When it comes to betting on football, it’s not very often that I can provide a tip with odds of greater than 5/1 with a huge degree of confidence – but tonight’s clash between Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest provides an exception.
That’s because there is enough statistical evidence to suggest that backing Billy Davies’ men to prevail after a drawn first half at the Riverside offers a superb punt at a very tempting price of 21/4.
Forest were given a real going over on the road by Cardiff City at the weekend, but just about everyone beats Boro at the moment and the Reds will be confident about returning from Teesside with all three points.
After looking like promotion contenders for much of the campaign, poor old Tony Mowbray has been left scratching his head after seeing his side lose seven of their last eight Championship matches.
They have plummeted from the play-off positions down to tenth and have failed to score in five of their last six games, firing three straight blanks on home soil.
Forest are without a win in four themselves but don’t be fooled by that 3-0 defeat in South Wales – a 2-1 victory at second-placed Hull City last month shows what they are capable of on the road.
And here’s the thing: five of Middlesbrough’s last seven league outings have seen them lose after going in at half-time all square.
If that isn’t enough to convince you that 21/4 on a repeat this evening is a sensational price, then how about the fact that Forest have been drawing at half-time in 24 of their 42 matches?
Only Charlton Athletic (26) can claim a higher total in the whole division, while Middlesbrough have been almost as reliable on this front, with 21 out of their 42 games providing parity at the interval.
And yet a look at the table reveals that Mowbray’s men have drawn just FOUR matches all season – an incredible statistic considering that half of their matches have been level at the break.
So with Boro on such a poor run of form and their matches generally producing winners (normally whoever is lucky enough to be playing them in recent weeks), Forest look well placed to keep their play-off bid on track.
The Reds are a decent 6/4 to win the game and the half-time draw is an 11/10 chance, but you’d be mad not to take the superior 21/4 on draw/Forest – get on it now.