Sunderland v Luton
Here are our top Jan 12 League One betting tips – and we start with Sunderland v Luton. The game of the day goes at the Stadium of Light as title challengers Sunderland and Luton go head-to-head in what promises to be a thrilling encounter. On paper both sides are playing for no more than three points; however, the value of the win is worth much more, gifting the chance to take a massive stride towards securing a return to the Championship while putting a dent in the chances of a major rival. Sunderland line-up for game 26 of their season with a record showing 14 wins, nine draws and just two defeats. That leaves them third in the pile; having said that, they have a game in hand over the two above them in the pecking order and have six points to find to match the pace of leaders Portsmouth.
Sunderland has lost the fewest number of games in League One so far this season; however, their progress has been stunted by a run of draws and a failure to kill teams off from a winning position. The Black Cats are unbeaten in four but have finished level in two of their last four, including a 1-1 in London last time out when visiting Charlton. O’Neil gave Sunderland the lead inside two minutes that day, but their advantage was cut-out by an own-goal from James early in the second half, pushing a dangerous corner past his own goalkeeper. It was a tough one for fans to take but came as no real surprise to those loyal to the cause.
Hatters Travel With Hope
Luton is one point and one place better off than their opponents before kick-off and take heart from the fact they carry in an unbeaten run. Without defeat in five, the visitors rhymed off three wins on the bounce before taking two points from the last six available to them. Unfortunate, as a perfect five-game run looked well within their reach; however, everyone in the away dressing room will fancy their chances of getting back to winning ways as soon as possible and will know, despite Sunderland’s form, this is a match there for the taking.
The Hatters started the year with a goalless draw at home to Barnsley and couldn’t find a way past Sheffield Wednesday when matched with The Owls in FA Cup action a week ago. Marked as outsiders with bookmakers before a ball had been kicked, Luton proved they wouldn’t be out of their depth in the Championship when matching Wednesday stride-for-stride, forcing a Third Round replay. Nathan Jones spoke to the press at full-time and told fans he thought it a deserved draw on the back of an even game. The performance would’ve added further confidence to his ranks.
Back a Low Scoring Game
This will be the second meeting of these sides this season following an entertaining 1-1 draw in the reverse leg at Kenilworth Road back in the summer. Maja broke the deadlock that day on the stroke of half-time but, again, Sunderland were unable to hold on and fell foul of a Pearson equaliser midway through the second period. Another draw will be difficult to ignore at 12/5 – top price when getting your stake money down at Bet365. Sunderland is 7/5 favourites with Coral, the away win a tempting 12/5 (Bet365).
A strong case could be made for all three of the match betting prices; however, this looks too difficult to call and we’d much rather avoid calling the winner and follow the stats. Luton has failed to hit the net in their two previous matches this year and we expect more of the same here with another low scoring match. Back no on the both teams to score coupon at evens with 888sport. Under 2.5 goals in the game should do a job in your accumulators at 4/5 (Ladbrokes).
Portsmouth v Blackpool
The other of our Jan 12 League One betting tips is Portsmouth v Blackpool. Victory in each of their last two games has helped Portsmouth strengthen their position at the top of League One and the current pace setters line-up for this clash with a record of 17 wins, six draws and three defeats. They did suffer one of those rare losses recently but were good enough to bounce back to winning ways as the earliest opportunity, following a 2-0 reverse at Gillingham with an emphatic 5-2 win over Fleetwood and a 2-1 at this venue when hosting lowly AFC Wimbledon on New Year’s Day.
Portsmouth fans also had an FA Cup victory to cheer last weekend when adding a run to the fourth round of the nation’s favourite knockout competition courtesy of a surprise win over Norwich City away from home. Written off by many experts before the start, the League One title favourites claimed a major scalp courtesy of a late goal from Andre Green who climbed off the bench to seal a dramatic match. Hanley was sent off on 15 minutes and that gave Pompey the advantage. They took their time to make it count but with 94 minutes on the clock, they stuck a goal to settle the tie, ruining accumulators across the country. Another win is 4/5 fav at Unibet and that’s our best bet.
Seasiders Stuck on a Miserable Run
Blackpool has underperformed for much of this season to date; however, they were particularly poor during the festive period and board the team bus for this trip having claimed just one point from the last 15 up for grabs. Three defeats on the bounce were temporarily halted when battling to a goalless draw away to struggling AFC Wimbledon. That did little to paper over the cracks and they fell back into bad habits with a 1-0 reverse at home to Sunderland last time.
Maja made the difference on 23 minutes to strengthen his employer’s promotion push while taking the wind from Blackpool’s sails. It was a result most would’ve expected before kick-off and there were no major surprises on the day. Blackpool also did as expected when falling at home to Arsenal in the FA Cup, a match that never got near an upset thanks to a double from Willock and third from Iwobi. The away day has been written off at 4/1 (888sport).