League One Betting: Don't expect Easter goals on Saturday at Oldham

John Sheridan has revived Oldham Atheltic since his appointment in January
John Sheridan has revived Oldham Atheltic since his appointment in January

Alan Dudman looks ahead to the Easter period in League One with games on Good Friday and Saturday, and while goals might not be high on the agenda at Oldham, Port Vale could surprise at a big price....


"I went with an Oldham Under 2.5 game last weekend, and there's no reason to deviate from that for Saturday. Bolton boss Phil Parkinson knows exactly how to shut out a team, and they are surely better than last week's tired performance."

Back Under 2.5 Goals Oldham v Bolton @ 1.855/6

Shrewsbury Town 2.427/5 v Walsall 3.2011/5, the draw 3.6013/5

Friday 15:00

According to Opta, Shrewsbury have won just one of their last eight home league meetings with Walsall, but I am hoping that will change on Friday in a must-win affair for Paul Hurst's relegation-threatened side.

Saturday's crucial 1-0 success last weekend against Rochdale at the Greenhous was a big win, and ended a run of six without success for Salop. Rochdale were awful up front in that fixture, and this could be something similar as Walsall don't score many on the road. In fact with just 16 netted away from home all season, it's reason enough to oppose the Saddlers this Friday.

We'll add another factor too, they've won just three times away from home and last tasted three points in December - and that was against Port Vale.

Shrewsbury's home form under Hurst has been fairly good for a low-ranking team. They've suffered two losses in their previous nine, and those came against two of the division's heavy-hitters in Bolton and Millwall.

Walsall are safe on 54 points, and it could come down to Shrewsbury needing the points more. Don't expect fireworks in the opening stages though from an in-play view, as the Shrews have scored only twice in the first 15 minutes of games this term.

Recommended Bet
Back Shrewsbury Town to win 0.5pt @ 2.427/5



Port Vale 6.205/1 v Sheffield United 1.608/13, the draw 4.10

Friday 15:00

Sheffield United sealed promotion last Saturday with victory at Northampton, and with 88 points at the summit, it's a tally that might take Port Vale three seasons to get near. I've avoided tipping the Blades for near-enough the entire season, as every game they are ultra-short at around 1.454/9 to 1.705/7. Friday is the time to go against them.

Obviously the Blades could spank a poor Vale team, but with them clinching Championship football for next season, there is every chance the foot could come off the gas. Manager Chris Wilder says there is no chance of that happening, but it's worth a risk on the hosts here.

Why? Well Port Vale are not the worst team at home (they are away though with just one win all season on the road). It's a different story at Vale Park for Michael Brown's side in the past month, with three victories against AFC Wimbledon, Shrewsbury and Swindon Town.

The home team's predicament comes into play, as they are in the bottom four with 45 points, and we have seen in the past how struggling teams pick up because of the situation.

Brown has plenty of injury problems to deal with, but at least they are scoring in the victories mentioned. Their home form reads WDWWLD - so the price is worth the risk for Friday. Also with 4500 travelling fans, there's every chance Port Vale could get fired up even more.

Recommended Bet
Back Port Vale to win 0.5pt @ 6.205/1


Oldham Athletic 3.505/2 v Bolton Wanderers 2.608/5, the draw 3.45

Saturday 12:30

Bolton let the column down last weekend as they suffered a 1-0 reverse at Scunthorpe. Having watched the way the Iron defended in their live Sky game against Bradford, it's taken me a few days to get over the fact that Graham Alexander's side kept a clean sheet. Bolton by all accounts looked tired and jaded, and didn't look the same team without Gary Madine.

However, they had won five on the spin away from home prior to Saturday's defeat, and they are still in pole position in terms of automatic promotion behind Sheffield United.

Oldham's rise under John Sheridan goes from strength to strength. Opta stats reveal that since 'Shez' returned to Boundary Park in January, the Latics have picked up more home points than any other side in League One (21), so the price on offer is an attractive one. They've played some good sides in that run too; with Sheffield United, Millwall, Oxford and Fleetwood all failing to win there.

I'd still fancy Bolton to grind out a win here, although historically five of the last seven meetings between the two sides have ended level.

I went with an Oldham Under 2.5 game last weekend, and there's no reason to deviate from that for Saturday. Bolton boss Phil Parkinson knows exactly how to shut out a team, and they are surely better than last week's tired performance. Oldham's pitch is terrible too, so a pretty game is highly unlikely.

Recommended Bet
Back Under 2.5 Goals 0.5pt @ 1.855/6


*You can read more League One tips as well as Ian Lamont's thoughts on the week's League Two action by visiting our dedicated English Football League section here on Betting.Betfair.


Alan Dudman's P&L 2016/17

League One: -0.17pts
FA Cup: +8.05pts

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