Mike Holden highlights the value bets from Saturday's Football League action.
Ipswich v MK Dons
Uncertainty surrounds Mick McCarthy’s future at Portman Road as a disappointing campaign for Ipswich peters out into nothing, whereas for MK Dons this dead-rubber is an opportunity to record a memorable triumph in their ill-fated Championship odyssey. The Dons might be down, but they’re not overly dejected. Take the 19/4 available on the away win.
The season has been a learning curve for Karl Robinson’s men and being less expansive has been the biggest lesson. The Dons have progressively become more difficult to break down and might have stood a chance had they set out like this since August. The Tractor Boys have only scored three times in their last seven outings, so the MK Dons clean sheet is also over-priced at 9/2.
MK Dons to win - 1pt @ 19/4
MK Dons to keep a clean sheet - 1pt @ 9/2
Coventry v Sheff Utd
Five of the top seven teams have been dispatched at the Ricoh this season, including form sides Millwall and Bradford in the past fortnight. So it’s a mystery why Coventry should be 9/4 for the visit of mid-table Sheffield United. The Blades can still make the play-offs, but it would take an extraordinary sequence of events, not least Barnsley failing to beat Colchester at home.
Nigel Adkins has shown signs of getting on top of the job at Bramall Lane in recent weeks but there’s significant doubts about the quality of the opposition they’ve faced with four of the bottom five shot-ratio teams among their last seven opponents. Coventry can win this comfortably and the 17/1 about them landing the 2-0 correct score is too big.
Coventry to win - 1pt @ 9/4
Coventry to win 2-0 - 1pt @ 17/1
Crewe v Doncaster
Doncaster will almost certainly be relegated if they fail to win at Gresty Road and that’s a heavy burden to shoulder for a team that’s collected only nine points from the last available 51. Recent home wins over Wigan and Coventry have served only to raise expectations beyond a reasonable level and already-relegated Crewe look good value to drag them down into the basement at 5/1.
Alex have only triumphed once since November but their roll call of home games over the past three months has been pretty formidable with Wigan (1-1), Rochdale (2-0), Walsall (1-1), Barnsley (1-2), Burton (1-1), Bradford (0-1) and Scunthorpe (2-3) all providing much stiffer tests than they should expect from Darren Ferguson’s men. The 40/1 about Crewe winning 2-0 is ludicrous.
Crewe to win - 1pt @ 5/1
Crewe to win 2-0 - 1pt @ 40/1
Stevenage v Wimbledon
Wimbledon fluffed their lines against a semi-interested Portsmouth side in midweek and it might just feed the jitters enough for them to stumble again at improving Stevenage. The hosts have taken 12 points from the last seven matches by an 8-4 aggregate score, so odds of 7/2 about the home win have to be worth a nibble.
The Dons are in unchartered territory occupying a play-off berth, so getting over the line might be easier said than done. Stevenage were 2-1 winners in the reverse fixture at Kingsmeadow back in December and there’s more purpose about them under Darren Sarll. Once again, the value in the match betting is inflated further on the routine 2-0 scoreline, in this instance at 25/1.
Stevenage to win - 1pt @ 7/2
Stevenage to win 2-0 - 1pt @ 25/1