AFC Wimbledon v Barnsley
So, the first of our January 19 League One betting tips is AFC Wimbledon v Barnsley. Despite being tipped by many to enjoy a strong season and push for promotion, time is now against AFC Wimbledon as they attempt to keep their place in League One. A record of six wins and five draws against an alarming 16 defeats has them bottom of the pile on 23 points; they are five off Bristol Rovers and safety. There’s still plenty of football to be played and the troubles of those around them mean AFC Wimbledon have every chance of beating the drop. However, they must get their act together quickly if they are to give themselves the best chance of survival.
No win in three certainly didn’t help matters and the locals have drawn two and lost one in that uninspiring trio. They started the year with a 2-1 reverse to title-chasing Portsmouth at Fratton Park – a result that was to be expected. However, they rallied to beat Fleetwood Town 3-2 in the FA Cup next time out, securing a place in the fourth round of the competition. A 1-1 draw away to Coventry is a result that deserves our respect; the Jervis opener inside two minutes was eventually cancelled out by Thomas on the hour mark. There’s no doubt Wimbledon are moving in the right direction; if they continue to pick-up points, especially away from home, they should be safe.
Pushing for Promotion
While their opponents have been struggling, Barnsley finds themselves in the thick of a promotion push with every chance of forcing a rise to the Championship. The visitors make this trip showing stats of 14-7-5 and they are enjoying the confidence that comes with a stunning unbeaten run; their last five are made up of four wins and a draw. They are now just four points behind Luton in second but eight off the pace set by Portsmouth. Still, plenty to aim at, that’s for sure.
The spare draw in their last five came when being held to a goalless finish away to Luton on 1 January. However, they had no trouble getting back on track, handing out a 3-0 beating when back in front of their own fans last weekend. Brown broke the deadlock on 28 minutes and that was followed by strikes from Moore on 38 and Mowatt deep into stoppage-time. It was a miserable afternoon for the beaten side who saw Chicksen sent off at the death. Another maximum pay-out is expected by many, including bookmakers.
Back the Away Day
Although this should be a little closer than the league table suggests, we do rate the chances of Barnsley and expect them to come through this match unscathed and clutching all three points. There’s real confidence in the dressing room and that will make all the difference as this game enters the latter stages. Back the away day in your accumulators at 5/6 with Bet365 but be careful who you trust as some firms are as short as 17/20 on the same outcome.
Fancy the upset? It’s not for us but we can see why some punters may find the value in backing AFC Wimbledon at home, especially as bookies are offering a generous 17/5. That’s a touch bigger than we expected to find and will catch the eye of a few on the hunt for a plucky underdog. The draw is there to be shot at if you’re stuck on the fence, 5/2 going with 888sport.
Oxford v Portsmouth
The other of our January 19 League One betting tips is Oxford v Portsmouth. Oxford faces the unenviable task of trying to take points from league leaders Portsmouth; however, there are a few crumbs of comfort for the locals. They enjoy the backing of loyal support; they’re on their own patch and Pompey have lost half of their last four and arrive on the back of a defeat. Oxford United are down in the relegation zone, having taken just two points from the last 15 that was available to them. The team lost three on the bounce but were able to collect a rare point last time when holding on for a draw vs Fleetwood Town.
The score that day was 2-2. Fleetwood goals from Burns and Madden – put them 2-0 in front; however, they were cancelled out by late replies from Henry and Mackie. A stunning fightback but, on the balance of play, it was nothing more than they deserved. That result means Oxford have finished level in each of their last two in all competitions and they would surely welcome another share of the spoils here, bookies offering 12/5 – top price at Bet365 for the draw. The home win is 21/10 with the same firm.
Support the Visitors
Portsmouth is betting favourites to win this match and they deserve to be on the back of what has already been a fantastic season for the club. Their record reads 17 wins and six draws against four defeats and that has them out in front; they are top of the tree and four points ahead of nearest rivals Luton Town who continue to nip away at their heels. The visitors won back-to-back matches against Fleetwood and Wimbledon before knocking Norwich out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 cheer.
The club then handed a 2-0 beating to Southend in the EFL Trophy on 8 January to continue their adventure; however, they lost to Blackpool at Fratton Park last weekend to mark a return to league action. Chris Long scored the only goal of the game on 74 minutes; that made the difference in what was an evenly fought out contest with chances going begging at either end. Portsmouth will know they missed a real chance to extend their lead at the top; however, they will be confident they have the character to bounce back. Take the away win in addition to the accumulator of the day at a tempting 5/4 with 888Sport. That’s good enough to hold our interest. However, those after more can back a win to nil as a super single, available at 11/4 with the same online bookie.