Ten places separated fourth-placed Middlesbrough from Derby County back on March 7th, but now that gap is a mere three positions.
The two sides’ Championship campaigns have simply hurtled in opposite directions since, which makes it frankly quite startling that Derby’s odds of a home win this Saturday are as long as 33/20.
Poor old Boro have seen their chances of automatic promotion sink and are on the verge of being submerged in the play-off race too, largely thanks to a diabolical run of eight matches without a win.
Anyone backing a Middlesbrough away win at 33/20 clearly is a believer in Tony Mowbray’s line. The Boro boss maintains that spirited performances from his players have not been rewarded of late.
The formbook does not lie though, and frequent lapses of concentration are being blamed for the club’s dire run by those in the know on Teesside.
The two sides’ Championship campaigns have simply hurtled in opposite directions in the past month or so, which makes it frankly quite startling that Derby’s odds of a home win this Saturday are as long as 33/20.
Derby deserve to be clear favourites as one of the best home sides in the division (with the joint-fourth most home wins, 11). The Rams also boast a distinctly more solid recent record of four wins and two draws from their last seven matches.
Boro have drawn 15 matches this season, the joint second most of any team, perhaps indicating why the odds for a draw are as low as 21/10.
Derby go into the match desperate for a win to close the five-point gap on sixth-placed Cardiff in the final play-off position and their form could well help them secure the points.
Interestingly, Derby’s proud Pride Park record has been achieved with the scoring of a meagre 1.29 goals per home match on average. That makes backing Nigel Clough’s men to win a game of under 2.5 goals a five-star bet at 4/1.
Punters who use their free £25 bet for joining bwin.com on this pick would win £125 if the Rams do indeed give their dreams of a return to the Premier League a shot in the arm in this fashion.
Recommended bet: Derby to beat Middlesbrough @ 33/20
Outside punt: Derby to win a game of under 2.5 goals @ 4/1
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