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League One Betting: Can Hill's Bolton keep out Tangerines on Monday?

Bolton boss Keith Hill
Keith Hill is now in charge of Bolton
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With a live Sky TV game on Monday night, Alan Dudman has previewed three matches in the third tier over the next few days with his best bets...

"Bolton kept it tight away at Portsmouth last weekend and went down 1-0, which on the face of it wasn't a bad result."

Blackpool odds-on, but seek out the Under price

Bolton Wanderers v Blackpool

Monday 20:00, live on Sky Sports Football

Regular readers of my League One column will be wise to the fact I have left alone Bolton all season, purely down to the fact their opponents have gone off long odds-on, and the markets were so one-sided, it was pointless tipping up the other team at [1.30].

There's a slow change, and progress is being made. Former Rochdale manager Keith Hill is now at the helm, and his experience will be crucial, but anytime the Trotters are playing, their opponents are short in price. We have that again for Monday, but the gap is closing in terms of Bolton's odds of [3.85] against Blackpool's price at [1.85].

Now, the golden rule of betting is never back odds-on away from home. I can't remember the last time the Tangerines were that short.

Bolton kept it tight away at Portsmouth last weekend and went down 1-0, which on the face of it wasn't a bad result as opposed to some of the heavy defeats earlier in the season. Hill's comments however about his young team lasting 90 minutes and not being robust enough in this division puts their situation into stark reality. The team was pieced together at the last-minute, so the best the Trotters can hope for is to keep in the games for as long as possible and try to nick a point.

Blackpool are a hard side to weigh up. They started well, but I am not quite convinced they are worth their position in six. They do score however, and they have only drawn one blank on the road in six matches - and they have only been beaten once away from Bloomfield Road. They need to be better in the final third, and it is something their manager Simon Grayson has touched on post-matches, but their away record is pretty good with W2-D3-L1.

I am half-temped by backing the Draw, but I'll be less brave and stick with an Under 2.5 bet. It's not the most confident pick in the world, but I cannot quite bring myself to get involved with the price on the visitors. After all, it's all about price.

Burton can end last-minute jinx in Bucks

MK Dons v Burton Albion

We have been sucker-punched twice with Burton bets in recent weeks. The away 2-2 at Portsmouth was a blow, as the 95th minute equaliser from Brett Pitman wiped off any profit with the Draw No Bet. If that wasn't bad enough, the following Saturday, Burton were the away selection again at Tranmere and were leading 0-1. Up until 90 minutes of course, and then not one but two goals.

Since then they have beaten Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup - which makes those two previous results even more frustrating.

Sides really should be killing games off at that point, but we cannot criticise Nigel Clough too much. Burton are a good footballing team and one of the better clubs to watch in the division with their expansive game - so it was nice to see praise heaped from Cherries boss Eddie Howe in the direction of Clough and his achievements at the Pirelli.

Incidentally, that's Burton into the last-16 in the League Cup for two successive seasons.

This comes down to a fairly simple equation. If I backed and tipped the Brewers away to Portsmouth, then surely they should beat a very inconsistent MK Dons team?

We do take a bit of a hit on price, and we'll get nowhere near the odds on offer for their trip to Fratton Park, but the [2.56] is more appealing than sticking with the hosts.

Paul Tisdale's team are mystifying. They were very good in the TV game against Wimbledon, but were awful against Southend at home. Asking to take a price under [3.0] on a side that you can't trust is something I shy away from every time.

Burton are the better team and the slightly shorter price, but they can recoup some of our losses with the late goals.

Oxford can continue red-hot scoring form

Accrington Stanley v Oxford United

Oxford are well and truly over their mini-wobble. And as a West Ham fan, I should know following the cup exit of the Hammers at the hands of the U's. Four goals to nil too.

For those that held the belief that there was a decent side in there somewhere back in August, you have been proved right. Although that run of three successive defeats with nine conceded would have made it hard to predict Oxford's current form.

The local press summed them up perfectly by saying they are "scoring goals for fun", whilst Chris Cadden described their recent set of results as "dreamland".

I'm also pleased to see Karl Robinson do well. I thought he was under a bit of pressure but he always plays football the right way, and his MK Dons team in this division a few years' ago were superb. The U's aren't at that level yet, but even Robinson was left purring following their 3-0 success against Gillingham. Throw in for good measure the 6-0 victory against Lincoln.

They are keeping clean sheets too; five on the trot in fact.

The market hasn't quite missed them this weekend at [2.26], but I wouldn't want to be laying them. Accrington are just one win in five - and that came against lowly Southend in a low-scoring affair.

Robinson will be keen to keep the momentum going, especially with the way they are playing. A month ago, Oxford badly needed a forward, and they have one now with Matty Taylor scoring. However, it's more his all-round game, as he is prising open defences and getting in behind, which in turn is making space for others to run into.

They look a good team at the moment and should be backed this Saturday to rise up the table.

Alan Dudman's P&L (inclusive ante-post, playoffs and regular season)

2019/20: -0.80
2018/19: +10.51
2017/18: +15.28

*All bets to a 0.5pt stake unless stated otherwise

Alan Dudman,

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