Portsmouth v Sunderland
The first of our Dec 22 League One betting tips is Portsmouth v Sunderland. The final round of fixtures before Christmas and this weekend rates as our last chance to nail down a winner from the football to ensure bookies help cover the cost of Christmas.
Pompey start the weekend sitting proudly atop the League One table as the club target a return to the big time; it would come as no surprise to see them challenging in the Championship next season. They are a club who appear to have sorted their problems and are, again, heading in the right direction.
Fourteen wins and six draws against just two defeats has them top of the pile on 48 points, four better than nearest rivals Luton; they are five ahead of Sunderland who sit third, outside of the top-two automatic promotion places. Both teams will be keen to avoid the lottery of play-off football.
Portsmouth have struggled for form in recent weeks however and line-up for this match having claimed only one of the last six points that was available to them. That drought began with a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Charlton; this was followed by a 1-1 away to Barnsley – these two sides they really should be beating if they are serious about claiming the flag, especially at this time of year. Evans scored to give his boys the lead just before half-time last weekend; however, that advantage was soon cancelled out by Woodrow who netted an equaliser on 61 minutes. Barnsley dominated the stats but would’ve been happy to get a share from the league leaders.
Black Cats Back On Track
Sunderland are another former Premier League contender who fell on hard times and dropped through the pecking order of English football. They find themselves in League One; however, fans will be delighted to see they finally appear to have put a halt to that slump and look to have every chance of gaining promotion to the second-tier of English football, either as part of the top-two or through the play-offs and an extended season. Anything can happen in the four games added at the end of the campaign and Sunderland would much prefer to contest the top-two.
They are on an eye-catching unbeaten run and their last five games show three wins and two draws, including victory in each of their last two. That started with a win over Barnsley at the end of November and was followed with a 2-1 at home to Bristol Rovers.
Rodman gave the losing side an early lead; however, that was cut-out by Matthews who levelled things up on the stroke of half-time before Maja scored what turned out to be the winner of 49, Sunderland exploding out of the traps in the second-half. That heaped pressure on managerless Bristol Rovers who need a Christmas miracle.
Get Set for a Cracker
This promises to be a cracker from League One and a match those in attendance are sure to get value for money from. Both managers will know a defeat would shunt them off-course; however, both will see this as a winnable tie and we hope it lives up to expectations and gives us a few goals. Back both teams to score for an interest at 3/4, a price available with Bet365. That’s one that could be added to the accumulator of the day.
Looking towards the match betting for a clue on how this one should go, and we find bookies have priced Portsmouth as favourites for the points. Backers are able to get their hands on 11/10 when doing their betting with 888sport. Prefer the upset? Those who hold the purse strings are in no great rush to write off the draw and that can be backed at 12/5. Sunderland look the value play here with 11/4 – top price Bet365 – up for grabs. We make that worth a bet at small stakes as it looks better than it should be.
Luton v Burton
The other of our Dec 22 League One betting tips is Luton v Burton. With Portsmouth having a tough match against Sunderland, second-place Luton must take full advantage. They need to apply pressure to the pace-setters by beating Burton Albion at home and hope The Black Cats can do them a favour. Luton are right in the mix for automatic promotion with 13 wins and five draws, against four defeats; this puts them within touching distance of top spot. There’s plenty of football still to be played this season. The Hatters will be hoping they can nail down the consistency needed to, at least, finish in the automatic promotion slots.
The hosts enjoy the backing of a winning run; they have claimed 15 points from their last five games. That includes December wins over Fleetwood Town when last at this venue and a 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena last time. Pearson and Collins were both on target to ease their side to the points; then, Clarke-Harris scored a consolation goal on 95 minutes from the penalty spot. This served to make the final score appear a little closer than it should’ve been. Luton are 4/7 favourites with Bet365 to win the match; that might be something we could add to our weekend accumulator of the day.
Burton Have Been Poor
Burton haven’t had things anywhere near as good as their opponents so far this season; stats of 8-3-10 is just about good enough for 15th spot. They have 27 points on the board, leaving them seven better than the relegation zone. The heat is on to put some serious distance between themselves and the bottom four; however, we think a win or two between now and the New Year may just allow them to look upwards, rather than continually glancing over their shoulder.
The visitors make this trip having lost three of their last four; they ended empty-handed against last weekend when going down to Fleetwood Town on the road; this was due to an Evans penalty early in the second-half – ultimately making the difference. That stretched the victors run to six games unbeaten in League One; however, it piled more weight on a Burton side. They finished the match with 45% possession and only three shots on target. The away day won’t receive too much attention, even with William Hill handing out 5/1.