While I don’t advocate the stealing of sweets from small children, there is something a little indecent about backing Crawley Town, Brentford and Southend United to dispatch the hapless trio of Bristol Rovers, Coventry City and Portsmouth respectively this evening.
After all, in each instance, their opponents head into their upcoming fixtures in dire trouble, with talk of relegation and takeover deals engulfing each of the clubs in question.
But, like football management, it’s a results game and I am badly in need of a result to help boost my reputation as the number one tipster for League One and League Two predictions.
Last Saturday, I was the unhappy victim of a fair few FA Cup upsets, with the most alarming being an away defeat for Colchester United at non-league Chelmsford City.
But I’m keen to move on and firmly believe that anyone looking for some value midweek away bets in England’s bottom two tiers could do much worse than plump for Southend, Brentford or Crawley.
New customers using bwin’s free £20 bet for registering to back the treble could also trouser returns of £305.15 if all three come up trumps.
Crawley Town to beat Coventry @ 29/20
Love them or hate them, you simply cannot deny that Crawley Town remain one of the most consistent sides in League One this season and could well be playing Championship football next term.
The Red Devils are currently on a run of five games unbeaten, which included two away wins. Crawley’s overall record away from the Broadfield Stadium is relatively impressive too, with just three defeats in their last 15 games on the road.
They will be confident of turning over a Coventry side with a solitary win from their last four, including a home defeat to Notts County. The Sky Blues have hardly been electric at home, having only taken maximum points once in their last seven outings on their own patch, and Crawley look ideally placed to capitalise.
Brentford to beat Portsmouth @ 27/20
While Coventry may be in a bad way, their fans will surely admit their plight pales in comparison to the one being faced on the south coast by Portsmouth.
Michael Appleton’s makeshift side appeared to have turned the corner earlier this season with a couple of impressive victories. However, they await the arrival of Brentford in poor form, as they have lost their last three competitive games – including a home defeat to Notts County in the FA Cup.
Brentford will fancy their chances of claiming a win at Fratton Park, having lost just one of their last 11 games in all competitions heading into this one.
Last time out, the Bees claimed a 2-0 win over non-league Borehamwood in the FA Cup and while Pompey may prove a sterner test, Uwe Rosler’s team could well march on with a win at 31/20.
Southend to beat Bristol Rovers @ 33/20
Bristol Rovers are another club heading into this league fixture in underwhelming form, with the west country club losing each of their last three competitive games, including a home defeat to Sheffield United in the FA Cup.
Rovers are yet to really impress at home this season and have won just two of their last eight competitive games at the Recreation Ground in a run stretching back to the end of last season.
Southend, meanwhile, come into this match with some aspirations of challenging for promotion this season.
The Shrimpers claimed a comfortable 3-0 win over Stockport County in the FA Cup last time out and look likely to build on this success with another victory on the road.