Chesterfield v Crewe

Barely a month ago, Crewe were eight points adrift of safety and their hopes of survival appeared forlorn but a six-match unbeaten run has lifted them off the bottom and cut the gap to just three points. Now they can draw level with fifth-from-bottom Chesterfield if they snatch victory at the Proact Stadium and there’s value in the 4/1 available on them doing just that.

The contrast in mood coming into this game is distinct, with Crewe players speaking openly about the importance of the game in the wider context of the League One relegation battle, whereas Spirites boss Danny Wilson is keen to play the significance down. On that basis alone, you’d be inclined to suggest it’s the home team feeling the pressure more in the build up.

And rightly so. Chesterfield have only won three home matches all season and they haven’t managed a clean sheet in 15 attempts. Crewe might be down to the bare bones with Steve Davis forced to name a bench almost entirely made up of academy graduates but there’s a sense of camaraderie developing in the face of that adversity and it could be the difference here.
Crewe to win - 1pt @ 4/1

Exeter v Newport

Exeter’s home record against bottom-half opposition over the past four seasons doesn’t make pleasant reading for Paul Tisdale. The Grecians have won just 11 out of 43 matches, losing 16, and it’s a alarming trend that could continue with defeat against improving Newport at 12/5. The implied odds about the away win from the above sample are 17/10.

The Exiles have taken 10 points from a possible 15 under new boss Warren Feeney and should certainly be fresher with a full week to prepare, while Exeter were trekking to York and back in midweek following a weekend trip to Wycombe. Both of those games ended in routine defeats with Tisdale bemoaning flat second-half performances when his team were required to chase.

He shouldn’t really be surprised. The schedule has been extremely demanding on the Devon outfit since they hosted Liverpool in the FA Cup last month with other trips to Morecambe, Leyton Orient, Liverpool and Hartlepool meaning the Grecians have spent 52 hours on the road, clocking up over 3,000 miles, in the space of just five weeks.
Newport to win - 1pt @ 5/2

Oxford v Accrington

Oxford were irresistible a month ago but their desire to challenge on several fronts has finally caught up with them. The Yellows have failed to win any of their last five home matches since heads were turned by a date at Wembley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Now John Coleman is vowing to go all-out on the attack in this promotion six-pointer and his Accrington side look excellent value to take the spoils at 14/5. The more adventurous among you might also want to back it up with a bet on Accrington to score over 2.5 goals at 9/1.

From a ratings perspective, the visitors should be no bigger than 2/1 and their position as the division’s most creative attacking force isn’t truly reflected in the goals column but Stanley do have the capacity to tear it up from time to time. We should take Coleman’s promise at face value and back his men to expose diminishing confidence in the home ranks.
Accrington to win - 1pt @ 14/5
Over 2.5 Accrington goals - 1pt @ 9/1