Sheff Utd v Nottingham Forest
The first of our April 19 Championship betting tips is for Sheff Utd v Nottingham Forest. What a Good Friday of sport we have in store, enhanced by a busy card from the Championship with a host of matches shown live on Sky Sports at 12.30pm, 3.00pm and 7.45pm. No sooner will the dust settle on those results, the most competitive division in European football are back at it again on Easter Monday. Points won and lost over the course of the long weekend will be vital in the race for places at both ends of the table. This match carries a 12.30pm start time and enjoys the live TV coverage, something that’s sure to force a big performance from both sets of players.
The Blades go into the round sitting third, three points behind Leeds United in second. They have already confirmed their place in the promotion chase but would prefer to go up without the need for the play-offs and that comes with finishing second behind champions in-waiting Norwich. The locals have stuttered of late, however, managing just one win in their last three, drawing their two most recent outings. A third share in-a-row has been priced at 3/1 by Bet365, with a return to winning ways our pick at 4/7 with the same bookie.
Nothing to Play For
Nottingham Forest go into this contest as one of few teams with nothing to play for between now and the finish line and they have one eye on the clock as they run down the time towards their summer holiday. The Tricky Trees aren’t involved in the relegation fight and have given up on their chances of battling their way into the promotion play-off places, Bristol City in sixth already eight points off in the distance. Disappointing for all concerned.
The visitors appear to have thrown in the towel and that’s proven by their recent results, losing three on the bounce to slide down through the charts towards midtable. On form alone they make no appeal against a side pushing for the prizes and we have no confidence in the away dressing room being good enough to trouble Sheff Utd, or even having the desire to go and try. Bookmakers agree and backers who see something we don’t will get 19/4 (Bet365) on the away win.
Birmingham v Derby
One of the 3.00pm TV starts and The Blues set-up for this contest on the back of a poor run of form that has seen them bag just one win in their last five, the same run showing two draws and a couple of defeats. They did help steady the ship by bagging a point from each of their last two and the coaching staff will take confidence from the fact they are unbeaten in three, but Birmingham go into this one just six points ahead of the relegation zone and that isn’t yet enough to get them off the hook. A home win does nothing to appeal to us, especially as favourite, Unibet offering a market best price of 17/10. Another draw is 23/10 (William Hill).
Don’t Write Them Off
Derby board the team bus for this clash sitting pretty in eighth, looking to gain the win needed to drive them towards the promotion play-off spots. They have suffered a mixed bag of results in recent outings but remain just two points behind Bristol City in sixth and go on the back of a morale-boosting win last time out. It was a real surprise to see traders write Derby off here as they have more to play for and the 15/8 available at Bet365 – market best price – makes them our value pick of the day. That’ll boost your accumulator returns.
Leeds v Wigan
Another 3.00pm start shown live on Sky Sports and armchair fans have a real treat in store here as Leeds look to strengthen their place in the top-two, while keeping alive their faint hopes of nicking the title from current leaders Norwich City. The Peacocks run out at Elland Road second in the division, four off a Canaries side who have dropped points in each of their last two, leaving the door open for a late smash-and-grab on the trophy. Will Leeds take advantage? To do so they must win here, and we expect them to do just that at 4/11 with Unibet on Leeds. One for your accas.
Nor a Real Chance
Wigan are easy enough to oppose, sitting down at the wrong end of the table with just 10 wins managed from 42 games. They are stuck on a four-match winless run and that has sucked them into trouble, with Rotherham and the relegation zone just two points off at last count. They have drawn three of their last four, including their most recent outing, and would see the value in another share, priced 4/1 with most firms, including William Hill. The 8/1 (Ladbrokes) on an away win is a nice price, given the fact Wigan have to win, but it’s not a bet for us.
QPR v Blackburn
The last of our April 19 Championship betting tips is for QPR v Blackburn. You can keep tabs on this match through Sky Sports and, although neither side are involved in the title race or fight for promotion, it will be an interesting watch with drama and excitement guaranteed. The Hoops are down in 17th but have an eight-point cushion over the bottom three and that will be more than enough to see them secure their place in the division for another season. QPR have taken four of the last six points available to them, including a win last time out. Two on the bounce is 6/5 jolly at Unibet.
Blackburn, like their opponents, are another side who had the threat of relegation hanging over them for much of the season but put on a strong finish to pull clear of danger and started the week in 15th, 13 above trouble and five better than their opponents. They have won each of their last two and we now expect to see them slow to a finish. The away win is 23/10 at Bet365.
Norwich v Sheff Weds
The league leaders going into the round and they will be hoping they have done enough to hold their ground and finish the fixture list in pole position. The locals have been impressive so far, but nothing has been achieved just yet and the threat of missing out on a top-two finish and automatic promotion remains. They have drawn each of their last two and another level finish is 7/2 (Unibet), although we prefer the 8/15 at Ladbrokes about a home win. That’s probably too short to back on its own, unless you’re going in heavy with big stakes, but there’s enough there to use in multiples and we expect to see Norwich in a fair share of Friday accumulators.
Hard to Bet Against Norwich
Sheffield Wednesday sit 10th and have nothing to play for between now and the flag, the promotion play-off spots already six points away, with the contenders showing no signs of slowing down as we head into the final few strides of the race. The Owls have lost two of their last three, including defeat in their most recent start, and that would’ve sucked any remaining ambition out of the squad, realising they have thrown away their chances.
The away day is 5/1 with 888sport, but that’s not enough to tempt us into a bet. Yes, Sheffield Wednesday are good enough to make nuisance of themselves here and spoil the party, but Norwich will get at them early and aim to knock the fight out of the away dressing room in the first-half.