Barnsley v Scunthorpe

On a trappy Good Friday coupon, it could pay to swerve the standard match betting where outstanding value is scarce and concentrate instead on landing something a little bit more extravagant. Here’s the first of four matches where both supremacy and total goals markets are at odds with my own ratings and a 1-0 correct score best reflects the position of maximum value.

Barnsley have won 12 of their last 15 league matches, seven of them with a clean sheet, to climb from bottom of the table over Christmas into their current position of sixth. But they have drifted on the 90-minute market following the news of Graham Alexander’s appointment at Scunthorpe earlier this week.

With the Tykes level on points with seventh-placed Bradford and a tricky trip to Port Vale up next on Easter Monday, ahead of their date with Oxford at Wembley next weekend, this is likely to be a game where the result is all-important and the performance is largely irrelevant. Given that context, victory by the only goal looks like a sensible call.
Barnsley to win 1-0 - 1pt @ 15/2

Accrington v Leyton Orient

Fifth entertains seventh at the Wham Stadium and it won’t have escaped John Coleman’s attention that Orient have kept seven clean sheets in 11 matches under the guidance of fellow Scouser Kevin Nolan, so the Accrington boss might be braced for a war of attrition rather than sticking with the usual cavalier approach he tries to promote.

Stanley are no strangers to grinding out 1-0s when the conditions suit. They triumphed by the only goal in the reverse fixture at Brisbane Road back in October and were 1-0 winners away at Dagenham last weekend, while third-placed Bristol Rovers were beaten twice by a solitary strike in September and January. My 16-match ratings make the Accrington 1-0 bet a 6/1 shot.
Accrington to win 1-0 - 1pt @ 8/1

Wycombe v Mansfield

Wycombe’s love of low-scoring outcomes shouldn’t be news to anyone. No fewer than 15 of the Chairboys last 16 matches have finished under 2.5 goals, while their last eight successive matches have produced one long string of binary code, with three 1-0s in their favour, three against, and three 1-1 draws. Yet not since August have they played out a 0-0.

Four defeats in the last six matches have crushed Mansfield’s play-off hopes. The Stags are now seven points adrift of the top seven and though a total goals expectancy of 1.76 suggests this is all set-up to be a chess match, the visitors’ greater need for points might force them into making one wrong move, just as it has on their last two away trips at Newport and Bristol Rovers.
Wycombe to win 1-0 - 1pt @ 13/2

York v Crawley

The Minstermen have taken just one point from the last seven matches to leave themselves seven points adrift of safety with nine games to play and they could be powerless to prevent a second 1-0 defeat of the season against a shrewd but limited Crawley side that has picked up 16 points from a possible 18 against the bottom four.

The Red Devils have conceded only one goal in four matches since Mark Yates bolstered his ranks with several new arrivals, via the loan market and unattached list at the end of February. Five new faces have made their debuts in recent weeks. Not for the first time, Yates is proving to be a wizard when it comes to getting a rabble of misfits organised into a cohesive unit.

For those interested in the prospect of spending Easter Monday on a beach in the Caribbean, the four-timer pays 4535/1
Crawley to win 1-0 - 1pt @ 17/2