Southend are worth backing on Saturday in their quest for a fourth successive win, while the draw is the standout bet between Shrewsbury and Accrington according to our League One man Alan Dudman...
"Stanley have won their last three, but they tend to win by the odd goal. Those three victories have been 1-0, 1-0 and 2-1 and this could be quite a close game."
Take the Tangerines to triumph
Tuesday was another night in League One for the backers of the draw. We could have been looking at nine games at one stage ending in a stalemate, and I am probably not alone when thinking a late goal is always going to go against you rather than for you when watching the goals show on Sky. Anyway, the draw fanciers collected six in midweek - to go along with 21 stalemates in September alone. Staggering stuff.
There'll be a point this season when I will change tactics and start backing plenty of draws, but it won't be for Blackpool on Saturday - despite their perfectly symmetrical record under boss Terry McPhillips of played 12, won six and drawn six.
The [2.20] on offer for a home win looks a fair price given that Barnsley tend to go off at odds-on. I get the feeling here Blackpool are underrated and the visitors are overrated.
Rochdale have conceded far too many away goals this season to be interested in backing them here, although they managed a clean sheet at home on Tuesday against Bristol Rovers.
Blackpool are the complete opposite with a fairly miserly backline - and they have leaked just five goals in their five home matches thus far. Two of those were against the league leaders Portsmouth.
The other fairly important factor here is that the Tangerines have had a free week due to Tuesday's game against Gillingham postponed until next month. Sometimes that can make a big difference in the Saturday/Tuesday treadmill of football, and it's enough to persuade me to side with a home win.
Shrimpers can make it four on the bounce
If there was a market for a team to finish in 11th, I'd fancy Southend to be priced up as strong favourites. That's where the Shrimpers stand at the moment, but they've won three on the spin and gained a big victory at Burton on Tuesday night. Blues boss Chris Powell said that Albion should have been out of sight by half time and are a decent side. A small crumb of comfort if meaningless if you backed the Brewers.
Mind you, Oxford fans would bite your hands off if they were offered 11th right now. The U's are now second from bottom and their season slumped to a new low in midweek with a 98th minute goal conceded against Luton to lose 1-2. That stretched their horror run, and they haven't won a league game since August. We oppose Oxford again.
The Opta stats do not make a case for the visitors either. Oxford have lost 10 of their last 14 matches against Southend, whilst the Essex side are unbeaten in 10 home fixtures against the U's since 2003.
To add another kick when your team is low, Oxford manager Karl Robinson has collected just five points from a possible 30 in away matches.
I'm not a huge fan of tipping odds-on chances in this league, but Southend are usually pretty strong at home and have a striker in Tom Hopper who is in a rich vein of form with six in 11. I'll take the [1.90] on offer.
Draw specialists go head-to-head
It's time to dip the punting toes into draw territory for this match. Whilst the market can separate them quite easily with Shrewsbury at [2.26] and Accrington at [3.3], I would have them a little closer. In fact, Accrington have moved with fairly serene progress into fifth position. Almost unnoticed. They are doing well.
Stanley have won their last three, but they tend to win by the odd goal. Those three victories have been 1-0, 1-0 and 2-1 and this could be quite a close game.
Accrington have collected five draws this season, with five 1-1 scorelines. That surely is worth a punt on the Correct Score market at around [7.2].
Shrewsbury have six draws themselves and earned a dogged 0-0 at Walsall on Tuesday evening - their fourth clean sheet of the season. Midfielder Shaun Whalley was used in a No.10 role, with Shrewsbury opting for a 4-2-3-1 - the first time they have played that system.
Opta stats point to the fact that the visitors have failed to score in their last three visits to Shropshire, whilst the Shrews have drawn seven of their last 10 in all competitions. The Under 2.5 Goals is also worth considering as a cover bet for the Draw, but we'll take our chance here with the play on the big price too.
Alan Dudman's P&L, 2018/19
League One: -2.19
League One regular season 2017/18: +18.48