League One Betting Preview – 21/03/17
League One Betting Preview
In our League One betting preview we look at the best bets for two selected matches in the third tier.
Oxford United v Bolton Wanderers
On Tuesday night in League One, Phil Parkinson’s Bolton Wanderers will hope to make the most of their game in hand, as they take on Michael Appleton’s Oxford United at Kassam Stadium. Oxford United are ninth with five points holding them back from a move into the top six places of the table. Meanwhile, Bolton are second with Sheffield United ahead by a massive nine point lead. The sides last met back on the opening day of October, where two late goals from Wes Thomas and Chris Maguire saw Oxford United win late on, sending shockwaves around the Macron Stadium. Oxford have been impressive and could come away with points here but Bolton will need to stay strong if they wish to assure an automatic promotion back to the Championship.
Oxford have failed to win in six of their last eight home games
As the season’s gone on, Oxford United have made themselves look increasingly more deserving of a place in the play-offs. They need to get more consistent though as recent weeks have seen them fall to far too many defeats, and they’ve already proven their players to be capable of far better performances. The U’s sit ninth and have just five points standing between them and the play-offs, helped also by the fact that they have two games in hand yet to play. If they make the most of this tie, it will work wonders for their chances of a top six finish. Michael Appleton’s side have been struggling to find consistency throughout the season but they made a lot of speed from November onwards, significantly boosting their point-count. Prolific forward Chris Maguire is the club’s top scorer, with ten goals to his name in League One alone, with Conor McAleny, Kane Hemmings and Robert Hall follow behind Maguire with five each.
Bolton have failed to win in eight of their last eleven away games
It’s been a season full of drama for Bolton Wanderers, who’ve had plenty of ups and down but still look ruthless enough to hold out for an automatic promotion through a solid second place finish. Similarly to Newcastle United in the Championship, Bolton have lost far too many games but they were raking in points at various stages of the season, which has given some wriggle room for mistakes. That can only last so long before there’s a damaging knock-on effect though, as Sheffield United sit above them by a nine point lead while several sides below them are on the prowl for a high finish. Another shame for The Trotters has been that top scorer Zach Clough left to Nottingham Forest in the January transfer window, as he remains with the most goals for the club, just proving how big a loss he’s been since exiting to the Championship.
Both teams to score (Best priced at 13/15 on 188Bet) – BET HERE
Chris Maguire to score anytime (Best priced at 15/8 on Bet365) – BET HERE
Rochdale v Millwall
It’s a crucial battle for the play-offs on Tuesday night, as Keith Hill’s seventh-place Rochdale host Neal Harris’ tenth-place Millwall at Crown Oil Arena. Rochdale are seven points off a move into the top six places in the table, but their form has shown some shortcomings in consistency and ruthlessness. Millwall are inches from a move into the play-offs, as they are currently just a point away with recent results pointing towards a high finish being a perfectly reasonable shout. It’s bound to be an exciting fixture as both teams have plenty to be fighting for, as they each believe they have earned the right to finish in the play-offs. There were five goals in the sides’ last meeting back in September, as it was 2-2 late on before a penalty from Ian Henderson ended the tie as a stoppage time victory for The Dale.
By the end of 2016, it looked as if Rochdale’s form had practically already secured a play-off finish, but they came into the new year under a completely different playing mentality which has seen them fall to far too many poor results and dropped points. They’ve only lost three of eighteen games played at home but it’s hard to see if The Dale will be able to keep themselves together until the end of the season, which would be a big shame after they were so solid for the first half of the campaign. A serious lack of goals has been a big factor in Keith Hill’s problems for the club as, despite scoring more goals than any other side in the division, they’ve lost the knack in recent games. Their last game saw them defeat Gillingham by four goals to one, showing a big sign of hope before their face off encounter with Millwall.
After narrowly missing promotion through the play-offs at the end of last season, it seemed as if Millwall had lost their confidence at the start of the current campaign, going through a rut of six games without a win. They’ve found their feet as the months have rolled on though, which isn’t all that surprising with Neil Harris in charge, as he’s had The Lions playing some great football in past times and he always comes across as being the right man for the job. It was certain that they were back to their best in December, as they conducted an unbeaten run of seventeen games, including eleven wins and achieving thirty-nine points. They fell to a devastating 6-0 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur, but they had little chance of causing upset against the in-form side, who sit two leagues above them.
Millwall to win (Best priced at 15/8 on Bet365) – BET HERE
Both teams to score (Best priced at 13/20 on BetWay) – BET HERE
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Watch highlights from Bolton’s 2-1 win over Northampton Town here: