Rotherham's away woes to continue
Wigan 1.594/7 v Rotherham 5.79/2; The Draw 4.1
There are several reasons to oppose Rotherham away from home. It's not so much recent Championship form that blights them as a betting prospect, but an inability to compete on the road at Championship level. The last time the Millers picked up three points on their Championship travels was on 9 April 2016 - that's 27 matches at this level without a win since, including only three draws.
Of course, there was the successful 2017/18 League One campaign during this period where the South Yorkshire club picked up nine away wins, but every club has an achievement ceiling. Rotherham simply don't land away punches at this weight.
I might be prepared to look past this grim record if Rotherham were showing any signs of improvement. At home this season they have won both matches, but two away defeats, against Brentford (5-1) and Leeds (2-0), have seen an accumulated seven goals conceded with just one in reply. Those two wins in four games this season are as many as they managed in their previous 24 matches at this level and it shows there is spirit in Paul Warne's team, but it doesn't allay fears about away form.
Rotherham's last away league win at Wigan's DW Stadium was in December 2014, a 2-1 victory in the Championship. And on Saturday the Millers travel to face a Wigan side that have lost just one of their last 16 home league games and none of the last nine (W5 D4).
A 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest in the Latics last home fixture will have felt like two points dropped however after a last gasp leveller denied them success. A 3-0 away win at Stoke showed the quality of Paul Cook's side, but the 1-0 defeat to lowly QPR would have been a frustration.
Unsurprisingly Wigan are short for Saturday's game and, even though the 1.594/7 for them to win would look a great prospect for your weekend accumulators, I'm hunting deeper and playing Wigan and Over 2.5 goals.
Will Grigg let me down last week in my Wigan to win and Grigg to score bet, but I don't think he will again.
Baggies to extinguish brief Stoke resurgence
West Brom 2.0621/20 v Stoke 3.9; The Draw 3.412/5
There is money to be made from opposing Stoke in these early parts of the season. Gary Rowett's side were hotly tipped to conquer all before them in the Championship and make a return to the top flight, yet we all know how tough the second tier is and Stoke have struggled.
A 2-0 win against Hull last weekend took the Potters out of the bottom three and gave Rowett his first win as Stoke boss. A League Cup win against Huddersfield this week will have further boosted confidence. But Hull are awful and Huddersfield have bigger fish to fry, so, for me, recent success shouldn't paper over obvious cracks.
A mate of mine who watches Stoke regularly is an eternal optimist who can't see his side threatening the top half this season. If he is depressed about Stoke's chances then they really have got issues.
Stoke face another relegated side, West Brom, on Saturday and Darren Moore's men have ridden a wobbly start to their campaign, but seem to be heading back on track. The Baggies have won three of their last four home league matches against Stoke, drawing the other and Moore has a full squad to select from and is unlikely to make changes.
West Brom threw away a valuable point at the Riverside last weekend as Daniel Ayala's injury time strike gave Boro the three points. That disappointment should lead to a more professional performance on Saturday.
In my first column of the season I suggested that West Brom's Jay Rodriguez was a good bet for the Championship Golden Boot and he has netted four goals in five matches so far and 11 goals in his last 14 Championship starts.
Stoke have won only one of their last 16 away league matches in the month of September (D8 L7), winning 2-1 at Newcastle in September 2010. If they are to challenge this season that stat has to change, but I don't think the repair job starts at the Hawthornes on Saturday.
Derby to extend winning streak in Hull
Hull 2.915/8 v Derby 2.6613/8; The Draw 3.211/5
As mentioned before, I don't have a lot of time for this Hull side, apart from backing against them. There is a football stats website that lists strengths and weaknesses for sides and in Hull's strengths nothing at all is listed. I tend to agree.
Hull were trounced 4-0 at home by Derby in the Carabao Cup in midweek, but with a depleted side put out by Nigel Adkins there is little be taken from that exit. But Hull are the Championships third lowest scorers and have taken only four points from five games, and those were in Yorkshire Derbys against fellow early season strugglers - a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday and a 3-2 defeat of Rotherham.
Derby have now won three on the bounce in all competitions, scoring eight goals without reply. After early wobbles Frank Lampard is steering his side in the right direction and with strikers in far more confident form than those of Hull.
Derby's on-loan 19-year-old attacker Mason Mount has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 12 league games across the English Championship and Dutch Eredivisie (9 goals, 7 assists). He scored the fourth in the Cup on Tuesday and would be a good goalscorer pick again.
Hull have failed to score in each of their last four league clashes with Derby County, conceding 11 in the process. They have also failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last nine league games.
Derby are looking to win three consecutive league games without conceding for the first time since a run of four such wins ending in December 2017.
I'm backing them to do just that.
*You can follow James on Twitter - @football_badger