1-0 lead and back the Blues to win at 15/4.

Monday, 24th October

Brighton and Hove Albion (10th) v West Ham United (2nd)

Home 37/20   Draw 11/5      Away 7/5

Betting tip: Gus Poyet will be looking for his side to find their early season form when they host second place West Ham on Monday night. The Seagulls are currently without a league win in six games and have dropped down to 10th. It’s been a reality check for the Championships new boys and they face another stern test when Sam Allardyce brings his promotion favourites to the AMEX Stadium. Even though the Hammers are in the automatic promotion places they have yet to really find their form having lost two, drawn two and won two in their last six. I predict an evenly fought clash here and the bet that stands out here is for a side to take the lead but the game to finish in a stalemate at 31/10.

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