Where's your money going this week...
Rotherham United v Birmingham City
Birmingham were beaten 8-0 by Bournemouth at home last month but new boss Gary Rowett has brought a level of stability and they are now unbeaten in three games. Sky Bet make them 12/5 to gain a second win for their new boss in South Yorkshire and the Millers (11/10). A draw would not be a bad outcome for either side at 12/5, but the visitors could just be worth an interest in Sky Bet’s ‘Double Chance’ market at 4/6 with confidence in the side growing. Those expecting a fairly cagey start to the encounter might be interested in the 15/8 that the score remains 0-0 at half-time.
The other games around the Championship
Brentford v Fulham
Brentford could have done without the international break having won three games on the trot to move up to sixth in the table but nevertheless they are 11/8 favourites to pick up where they left off with victory over Fulham on Friday night. The Cottagers are also in good form after moving away from the drop zone in recent weeks and they can be backed at 9/5, with the draw priced at 5/2. The last four Brentford games in the Championship have featured 16 goals while Fulham’s previous five have seen 23 – not to mention the seven scored in their 5-2 League Cup defeat to Derby. That explains why it’s odds-on at 8/11 that more than 2.5 goals are scored in this clash , while both teams to score is the same price. Andre Gray, who has netted four in the last three, is 5/1 favourite to score first and 11/8 in to net during the 90 minutes, while Ross McCormack heads the betting for Fulham at 11/2 and 6/4 in the same markets.
Top tip: Andre Gray to score a brace at 8/1.
Cardiff City v Reading
Cardiff are 23/20 favourites to get the better of Reading on Saturday as both sides seek the victory which will keep them on the edge of the play-off zone. The visitors can be backed at 23/10 for all three points while the draw is 12/5. The Welsh side’s last two home games have both finished 3-1 in their favour and Reading’s last away fixture ended in a 3-1 defeat – so punters might be interested in a repeat scoreline at 16/1. Cardiff duo Kenwyne Jones and Adam Le Fondre are both available at 5/1 to score first and 11/8 to net anytime, while Reading striker Glenn Murray is 11/2 and 6/4 in the same markets.
Top tip: Draw and under 2.5 goals in the match 100/30
Huddersfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday
Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday clash in a Yorkshire derby in front of the Sky cameras on Saturday lunchtime and the hosts can be backed at 6/5 for the win which will see them leapfrog their opponents. The Owls are 11/5 to triumph, while a share of the spoils is available at 12/5. The visitors have only managed to score once in their last six games so a small bet on a Huddersfield win to nil might be popular with their supporters at 3/1. The no goalscorer price of 10/1 might also be considered, given that three of Wednesday’s last five matches have finished goalless. Both under and over 2.5 goals can be backed at 5/6 while both teams to score is priced at 4/6.
Top Tip: No goalscorer at 10/1.
Blackburn Rovers v Leeds United
Blackburn are making steady progress this season as they chase a play-off spot and head into their clash with Leeds as 4/6 favourites for their first win in three games. Rovers are on a seven-match unbeaten dating back to their defeat at Rotherham at the end of September while Leeds - 15/4 to end that sequence with a win and 14/5 to earn a draw - are chasing back-to-back victories to help haul themselves towards top-six contention. The last seven Leeds games have seen both teams scoring and the same can be said about Blackburn’s previous four so this might be a banker for your ‘both teams to score’ coupon at 4/6 . Rovers frontman Jordan Rhodes is 7/2 favourite to net first and 10/11 to score anytime while Leeds duo Mirko Antenucci and Souleymane Doukara are both 15/2 and 5/2 in the same markets.
Top Tip: Both teams to score at 4/6.
Blackpool v Bolton Wanderers
Revitalised Bolton are 6/5 favourites to claim their third straight victory against a Blackpool side who have still only managed one win in the Championship all season. The Trotters have climbed out of the relegation zone after winning four of the six games since Neil Lennon took charge but their rock-bottom opponents, who are 11/5 to win and 12/5 to earn a point, will at least be encouraged by Bolton’s poor away record. The last four games involving the Seasiders have heralded 13 goals – albeit most of those have been conceded - while Bolton’s previous four fixtures have featured 14 so backing over 2.5 in this clash might be a popular bet at 10/11.
Top Tip: One or both teams not to score at even-money.
AFC Bournemouth v Ipswich Town
Second-placed Bournemouth are one of the surprises of the season and can be backed at 3/4 to maintain their momentum with victory over fellow high-flyers Ipswich on Saturday. The Cherries’ run of seven straight wins was ended before the international break when they creditably drew 0-0 away at third-placed Middlesbrough and another tough test is expected against an Ipswich side who are 100/30 to bag all three points and 14/5 to earn a share of the spoils. With Town sitting fourth after winning their last three games the bookies anticipate an entertaining game, with over 2.5 goals priced at 8/11 and both teams to score a 4/6 chance. Callum Wilson is 7/2 and 10/11 in the first and anytime goalscorer markets respectively while David McGoldrick is seen as Ipswich’s most likely player to get on the scoresheet at 6/1 and 7/4.
Top tip: Draw and over 2.5 goals in the match at 11/1.
Charlton Athletic v Millwall
A tasty south-east London derby could be on the cards with Millwall holding a considerable historical advantage over the Addicks. The visitors can be backed at 13/8 with Sky Bet while the hosts are on offer at 17/10. There have been 24 draws between the pair and another stalemate is an 11/5 chance. Millwall have not tasted defeat in this fixture since 1996 but current form certainly gives the advantage to Charlton with them sat 10 places higher in the Sky Bet Championship table. Goals have flowed of late for both and backing over 2.5 in this encounter could be the way to go.
Top tip: Over 2.5 goals at 5/4.
Norwich City v Brighton & Hove Albion
It was not long ago that the Canaries were flying high in the Sky Bet Championship but just one win in eight games has seen them slide outside of the play-off places. However, they are odds-on here with Sky Bet to get back on track at 17/20 against a Brighton side that has won just once in their last 10 outings in all competitions. The visitors are 16/5 chances but do have more than their fair share of draws and a stalemate could be the best option from a punting perspective. Cameron Jerome, for the home side, heads the first goalscorer betting at 7/2.
Top tip: The draw at 5/2
Watford v Derby County
This looks a fascinating clash as the fifth-placed Hornets host the current Sky Bet Championship leaders with the layers coming down marginally in favour of the Rams at 6/4 while Watford are 13/8. The draw is on offer at 5/2 but the wager that catches the eye is Chris Martin to score anytime at 5/4 for the visitors. He has drawn a blank in County’s last two starts but one of the co-leaders currently in the Championship scoring charts can get back on song in front of goal in a game which is likely to throw up a good few scoring chances. Those looking to get with goals might be interested in over 3.5 at 2/1.
Top Tip: Chris Martin to score anytime at 5/4.
Wigan Athletic v Middlesbrough
The Latics parted company with manager Uwe Rosler last week after a run of just one win in 12 games and Sky Best make them 6/4 to rack up a morale-boosting three points with new boss Malky Mackay now at the helm. Boro are 19/10 chances and a decent recent run of results has seen them move up to third place while the hosts languish in the relegation places. A draw can be backed at 21/10, but a sporting wager on the game goes to Grant Leadbitter to score anytime at 12/5 with the midfielder in cracking form currently and deadly from the penalty spot.
Top Tip: Grant Leadbitter to score anytime at 12/5.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Nottingham Forest
Having not won a game in any competition since mid-September, Forest’s last-gasp three points against Norwich before the international break provided a much-needed boost and they are 12/5 with Sky Bet – the same price as the draw - to follow up here on the road. Wolves are 11/10 favourites despite losing their last two but have boosted their striking options with the loan signing of Danny Graham – he is 11/2 to open the scoring with Sky Bet and 6/4 to find the target at some stage in the 90 minutes. With neither side exactly flying at present, the draw could be the way to go.
Top Tip: The draw at 12/5.
Sky Bet are the title Sponsor of The Football League. This season, a £250,000 Sky Bet Transfer Fund will go to a Football League club to spend on players in the January 2015 transfer window.
Fans who bet with Sky Bet generate Transfer Fund Tokens and go into a random draw to win a £5,000 prize – and the £250,000 Sky Bet Transfer Fund for their Football League club.