League One Betting: Oldham to win basement scrap with Vale

Oldham Athletic manager Stephen Robinson
Oldham Athletic manager Stephen Robinson

The League One fixture list shows no sign of stopping, so Alan Dudman returns for Monday's latest batch of games and is going for a brave selection with struggling Oldham Athletic...

"Oldham are not one of the form teams in the division, although I made the point in Saturday's column that they are a better footballing outfit than a team who are bottom of the table."

Back Oldham Athletic to beat Port Vale @ 2.021/1

Gillingham 2.568/5 v Oxford United 2.608/5, the draw 3.505/2

Monday 2nd January, 15:00

Keeping up with the festive League One games is a job-and-a-half so never mind playing twice in three days. Whether the extra day of rest for Gillingham is crucial I am not sure, but the hosts do not look a bad price for the first home game of 2017 at Priestfield.

Gills' boss Justin Edinburgh will face a selection poser, as Bradley Dack and Paul Konchesky were both red-carded against Millwall on Friday. They lost 2-1 at The Den, but that part of London has never been a happy hunting ground for the Kent club. They played well for much of the game with ten men, and were a bit unlucky not to take something from the match. But like so many affairs in this division, the cutting edge up front proved critical.

Oxford have only scored 12 on the road this season, with just two victories away from home. That slightly tempers the Both Teams To Score market, as Gillingham's home matches involving that particular bet has hit nine out of 11 times. Which is an improvement on the Over 2.5 stats for games at the Priestfield - which is just six from the same amount.

Gillingham are nowhere near a play-off side, but neither are Oxford. Edinburgh's team have at least picked up their home record recently - going five unbeaten including wins against Rochdale (3-0) and MK Dons (1-0). And lest we forget - clean sheets have been the problem for them all campaign.

The Gills have conceded 28 away and just 11 on their own soil, and with the extra day of rest, I'm prepared to give a chance to Gillingham at what looks a fair price.

Recommended Bet
Back Gillingham to beat Oxford United 0.5pt @ 2.568/5

AFC Wimbledon 2.588/5 v Millwall 2.608/5, the draw 3.55

Monday 2nd January, 13:00

Millwall's festive form cannot be faulted - a maximum of nine points with victories against Gillingham, Swindon, and Charlton have pushed the Lions once again into the play-off picture.

The men from The Den scored seven goals in those three matches, and front duo Steve Morison and Lee Gregory are doing the business. Their combined total for goals in 2016 stands at an impressive 43 between them. Good sides have good partnerships, and they work ever-so-well together.

Neither of those two played when these two teams met in November - playing out a 0-0 draw at The Den. Both teams cancelled each other out on that occasion, and there's an argument to say that Wimbledon will have to try and do the same here as the Lions are scoring.

However, Millwall on the road have a shocking defensive record - conceding 25 in all, which puts them on a par with the leaky duo Bury and Coventry. Only Gillingham have the worst tally in terms of shipping goals at 28.

The hosts conceded three at Southend on Boxing Day, but they are one of the form teams of the division. At Kingsmeadow, the Dons have a recent couple of big wins including a 5-1 and a 4-0 (against Port Vale and Bury), but they are two poor sides at the moment.

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

Oldham Athletic 2.021/1 v Port Vale 3.6013/5, the draw 3.65

Monday 2nd January, 15:00

This is unlikely to be a classic, but that's not a reason to avoid this game. In fact, out of some of the tricky matches for Monday, this was the one that stood out for me as a bet.

Port Vale parted company with Bruno Ribeiro recently, and following a promising start, results dipped as they slipped to 17th in League One. Ribeiro's patient, passing style will be ditched by caretaker boss Michael Brown - who is going to opt for a more aggressive, high-energy game judged on his first in charge on Boxing Day against Chesterfield.

That was a much-needed 1-0 success. Both teams had just five shots in total on target, and the match was sparse in quality. The Burslem side's away record reads LDLLLW, and have suffered some heavy defeats against the better clubs.

Oldham are not one of the form teams in the division, although I made the point in Saturday's column that they are a better footballing outfit than a team who are bottom of the table.

The Latics just cannot score at home, and a record of just four there means we should be looking at a low-scoring game. Indeed, the Under 2.5 Goals at Boundary Park this term is flying - with nine games out of ten successful. The 0-0 Correct Score has also come up trumps a few times for Oldham's home matches - with four in total ending that way.

Defensively Athletic have shipped in just 11, which is not bad for the league's worst team. This will be low on quality, and Vale looked very tired after their exertions on Friday.

Recommended Bets
Back Oldham Athletic to beat Port Vale 0.5pt @ 2.021/1
Back Under 2.5 Goals 0.5pt @ 1.774/5

League One 2016/17 P&L: -0.57

FA Cup 2016/17 P&L: +5.60

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