It was a strange old week for this column last time out.
Two of our selections landed outright, two Draw No Bet picks ended in a stalemate and were pushes, and the last saw our pick Rennes get absolutely steamrollered by Strasbourg.
So we were, technically at least, one selection away from a winning coupon, and we can take that confidence into this week’s football accumulator betting tips.
|Cardiff City vs Southampton||Cardiff/Draw Double Chance||1/2|
|Middlesbrough vs Blackburn Rovers||Blackburn +1.5 Asian Handicap||4/11|
|Nottingham Forest vs Preston||Nottingham Forest Draw No Bet||4/9|
|Cheltenham Town vs Grimsby Town||Grimsby/Draw Double Chance||4/5|
|AC Milan vs Torino||Torino +1.50 Asian Handicap||4/11|
|Five-Fold Acca Odds||6.23/1|
Cardiff City vs Southampton: Cardiff/Draw Double Chance
Despite defeat in midweek, Cardiff are trucking along very nicely with three wins in their last seven outings. On home soil, they will have taken a real momentum boost from the 2-1 victory over Wolves, where they showed immense character to overturn an early deficit.
The Bluebirds’ home form W3 D1 L4 is more than respectable for a side of their stature, and take the 0-5 thumping from Man City out of the equation and they haven’t been outclassed by anyone in front of their own supporters.
Southampton will have new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl in charge, but with a midweek game he won’t have much time to work with his new players.
The Austrian will see a Saints side wholly devoid of confidence, as evidenced by their inability to hold on to a two-goal lead against Manchester United.
One win in seven on the road hardly helps, and neither does niggles to Danny Ings, Ryan Bertrand, Michael Obafemi and Matt Targett.
Middlesbrough vs Blackburn Rovers: Blackburn +1.50 Asian Handicap
Here’s an alarming stat for their fans: Middlesbrough have scored just 22 Championship goals this term, with only four sides in the division netting fewer.
For all their defensive excellence, the Boro are vulnerable against handicap backers, and that’s the unfortunate side effect of appointing a manager like Tony Pulis.
His opposite number here, Tony Mowbray, was fuming after his side’s defeat to Wigan a fortnight ago. “I’ve told the players that’s the worst I’ve seen since I’ve arrived,” he said.
“It’s unacceptable. It takes a lot for me to get angry with them, but I don’t know where it came from. I apologise to the fans who travelled tonight.”
A reaction was expected then, and his players delivered: demolishing Sheffield Wednesday 4-2 last time out. They will be expected to well again in the north east.
Nottingham Forest vs Preston: Forest Draw No Bet
Nottingham Forest are living up to their pre-season billing as a promotion contender, sitting pretty as they do in fifth place in the Championship.
Excellent at home (W5 D4 L1), the Tricky Trees have soundly beaten Ipswich and hull (both 2-0) of late and went toe-to-toe with a red-hot Aston Villa outfit; in that famous 5-5 draw they led 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3, so were arguably good value for the three points.
Preston were soundly beaten on the road against Birmingham last time out, and that continues their poor season on the road (W1 D3 L6). They have also shipped in 17 of their 20 league games; not a solid foundation for success.
Cheltenham Town vs Grimsby Town: Grimsby/Draw Double Chance
There was a mini revival from Cheltenham early in November, but subsequent heavy defeats against Bury (1-4) and Accrington (1-3) have taken them back to square one.
Their run of form reads two wins in 12, while conceding in 16 of their last 19 including two or more in four of their last six. The worst home record in League Two (W1 D3 L5) makes for grim reading for their supporters.
There have been green shoots of recovery lately for Grimsby. A morale-boosting 1-0 win over Crawley has been followed by a 2-2 draw away at Northampton, a 5-2 victory over Tranmere and a 2-0 win over Chesterfield in the FA Cup.
So that’s lots of goals lately, and that breeds confidence heading to one of worst sides in the division.
AC Milan vs Torino: Torino +1.50 Asian Handicap
On the face of it, this might look a dicey selection.
But AC Milan’s performance data suggests they’re not all that, and if we break down their last seven outings in Serie A we see that they have won four – all by a single goal margin, drawn one and lost to both Juventus and Inter, where they failed to create any chances of note.
Torino, incredibly, are unbeaten on the road, albeit W2 D5 L0, and they’ve only lost once in nine starts anywhere.
They’ve drawn with Inter and Atalanta and lost by a solitary goal against Roma, so they won’t be fazed by a trip to one of the division’s big boys.