Leeds v Bolton
The first of our Feb 23 Championship betting tips is for Leeds v Bolton. Leeds United continue in their bid for an overdue return to the Premier League when setting up against struggling Bolton on Saturday afternoon in a 3.00pm kick-off. The home side are 18-7-7 following last week’s win and the 61 points on the board has them third in line, level on points with Sheffield United in second and just two behind pace-setters Norwich. A top-six finish now looks all but guaranteed but they’ll be eager to snatch a spot in the best two, taking advantage of the automatic promotion, avoiding the drama that comes with involvement in the play-offs. The home win has been sent out as 2/9 favourite by the traders at Bet365. One for stacked accas.
Fighting for a Future
Bolton can be found fighting for their futures in the second-tier of English football and went into the week placed 23rd, only Ipswich worse off. 19 defeats from 33 matches has done the damage so far and only time will tell if that’s irreparable. They have their fair share of worries but take heart from the fact Reading and safety is currently just three points ahead, with plenty of football still to be played.
Bolton have managed only six wins this season but did grab one of them in their penultimate go. They fell back into bad habits last time, going down 4-0 to a rampant Norwich who are in the hunt for silverware. Well beaten, not a lot could be said for the losing side, other than it was a result that was expected. Bolton are unlikely to attract attention, even at a jaw-dropping 16/1 with Ladbrokes, the draw 5/1 when betting through Unibet. Take a home win to nil at a decent 4/6 (Bet365).
Middlesbrough v QPR
A run of draws seems to have cost Boro their chance at winning the Championship title this season, stats sitting at 14-12-6, but they are in with a shout of bagging an extended season and coming up to the Premier League through the play-offs. The Smoggies have won two and drawn two of their five most recent outings and were on the right side of the result last time when beating Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Sunday in what was a nervy affair.
Williams was shown a straight red card for the beaten side on 45 minutes, following a goal from Assombalonga on 19. With a first-half lead and man advantage a second-45 attack was expected. It didn’t materialise and, at the whistle, it proved it wasn’t needed. Another three points for Middlesborough is 3/4 at Unibet.
A Losing Run
Queens Park Rangers are stuck on a miserable losing run and that has dragged them down to 18th in the Championship. The Hoops looked destined for a midtable finish this season, but they’ll be lucky to get anywhere near that after a woeful run that has dragged them dangerously close to the relegation zone.
They should have enough about them to avoid the drop with Rotherham 10 points behind but that will come as little consolation to fans who are set for another uninspiring campaign that has thrown up more questions than answers. QPR were beaten by Bristol City when last in league action and their FA Cup dreams were crushed when eliminated by Watford, the Premier League side nicking a 1-0. There’s nothing to get excited about here and we make Boro’s short price more value than QPR’s 4/1 (888sport).
Norwich v Bristol City
This one should be interesting as two ambitious, confident sides go toe-to-toe. Norwich have been thoroughly impressive so far this year and have catapulted themselves into contention for the Championship title. 18-9-6 has The Canaries top of the tree, two better than Sheffield United in second.
They’ve collected 10 points from the last 15 available and banked a maximum last time when beating Bolton 4-0 at the Macron. Pukki scored a double that day, added to by Stiepermann and Buendia, three of those goals coming before the interval. Bookies expect more of the same here and punters eager to stick with Norwich and back them with their hard-earned cash should do so at Coral where they’ll get a punchy even money.
On the Way Up?
An eye-catching winning run has pushed Bristol City into the promotion play-off picture and if they can maintain their recent form there’s no reason why they won’t go close to forcing a dramatic rise to the main league. Bristol have won each of their last five, leaving them with eight to find to match Sheff Utd in second.
A bridge too far? It looks that way, but they have more to worry about in behind as Derby are only two points off their tail in seventh with The Rams having experience of what it takes to make it at this level of football. City beat QPR 2-1 recently and will command the respect of punters again here. The away win is a tasty 3/1 with Bet365. That’s better than it should be, but we’re on both teams to score at 7/10 (Coral). Worth a spot in your accumulators.
West Brom v Sheff Utd
The last of our Feb 23 Championship betting tips is for West Browm v Sheff Utd. West Brom, another side who will see themselves playing Premier League football again in the summer and another who could do it without the lottery of involvement in the play-offs. The Baggies have won 16 of their first 32, leaving them fourth in the pile and within touching distance of the best two, Sheff Utd just four points away at the time of checking. Unbeaten in three, they won last time weekend when beating Aston Villa 2-0 at Villa Park, a result achieved thanks to goals from Robson-Kanu and Rodriguez, just four minutes between each of the two strikes. A real morale-boost for the team and another Brom win is yours at 888sport’s 7/5.
The Blades continued their strong form with a win over Reading at home on 16 February, smashing their way to a stunning 4-0 success. Freeman had the ball in the net inside 60 seconds and that set the pace for the afternoon, that strike added to by goals from Fleck and a Mandine double. A real show of strength, victorious manager Chris Wilder heaped praise on his double goal scorer, explaining he hadn’t played a lot of football but will act as a healthy addition to the team. Sheff Utd to win is 21/10 at Bet365 and that’s market best price, most of the competition stuck around the 15/8 mark. We’re sitting on the fence and will, again, have our stake down on both teams to score at Coral’s 4/6.
More to Aim At
It’s worth noting when looking to land a profit in this match that both to score would’ve been a winner when the sides met in the reverse of this fixture back in December, West Brom nicking a 2-1. It would’ve also been paid out for a profit in each of the last three ties and that’s a trend we think is well worth sticking with.
Those looking for a bit more for their money should know West Brom have won each of their last two with Sheff Utd and haven’t lost to The Blades since 2007. Keep your stakes low if you’re on more of the same and back both teams to score in a West Brom victory, a bet that catches our attention at 7/2 – top price through Bet365. That should help keep things interesting if you plan on following the live coverage.