Sky Bet League 2 - 20th March 2015
AFC Wimbledon v Portsmouth
A real tough one to call here between two sides level on points in mid-table and that’s reflected in the odds, with the League 2 sponsors Sky Bet making the hosts slight favourites at 6/4 ahead of Pompey at 7/4. The draw is 23/10. It’s the visitors who boast the better recent form with four wins and just one defeat in their last eight while Wimbledon have won just two of their last eight. Both those wins did come at home, though, where their form is solid: four wins and a goalless draw in the last five. With these sides evenly matched and Pompey having drawn five of their last eight on the road, the 23/10 for another stalemate looks fair.
Top tip: The draw at 23/10.
Accrington Stanley v York City
Accrington are without a win in their last five as they bid to stay clear of the relegation fight, but should take heart from a 2-2 draw against promotion-chasing Wycombe last time out. York are right in the thick of things too, outside the bottom two only on goal difference. The good news for them in this one is the fact their away form far outstrips their home record. Five of their seven wins in Sky Bet League 2 this season have been on the road, and they’re favourites at 13/10 to pick up another vital three points here. Stanley are 7/4, and the draw 9/4. There have been under 2.5 goals in seven of Accrington’s last nine home games and four of those games have ended 1-1, which is a 5/1 chance here.
Top tip: Under 2.5 goals at 4/5.
Bury v Northampton Town
Bury have won six of their last seven Sky Bet League 2 games (five of them to nil) and are a shade of odds-on at 19/20 to make that seven out of eight. They’re now just four points away from an automatic promotion spot but face a tough task here against a Northampton side themselves in fine form with four wins from their last six. The Cobblers are 11/4 to leave with three points and 5/2 to take one. The two games Northampton have lost in their last six both ended 2-0; Bury are 15/2 to win by that scoreline here.
Top tip: One or both teams not to score at 10/11.
Carlisle United v Morecambe
Carlisle still need points in their fight against relegation – although Sky Bet’s quote of 6/1 against them going down suggests that the bookmakers very much expect them to be safe - and are 11/8 to pick up three of them against mid-table Morecambe (15/8) on Saturday. The draw is a 12/5 chance. Carlisle have won two of their last four, both to nil, and face a Morecambe side smarting from back-to-back home defeats. At least one side has failed to score in six of Carlisle’s last nine. That outcome could be worth a bet again here.
Top tip: One or both teams not to score at even-money.
Cheltenham Town v Exeter City
Sky Bet can’t split this pair, with Cheltenham 13/8 to pick up a vital victory in the fight against the drop and Exeter the same price to keep themselves in the play-off picture with three points. The draw is 9/4. Exeter have picked up eight points from their last four games, while Cheltenham come into this one on the back of three straight draws. Those three draws, alongside four in Exeter’s last eight, make that a decent starting point in this one. But with both sides able to score goals and having 2-2 draws in their recent form that scoreline looks a value option at 12/1.
Top tip: A 2-2 draw at 12/1.
Hartlepool United v Mansfield Town
Hartlepool’s improvement in form – they’ve won five of their last 10 – sees them in with a real chance of beating the drop, which didn’t look the case at the turn of the year. They still remain quoted at an unflattering 1/10 for relegation but three more points here could see them just a win away from escaping the bottom two. They’re 13/10 to beat Mansfield, who are 9/5, with the draw 12/5. For Mansfield, another win or two should silence any lingering concerns over their Sky Bet League 2 status after a run of four wins and two draws in their last eight games has seen them make rapid strides towards the 50-point barrier. You have to go back six games to the middle of February for the last Hartlepool game with over 2.5 goals while three of Mansfield’s last four have also come in under that mark, so going low on goals could pay off again.
Top tip: Under 2.5 goals at 8/13.
Plymouth Argyle v Newport County
Two play-off contenders clash at Home Park, with the home side odds-on at 5/6 to pick up a fourth victory in five home games. Newport are a danger, though, having won two of their last three away games, and are 16/5 to prevail here. The draw is 5/2. Newport won the reverse fixture 2-0, and a repeat of that scoreline is 22/1 here. Three of Newport’s last four league wins have been by the only goal, which is 9/1. Plymouth have failed to score in three of their last four.
Top tip: Under 2.5 goals at 8/13.
Shrewsbury Town v Oxford United
Second-place Shrewsbury are the shortest-priced favourites in Sky Bet League 2 this weekend at 8/13 against Oxford, who can be backed at 9/2 to spring a shock. The draw is 11/4. Shrewsbury’s form is a touch patchy of late with three defeats in their last six, but their true colours were showin in a comprehensive victory over Morecambe 4-1 last time out. Oxford come into this one having failed to score in back-to-back home games and sit six points clear of the bottom two, but have shown themselves capable of getting good results on their day. Shrewsbury are 5/2 to top the division at the end of the season, and 1/6 for promotion by any means. Seven of their last 12 games have featured three or more goals.
Top tip: Over 2.5 goals at evens.
Southend United v Cambridge United
Cambridge have won just one in 10 Sky Bet League 2 matches since going out of the FA Cup to Manchester United and are still not quite safe yet (though they are a massive 28/1 for the drop, suggesting that the League sponsors don’t see them as being in any danger). The U’s are 4/1 to win this win at Southend, who can be backed at 7/10 with the draw 5/2. The hosts have lost just one of their last 10 at Roots Hall as they continue to look to cement a spot in the play-offs – the Shrimpers are quoted at 11/8 for promotion. There have been four draws in that run, though, while Cambridge have drawn three of their last six, so another sharing of the points could be on the cards.
Top tip: A 1-1 draw at 5/1.
Stevenage v Dagenham & Redbridge
The home side are odds-on at 5/6 to take the points in this one, with Dagenham 16/5 and the draw 5/2. While the away side look set to end the season in mid-table, Stevenage are locked in a tight battle for a play-off spot and will take confidence for this game from one of the best home record in the division having won 12 of their 18 games at the Lamex Stadium. Only the top two sides in League 2 have more home wins. They have won their last three home games, all against teams around them in the table: Southend, Plymouth and Newport. Dagenham have won three of their last four, but only one of those games was away from home. Jamie Cureton has scored in six of Dagenham’s last 10 games though and his prolific record in front of the net may earn the visitors at least a share of the spoils again.
Top tip: Jamie Cureton to score during the match at 7/4.
Tranmere Rovers v Burton Albion
Sky Bet League 2 leaders Burton Albion are 11/10 for victory at Tranmere on Saturday. The hosts need points for a very different reason, sitting clear of the bottom two on goal difference alone, and are 12/5 to win this one with the draw the same price. The Rovers snapped a five-game losing streak with a crucial 2-1 victory at Cambridge on Tuesday night. Both teams have scored in five of Tranmere’s last seven games. Burton are on a three-game winning run and come into this clash having won seven of their last 10, so confidence should be high. Expect both sides to get on the scoresheet.
Top tip: Both teams to score at 10/11.
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