Hull now nine points off playoffs
Hull 1.768/11 v Bolton 6.05/1; The Draw 3.65
Hull have risen to 14th in the table and thoughts of their certain relegation now seem a distant memory. Four straight wins, unbeaten in seven matches and at least two goals scored in their last six games makes the Tigers the form side in the division right now. Hull have also come out on top in their last four home games against Bolton in all competitions.
They proved their credentials by taking three points in their last game against table topping Leeds on Saturday thanks to a brace from the in form Jarrod Bowen. Manager Nigel Adkins has them ticking and Kamil Grosicki has been putting in some stellar shifts as he's driven his team forward.
Bolton are the visitors to the KCOM on New Years Day and, despite taking four points from the last two matches - a home win over Rotherham and a goalless draw against Stoke - their hasn't been too much joy for the Trotters this season. There away record is dire with only four draws taken on their travels in 10 games. With Hull oozing confidence and goals it would take a blind leap of ridiculous faith to take any pro-Bolton angle. The one positive is that they don't get spanked - their last three away defeats coming by a one goal margin.
That last stat leads me to avoid getting too adventurous on a home win. With Bowen netting six goals in six games and still overlooked at the top of the scorer markets due to his deep lying attacking role I'm looking for him to oblige again.
Back Hull to win and Jarod Bowen to score @ 4.03.
West Brom in contention for 2019 charges
Blackburn 3.211/5 v West Brom 2.47/5; The Draw 3.613/5
It's West Brom and Leeds, for me, who will take the automatic promotion places come the end of the season. The Baggies showed fight on Saturday as they forced Sheffield Wednesday to put the ball in their own net deep into injury time to secure a 1-1 draw. The West Midlands side have won four on the bounce away from home and over 2.5 goals has landed in each of those games.
They lost Jay Rodriguez to a straight red in the second half and he will be a big miss to a West Brom side already without hotshot loanee Dwight Gayle. Hal Robson Kanu and Matt Phillips will be expected to fill the void. The club are appealing Rodriguez's suspension for what they describe as a "nothing challenge" and are hopeful it can be overturned before Tuesday.
Darren Moore's men should have nothing to fear as they begin 2019 with a trip to a Blackburn side without a win in five league games and three successive defeats. Rovers are far stronger at Ewood Park than they are on their rather hapless travels. They lost 1-0 to Norwich at home prior to Christmas, but before that had scored in each of their previous five home fixtures.
They too have suspension problems with influential midfielder Richard Smallwood missing after being sent off at the weekend. Blackburn have taken a drop in results over the Christmas period and it is likely West Brom can add to their woes.
Back West Brom to win and over 2.5 goals @ 3.39.
Lampard has given Derby heart
Derby 2.447/5 v Boro 3.412/5; The Draw 3.39/4
Derby in 6th showed their fighting qualities when they scored two late goals to seal a 4-3 win against Norwich on Saturday. Frank Lampard was relieved to steal the three points from fellow promotion candidates and the kind of belief late wins engender will do his own hopes no harm.
Derby have only been beaten once in 11 home matches (Aston Villa) and with matches coming thick and fast over the Christmas period Lampard is likely to push Harry Wilson forward to incorporate returning Tom Huddlestone into midfield, Wilson has scored three in five matches and a more advanced role makes him a great play to bag on New Years Day.
Boro in 5th ended a run of SX games with a 2-0 win against lowly Ipswich has maintained their position in a playoff spot, which for a few weeks looked like it might slip away. That was the first time Boro had scored two goals in a game since 24 November. Despite Boro's recent disappointments their defence is the envy of the league and under 2.5 goals have been scored in their last three Championship matches.
The match is hard to call but Both Teams to Score at 20/23 has to be worth a look.
*You can follow James on Twitter - @football_badger