League One Betting: Hartlepool to serve up an unders weekend

Fiery Hartlepool boss Neale Cooper in his heyday

Following last weekend's 9/1 correct score prediction between the MK Dons and Carlisle, League One expert Alan Dudman is back with his views on the latest round of fixtures, including two live Sky games on Sunday.

A rare weekend of joy, no Neale Cooper blast. The fiery Scot was delighted with Pool and their 2-0 win over Scunthorpe on Saturday, with the manager making a key tactical switch in bringing 36-year-old Paul Murray back into the side.

Coventry City v Stevenage Borough, Sunday 13:00 BST Live on Sky Sports One

Coventry City 2.3611/8 v Stevenage Borough 3.4012/5, the draw 3.259/4

Coventry are still seeking their first league win of the new season, following last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Crewe. In truth, the Sky Blues deserved something as they blew a host of chances and had enough to take all three points. However, caretaker boss Richard Shaw spoke afterwards that they are a quiet team that lacks a voice.

Shaw might also have been worried about the lack of quality in the final third and low concentration levels. Although the Football League Trophy win over Burton in midweek was a booster (10-9 on penalties), those games are of little relevance to the league matches.

If Coventry lack a voice, then Stevenage are not the ideal opponents. Boss Gary Smith has a tough, rugged side that don't concede many goals. This has been evident during their excellent start to the campaign with two wins and two draws.

Last weekend the Boro were held 1-1 at home to Shrewsbury, and although their creative players didn't quite fire, I have a feeling the Shrews are going to be a decent team. Stevenage ought to line up 4-5-1 and make it hard for Coventry to break them down and play on the host's edginess. I am slightly tempted by the odds on the visitors, but with the sensible hat on, we should be laying Coventry.

Recommended bets:
Lay Coventry @ 2.3611/8
Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.705/7

Back 0-0 9.008/1 and 0-1 @ 10.009/1

Crawley Town v Portsmouth, Sunday 15:30 BST, Live on Sky Sports One

Crawley Town 1.804/5 v Portsmouth 5.004/1, the draw 3.7511/4

Crisis club Portsmouth enjoyed some midweek success in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, a win that provided a much needed boost on the south coast (especially with victory over their rivals Bournemouth even sweeter). Having watched the game, I felt Pompey were lucky to go through and were regularly exposed down the flanks.

In terms of their league form, Portsmouth are still seeking their first win, and were beaten 1-0 by a very physical Oldham side last Saturday at Fratton Park. Manager Michael Appleton has spoken of the situation creeping into the players minds and affecting what happens on the pitch, an understandable state of affairs.

They were poor against the Latics and were too naive in cutting out the long balls that were blasted into their box. Appleton tries to keep the ball on the floor however, with a group of players mostly on short-term contracts that are due for renewal shortly.

Crawley look a better side when they are getting the ball in behind the backline, something they couldn't quite achieve against Orient last Saturday. The Os were direct and physical, but Crawley handled it well. The League One new boys are yet to concede a goal at home, and represent a solid bet this weekend.

Recommended bets:
Back Crawley to win @ 1.804/5

Hartlepool United v Carlisle United, Saturday 15:00 BST

Hartlepool United 2.3411/8 v Carlisle United 3.259/4, the draw 3.505/2

A rare weekend of joy, no Neale Cooper blast. The fiery Scot was delighted with Pool and their 2-0 win over Scunthorpe on Saturday, with the manager making a key tactical switch in bringing 36-year-old Paul Murray back into the side. The veteran used his ball retention skills superbly on the right (although his favoured position is on the left) and it worked a treat as Murray laid on one of Saturday's goals for teenage sensation Luke James.

Murray would be better used in a midfield four, but he always wants the ball and is a major asset out wide. Cooper is in the market for some attacking talent, which will be needed as I always like Hartlepool at home with an unders bet.

Carlisle were simply outclassed by a quality MK Dons side seven days ago, a winning correct score for this column. Manager Greg Abbott has a young squad and they should be alright this season, but they looked a bit nervous and jaded in Buckinghamshire recently. And remember, Hartlepool's Luke James tormented the Cumbrians in this fixture last term.

Recommended bets:
Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.784/5
Back 0-0 10.5019/2 , 1-1 @ 7.006/1 and 1-0 @ 8.007/1

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