Gillingham v Portsmouth
Let’s look at the first of our Dec 26 League One betting tips – Gillingham v Portsmouth. Welcome to the heat of what promises to be a dramatic, action-packed Boxing Day. Gillingham fans welcome Portsmouth to town knowing bookies and experts have the away win picked. League One remains one of the most competitive divisions in English football because it refuses to follow a script; those loyal to the locals will take plenty of heart from that. It’s a division where upsets are the norm and it would come as no great surprise to see Gillingham get something out of this match. They are treading water in the bottom-half of the table; however, they are a side who appear to be heading in the right direction, taking seven points from nine recently.
Gills headed into December with a win over Slough Town in the FA Cup Second Round. This keeps alive their dreams of landing a big pay-out drawing a famous side. They took the confidence that comes from that to deal out a 2-0 beating to Scunthorpe United next time, winning away from home on 8 December. With team morale on the increase they again scored two when hosting Wycombe; however, they had to settle for a share of the spoils, strikes from Eaves and Parker cancelled out by El-Abd and Tyson. Wanderers took a 2-0 lead that afternoon; however, we saw from the fightback the spirit that remains in the Gillingham squad and fans will be hoping for more of the same here.
Pompey Living Up To Expectations
Portsmouth were picked as a side to follow by bookmakers back in pre-season. The odds-makers priced them as one of the leaders in the ante-post outright markets. They have certainly lived up to expectations so far; after finding their feet in the league last term, they now look determined to go on and win it. Portsmouth won 14 of their first 22 and set the pace with Luton and Sunderland clinging on to their coat tails. There’s plenty of football still to be played, but there can be little argument they are favourites for the flag.
The visitors also booked their place in Round Three of the FA Cup thanks to a hard-fought win over Rochdale away from home; the team managed to nick a 1-0 in a match that really could’ve gone either way. They followed that with a stunning 2-1 over Arsenal U21 in the EFL Trophy and smashed Southend 2-0 in the league. That momentum ended when beaten 2-1 at Fratton Park by Charlton in what was an upset for the formbook; they also had to make do with a 1-1 at Barnsley next time. Evans and Woodrow were the scorers and a draw at Oakwell seemed a fair result.
Back A Win To Nil
A flick through the most recent meetings of these sides tells us one team has won to nil in each of the last two encounters, as well as four of the most recent half-dozen. Portsmouth won 4-0 at Fratton Park earlier this year in the Football League Trophy; however, they were beaten 2-0 at the same venue on league duty. Back no from the both teams to score coupon at odds of 21/20 at Coral. Maybe add it to the accumulator of the day for an interest.
The head-to-head numbers show Portsmouth lead by a score of 19 wins to eight with seven games settled as a draw. That’s enough to catch our eye and we’re happy to have our stake money on the away win, with best odds of 3/4 at Unibet. Those after more can combine both bets and back Portsmouth to win to nil for a higher return of 11/5 at Ladbrokes. The stats suggest you won’t be too far off the mark if following that one.
Sunderland v Bradford
The next one of our Dec 26 League One betting tips focuses on Sunderland v Bradford. This promises to be a lively encounter; we’re confident both teams will show-up and put on a performance deserving of the occasion. We love nothing better than a packed fixture list; this match is a strong part of what will be a stunning Boxing Day of sport across the board. There’s plenty of football to enjoy as well as a busy horse racing schedule, including the much-anticipated renewal of the King George at Kempton.
However, let’s return to the Stadium of Light; Sunderland know a strong run of results over the festive period is crucial to their plans of getting out of this division. They are currently knocking on the door and will do everything in their power to get promotion without the need for play-off football. A top-two finish is their main aim. As such, at present, we’d have our money on Portsmouth and Sunderland going up.
The locals have been thoroughly impressive this winter. They scored a useful win over Bristol Rovers at this venue on 15 December, thanks to goals from Matthews and Maja. The former got their first just before half-time from the penalty spot and the team were able to build on that after the re-start; Maja knocked one home with 49 minutes on the clock. That was made all the more impressive by the fact Bristol Rovers had taken the lead through a Rodman goal early in the tie. The victors finished with 16 shots at goal but put only four of them on target and that’s something that must be addressed on the training pitch.
We’d put our money on a Sunderland victory – with odds of 6/10 at Coral.
Bradford Putting Up A Fight
Bradford were always going to struggle this term due to the transfer embargo that was placed on the team; they fell into line in the early exchanges, dragged to the bottom of the table following a nightmare start. The club have been performing better of late however and were able to clamber off 24th thanks to a run of improved form; recently they’ve taken seven points from a dozen. They are far from relegated yes and we make them a good bet to beat the drop.
The Bantams followed a draw vs Plymouth Argyle on the road with a 4-0 win over Walsall on 15 December. This result was achieved thanks to goals from Caddis, Doyle and a Ball double. It was a result very few predicted before kick-off; but the margin of victory and the points collected would’ve injected confidence into a side in need of a boost.