BOXING DAY packed a punch for punters but bookies hit back on Saturday with a real KO blow.
None of my top tips came up but looking at results I don’t think anyone will have landed a decent accumulator on the Scottish games.
My first-choice Super Single Brechin was void and we’ll never know if they’d have beaten Dunfermline. I suggested Dundee as an alternative but they suffered a shock loss to managerless St Mirren.
Celtic’s failure to beat Ross County was a huge surprise as was on-form Stranraer’s defeat at home to Stenhousemuir. Rangers weren’t fancied by many at Hibs but the 4-0 scoreline in favour of the Easter Road raised some eyebrows.
Today the focus again switches to the English card. I’ve posted some of my thoughts on a separate betting preview and have been looking at team news before picking my top tips. Unfortunately the best you can get with some sides is “rotating the squad” while the concensus is teams lower down the ladder will struggle more with playing two games in three days so results could be less predictable.
Yesterday I said for the Super Single I was thinking about the likes QPR, Norwich, Doncaster and West Ham draw no bet – and I’ve read little to put me off any of these sides.
Norwich are one of those sides “using the full depth of their squad” while Doncaster face a Peterborough side who will probably lose boss Darren Ferguson if they flop for the fifth home game running.
West Ham could beat an Arsenal side without Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Mesut Ozil, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere and Serge Gnabry but I’d play safer with draw no bet which isn’t a popular Super Single market.
In the end I’ve gone back to my old friends QPR who were the Super Single when they recovered from 2-0 down to beat West Brom 3-2. All of QPR’s points have come at home so games like these are vital to their survival hopes.
Charlie Austin is also key and after his hat-trick against the Baggies he hit the consolation at Arsenal on Friday so I wouldn’t hesitate to back him to score or score first.
Palace sacked Neil Warnock after a poor 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Friday so Keith Millen is in caretaker charge again. You have to be wary about sides who have lost a manager but Millen won’t get the permanent job so players are more likely to give a response to the new man in charge – whoever that may be.
As for West Ham, Doncaster and Norwich I’m doing a treble with the first two taken as draw no bet as their prices are so big. I’ve written about West Ham in my English preview, as for Doncaster they have won six games away and visit a Peterborough side on the ropes after four successive home defeats. Donny should win and I can’t see them losing.
Norwich have been on a great run with 13 goals in three games and the only thing that puts me off them at Reading is the fact they are talking about changing the team.
For the Top Treble I’m keeping faith in Bournemouth at Millwall as they look unstoppable and Eddie Howe’s side have shown in the Capital One Cup they can make changes and still get results. Add League One form dogs MK Dons at home to Walsall and Swindon at home to Port Vale. Swindon let us down when they lost to Doncaster but missed a penalty and other decent chances and bounced back to wallop Walsall 4-1 away on Friday.
And my 10pts staking plan is completed by an over 2.5 goals treble instead of a both teams to score treble.
A few were asking about draws but I don’t do them much. I’m not putting them up as tips but the ones I’d consider are Stoke v West Brom, Huddersfield v Bolton and Shrewsbury v Wycombe. My first-scorer picks today are Austin, West Ham’s Andy Carroll, Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke and Aberdeen’s Adam Rooney.
Remember to check out our friends at We Love Betting for more tips and video chat.
5pts Super Single
2.5pts Top Treble
MK Dons (3pm)
West Ham draw no bet (3pm)
Doncaster draw no bet (3pm)
(11-1, William Hill)
1.5pts Over 2.5 goals treble
QPR v C Palace (3pm)
MK Dons v Walsall (3pm)
Swindon v Port Vale (3pm)
(5-1, McBookie, BetVictor)