League Two Betting: Blackpool to clip Magpies' wings

This way to the play-offs. Gary Bowyer shows Blackpool the direction he wants them to take
This way to the play-offs. Gary Bowyer shows Blackpool the direction he wants them to take

Notts County should be no match for hungry Tangerines, says Ian Lamont, who believes Luton can see off Accrington's play-off hopes with one of their famous 1-1 draws...

"Realistically, a victory for the Tangerines would cement a play-off place, because their goal difference is at least 15 better than the sides below them. Three consecutive clean sheets give them every chance of gaining a third straight win."

Accrington Stanley 2.77/4 v Luton Town 2.8415/8; the draw 3.613/5

The only problem with suggesting that Luton can grind out one of their famous 1-1 away draws in this match is that Danny Hylton has scored penalties in the last two of them - and he is suspended. It's a minor problem.

Luton boss Nathan Jones loves his star striker to bits, but gets infuriated when the player does something silly, like receive two yellow cards. Mind you, Hylton (21 goals) is on 13 yellows for the season and two more will instigate a three game ban, so sitting out one match for an accumulative red will postpone a longer suspension and give him a rest as the Hatters wrap up fourth place and ponder the play-offs.

Intriguingly, they have never been promoted via the play-offs, but we'll come to that in future weeks. Their huge +23 goal difference will give them serious confidence and means they are unlikely to slip out of the top seven.

Isaac Vassell (6 goals) or perhaps driving force Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, among others, should be able to make up for Hylton's absence against a side who need to win to keep their promotion hopes alive. If a draw occurs, it would be Luton's eighth 1-1 away draw of the season, hence the rare correct score prediction.

Stanley, in racing terms, could do with the season being a couple of extra furlongs, having risen from third from bottom to belatedly push for promotion.

Apart from a 5-0 win over Leyton Orient, a 3-2 win over Crewe and a couple of 2-2 away draws, their last 14 games have been pretty tight, which is another reason to think this will be too. They are unbeaten in 11 in the league at home say Opta - to which you can add the FA Cup 2-1 win over the Hatters in January, Omar Beckles and Shay McCartan the scorers.

And that's another reason for Luton to want to beat them: they won't fancy being upstaged by John Coleman's men in the play-offs. So, keep Billy Kee and Sean McConville quiet (Opta state the latter has a league high 16 assists, 12 at home) on Saturday and Luton won't have to face them in a couple of weeks' time.

Another Opta stat points to a tight match: Luton have conceded a league low 16 goals (equal with Portsmouth) on their travels.

Recommended Bets
Back the draw @ 3.613/5
Back the 1-1 draw in the correct score market @ 7.06/1 0.5pts

Notts County 3.711/4 v Blackpool 2.26/5; the draw 3.711/4

Notts County showed their relief at surviving potential relegation in the first half against Luton last weekend, by being distinctly lacklustre - and that's not my assessment but that of manager Kevin Nolan. A "frank discussion" with his players followed.

Discussions are surely to be had by Nolan with Shola Ameobi, signed as a free agent earlier this year, and fellow striker Jon Stead, courted by United States teams, about staying on if the Magpies are to push for promotion next year.

Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer expects a tough match at Meadow Lane. But if you think life will be tougher without Jamille Matt after an Easter Monday injury against Doncaster, Mark Cullen, Clark Robertson and Neil Danns should be giving you other ideas. They were the three scorers against an admittedly poor Cheltenham side.

Realistically, a victory for the Tangerines would cement a play-off place, because their goal difference is at least 15 better than the sides below them. Three consecutive clean sheets give them every chance of gaining a third straight win. It would be handy if Blackpool, having beaten Doncaster, could manage back-to-back away wins, something Opta remind us they haven't done since December.

Recommended Bet
Back Blackpool @ 2.26/5

Plymouth Argyle 1.865/6 v Crewe Alexandra 5.04/1; the draw 4.03/1

Plymouth could yet pip Doncaster to the title, but with two games to go I won't be breaking habits by tipping teams who are odds-on to win. So the key markets here are about goals.

In the past six games, Crewe have scored 10 and conceded 10, with Chris Dagnall (11) doing his best to inspire George Cooper (8) and James Jones (9) into hitting double figures, too. But for all their hard work the defence is insistent on conceding, especially away in the past couple of months - four at Hartlepool, three at Yeovil and Accrington.

In slight contrast, Plymouth, who scored six against Leyton Orient, have scored 10 but conceded four. But with the chance of the title still alive and much coveted Graham Carey's 14 goals and 14 assists - which Opta say is a league high - the Pilgrims have the desire and firepower to give us a chance of landing a bet on over 3.5 goals at 3.211/5. If the title did come down to goal difference, Plymouth need a seven-goal swing. Combine that with Crewe's ability to score one as well as concede more and this bet has legs!

Recommended Bet
Back over 3.5 goals @ 3.211/5

Carlisle United 2.26/5 v Newport County 3.55/2; the draw 3.9

It's not just Newport's players, facing possible relegation, who are fighting for their futures, Keith Curle has made it quite clear that Carlisle's players are also battling for next season's places, whether they are under contract or not.

The Cumbrians need to win their two remaining matches (finishing at Exeter) to stand a realistic chance of re-entering the top seven. Current form doesn't suggest they will. They failed to hold on to a hard-fought lead at Crawley, after Jabo Ibehre - not on song early in the season - scored for the fourth game running.

Neither a third consecutive draw, nor the stat of one victory in 12, inspires confidence that they can defeat a Newport side who have won four games from five (all 1-0).

The Exiles have beaten in-form sides Exeter and Accrington on that run. Captain Joss Ladabie says Michael Flynn's men know they still have work to do and won't rest on their laurels, but are confident and enjoying their football. Winning sides usually do. Another victory would give them a giant step towards safety, if not secure it and it is within their grasp.

Recommended Bet
Back Newport @ 3.55/2

Top seven finish

In one of the tightest races for a play-off spot in League Two for years, 10 teams have a chance of making the end-of-season showdown. But, just as Carlisle have slipped away, Stevenage's form - combined with the absence through injury of star striker Matt Godden - makes them very vulnerable to losing their grip on seventh place. One win and two draws from six give no indication they can gain sufficient points at Yeovil or at home to Accrington to fend off the chasing pack. They are a lay at 2.26/5.

So, who will benefit and join Luton, Exeter and Blackpool whose goal differences makes them almost certainties for the play-offs? Stanley are unlikely to make up the four point gap from 13th, while Mansfield are likely to find a Portsmouth-shaped roadblock in their way (but can punish Crawley on the final day).

Meanwhile Wycombe at 3.211/5 in this market, Cambridge 12.011/1 and Colchester 8.07/1 should power on this weekend, the latter having the crucial chance to supplement their goal difference at Leyton Orient. Wycombe's strong home record and Cambridge's great away one make their final day shoot-out a potential draw, making Colchester, whose fantastic home record will be examined only by Yeovil on the final day, a decent value bet.

Recommended Bets
Back Colchester to finish in the top seven @ 8.07/1
Lay Stevenage to finish in the top seven @ 2.26/5

P/L 2016-17


Get the Best Odds on English football with Betfair!

Betfair has had the best odds on all domestic English league football since the start of December. So when you win, you win bigger! Click here for full details.

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses
Bet now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles