In-form Mike Holden has all the best bets from Saturday's Football League action.
Chesterfield v Sheff Utd
It’s taken Danny Wilson a little longer than he would have liked to put his stamp on things at Chesterfield but the Spireites are finally heading in the right direction and look decent value to beat inconsistent Sheffield United at 23/10. My 16-match ratings make the two teams almost equal, so Chesterfield should be comfortable favourites taking home advantage into account.
It’s a local derby with an early kick-off time and the Blades have tightened up in recent weeks, so it’s likely to be a tight affair but victory for Chesterfield should close the door on any lingering relegation concerns. The market has a total goals expectancy of 2.53, my ratings make it 2.28, so a supplementary bet on Chesterfield to win to nil is even better value.
Chesterfield to beat Sheff Utd - 1pt @ 23/10
Chesterfield to win to nil - 1pt @ 5/1
Fleetwood v Oldham
Two of the most disciplined teams in League One meet at Highbury Stadium, knowing one wrong move could drag them back into the danger zone they have recently escaped. So don’t expect either Fleetwood or Oldham to be risking too much here. The 0-0 is much higher than an 11 per cent chance, backing under 0.5 goals at 8/1 with Hills is the best way to side with that outcome.
The Latics lost at Barnsley in midweek and picked up a few bumps and bruises in the process but that only makes them more likely to park the bus and the Cod Army are one of the most inefficient teams in the division at converting chances. A cover bet on under 1.5 goals is also advised. Don’t expect the floodgates to open if either forces a breakthrough.
Under 1.5 goals - 1pt @ 21/10
Under 0.5 goals - 1pt @ 8/1
Swindon v Bury
Swindon have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, losing 4-1 and 6-0 over the Easter weekend, suspending three players for doing hippy crack and losing both senior goalkeepers to injury. But let’s not go overboard when down-rating them. When they get it right, the results can be spectacular.
The Robins notoriously like to play out from the back and regularly run into trouble when opponents press high up the pitch but Tom Pope and Leon Clarke aren’t the most mobile, so that’s less likely to be a problem in this match. Bury have lost 0-3, 0-6, 0-3 and 0-3 in their last six away trips, so backing Swindon to clear the -1 and -2 handicaps is the way to go here.
Swindon -1 on the handicap - 1pt @ 21/4
Swindon -2 on the handicap - 1pt @ 16/1
Bristol Rovers v Yeovil
Darren Way has turned Yeovil into one of the more obstinate teams in League Two of late and that’s terrible news for promotion-chasing Bristol Rovers because a local derby against a stubborn rearguard is the last thing you need when you’re chalked-up as 2/5 favourites. Take the 6/1 available on the Glovers to keeping a ninth clean sheet in 11 matches.
The Somerset outfit were beaten 2-0 at home to Exeter last time out but can quickly revert to type, just as they did when going down 3-0 at Cambridge a month ago. This probably counts as their biggest away game of the season and with survival virtually assured, although not absolutely guaranteed, it’s an occasion they can approach in a fairly relaxed but determined manner.
Yeovil to keep a clean sheet - 1pt @ 6/1
Stevenage v Newport
Similar to Fleetwood v Oldham above, here’s another contest where prospect theory could come into play between two teams who have recently steadied the ship and strengthened their survival hopes by tightening up. Relegation is unlikely for both but defeat for either just prolongs the uncertainty, so take the 10/1 available on no goalscorer.
Stevenage have fired blanks in six of their last nine but have now conceded only twice in four, while Newport were keeping clean sheets for fun until running into stellar opposition and they’ve now lost to nil in each of their last four matches. Between them, eight of the last 12 games have finished under 1.5 goals, so a cover bet on that outcome is also recommended.
Under 1.5 goals - 1pt @ 5/2
No goalscorer - 1pt @ 9/1