Saturday Championship Tipsheet: Strong home favs to overcome the -1 goal handicap

It's been a tough start for Steve Cotterill's newly-promoted Bristol City
It's been a tough start for Steve Cotterill's newly-promoted Bristol City

Two of the pre-season title favourites look to have very winnable home games on Saturday says Mike Norman, which means our man is looking at the handicap markets to try and squeeze out a bit more juice in the price of his recommended wagers...


"Steve Cotterill's men conceded six in two home games last week, they conceded three to League Two outfit Luton in the cup, and their only away league game this term resulted in a 2-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday - that's 11 conceded in just four games so far this season."

Back Middlesbrough -1 to Win @ 2.77/4

Bolton 2.546/4 v Nottm Forest 3.185/40; The Draw 3.55/2

Sometimes you just have to back a selection based on the price, and in the case of Under 2.5 Goals in this match then a price of just under even money looks extraordinary value and has to be backed.

Bolton haven't scored a single goal all season, they sit bottom of the Championship table, and the pressure is beginning to mount on Neil Lennon. If anything, the situation won't help this side suddenly find their goalscoring boots on Saturday and another blank is definitely on the cards.

The Trotters actually haven't scored a goal for six consecutive games now if you include the end of last season, and in front of their own fans just one of their last nine home games has gone over the 2.5 goals mark.

Saturday's opponents are Nottingham Forest, a side that lost 1-0 to Brighton on the opening night of the new season and drew 0-0 in midweek with Charlton. They managed to beat Rotherham 2-1 last Saturday but the two goals scored in that match are Forest's only league goals of the campaign so far.

So there's probably a tiny bit of pressure on Dougie Freedman also - this is a game that neither manager can really afford to lose, especially Lennon, and therefore I'm expecting a very tense affair with few goals scored.

Recommended Bet
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.9420/21


Middlesbrough 1.625/8 v Bristol City 6.611/2; The Draw 4.216/5

I fear for Bristol City here, if Middlesbrough are in the same mood as they were last Saturday then they can easily score three or four against the newly-promoted outfit.

Aitor Karanka's men will be extremely disappointed at letting slip a 1-0 lead late on at Derby in midweek, a game in which Sky Sports pundit Tony Gale described as 'the perfect away performance' until a lapse in concentration in the 88th minute cost the title favourites all three points.

But that's three away games now for Boro, and four goals scored, while at the Riverside Stadium their only appearance in front of their own fans resulted in a resounding 3-0 victory over Bolton, a game that was effectively over after half an hour.

Middlesbrough have always been strong on home soil under Karanka (they've won eight and drew one of their last nine for example, conceding just two goals in the process) and really ought to have few problems finding the back of the net against a Bristol City side that have conceded goals for fun so far this term.

Steve Cotterill's men conceded six in two home games last week, they conceded three to League Two outfit Luton in the cup, and their only away league game this term resulted in a 2-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday - that's 11 conceded in just four games so far this season.

I think 1.625/8 about a home win is a great price, but I can easily see Boro overcoming the -1 goal handicap and that has to be the wager.

Recommended Bet
Back Middlesbrough -1 to Win @ 2.77/4
(best bet)


QPR 1.784/5 v Rotherham 5.24/1; The Draw 4.03/1

Rotherham are a side that I really want to be against at the start of the season as so far they are more than living up to their tag of 'relegation favourites'.

Steve Evans' men picked up their first point of the season in midweek when drawing with newly-promoted Preston but the only bright spot to take from that game - other than the point - was a clean sheet as they rarely threatened at the other end, in fact they didn't register a single shot on target.

Prior to that The Millers had lost two from two in the league by conceding six goals, and now away to one of the pre-season title favourites I fear another heavy defeat could be on the cards.

QPR grabbed their first league win of the campaign in a confidence-building come from behind 3-2 win at Wolves in midweek, though you have to wonder just how much longer goalscorers Charlie Austin and Matt Phillips will be at the club.

But that was an excellent victory meaning Chris Ramsey's men have scored eight goals in their last three games, and while Austin and Phillips are still on the books The Hoops look an excellent side at this level. Like Middlesbrough, they are a decent price to overcome the -1 goal handicap.

Recommended Bet
Back QPR -1 to Win @ 3.02/1


*You can follow me on Twitter - @MikkyMo73


**For a preview of every single live game in England's second tier, provided by Andy Tongue, simply visit our dedicated Championship section here on Betting.Betfair.


Championship 2015/16 Season P/L


Staked: 12 pts
Returned: 7.52 pts
P/L: -4.48 pts

*based on 1pt each bet, 2pts best bet

**2014/15 P/L = +21.78 pts from 164 staked (ROI = 13.28%)

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