Leeds v West Brom
The first of our March 2 Championship betting tips is for Leeds v West Brom. The weekend gets started at Elland Road as Leeds United take on West Brom in a match shown live on Sky Sports. We fully expect this fixture to impress in front of a sizeable audience as both teams aim to boost their chances of grabbing a place in the Premier League next season. At this stage of the campaign, there’s no reason why either side won’t rate their chances of gaining promotion. Leeds have dropped to third in the table, but a win here would lift them back to the summit with leaders Norwich just two points better off at last count. Leeds United have won each of their last two going into the week and a third is 5/4 favourite, top price at Bet365. That’ll do for us.
All to Play For
West Brom lost last weekend and that rare defeat pulled them down to fourth in the pecking order, four points behind their hosts and four off Sheff Utd and the top two automatic promotion places. The Baggies are in the mix for a prize finish this season and they already look to have done enough to ensure they end in the play-offs at least. They lost at The Hawthorns to fellow challengers Sheff Utd last Saturday, undone by a strike from Dowell on 14 minutes, Darren Moore crediting The Blades for getting the goal that won what he thought was a very tight match. The away win is 9/4 at 888sport, the draw 13/5, best at Bet365.
Aston Villa v Derby
Aston Villa is stuck in midtable and playing like a side who fully deserve to be there. They have drawn three of their last five at the start of the week, losing the other two. Three points from 15 will worry everyone connected to Villa Park but the eight points difference between themselves and the promotion play-off places suggests there’s still something worth fighting for. If the home side can go on a run of wins, they will put pressure on the top six, but they must act now. Oddsmakers have Aston Villa as favourites for the win with Unibet’s 11/10 the general idea. We’ll take another draw at an attractive 12/5 with the same bookie.
A Bad Run of Form
Derby’s recent form hasn’t been any better and they have drawn one and lost two of their last three, managing just one win in five. The Rams remain within touching distance of an extended season, however, sitting two points off Bristol City in sixth at the time of writing. That puts pressure on the visitors to make a quick-fire return to winning ways and keep their season competitive before time runs out. The Championship remains one of the most competitive divisions in Europe and Derby will find themselves drifting towards midtable if they don’t act fast. The away day is 12/5 with Bet365 and that’s difficult to ignore.
Hull v Birmingham
Hull is another midtable side who are going nowhere fast. The Tigers have turned their season around to ease the threat of relegation that was hanging over them in the early exchanges, but a lack of consistency means they will stroll to an uninspiring midtable finish, which will go down as a disappointment for fans who know their club deserve better at this level. The hosts have won one of five and taken just a point from the last nine available. We can’t trust them with our stake money until seeing serious improvement and there’s no joy in backing Hull as 5/4 (Bet365) favourites.
Birmingham started the week in ninth but have kept pace with the major places so far and find themselves within six points of the play-off spots. Plenty of work still to be done but The Blues have time of their side and if they can turn draws into wins, they will go close. Birmingham has lost one of their last five but had to settle for a draw last weekend. The form of both sides says this one is destined for another level finish and we’ll take the clues and back a draw at 23/10 (Bet365), a better bet than the away win at 9/4 (Unibet).
Ipswich v Reading
Ipswich is on a three-match unbeaten run but that’s the best we can say about The Tractor Boys who look destined to be relegated to League One. Their stats so far read three wins and 12 draws against 19 defeats, 21 points leaving them nine behind Reading and safety. They’re not down yet but we don’t expect them to turn their season around between now and the flag. Ipswich has drawn each of their last three and another share is 9/4, top price at Bet365. Ignore the home win at 9/5 with 888sport. There’s not enough of a price there.
A Tough Season
If Reading win this they can tick off one of the three sides below them in the pecking order, meaning It’ll be between themselves, Rotherham and Bolton to avoid relegation. The Royals have been poor this season, by their own standards, but a strong finish will allow them to keep their place in the division and plan for recovery next term. Reading has drawn three and won one of five and although we expect they’d see the value in another level finish, we’re having an away win in our betting tips, priced 8/5 jolly at 888sport.
Rotherham v Blackburn
Another side battling for their future at this level and Rotherham have won five, drawn 15 and lost 14 following last weekend’s share. They believe making themselves difficult to beat is the best way to avoid a place in the bottom three and have taken five points from the last 15 on the table which, for a side in the bottom three, isn’t a bad haul. Five draws on the bounce prove what they’re about and another here would go down as a decent result. Are they good enough to get it? We can’t bring ourselves to go against the trends and will back the draw at a cracking 23/10 with Bet365. That makes much more sense than risking your cash on the 17/10 available with the same firm about Rotherham securing a rare win.
Stick with Form
Blackburn is hot favourites with the bookies to take this match and it’s obvious why. Rovers are no world beaters themselves, but they have held their own at this level since moving up from League One and, at this point, look capable of a top-half finish with Preston in 10th just three points ahead. They were stuck on a woeful run of defeats as they slipped down the ranks but drew last time and that leaps off the page at us, given the form of their opponent. Blackburn is 8/5 favourites at Ladbrokes but there’s nowhere near enough value in that to tempt us into a bet. Stick with the form and go for a draw.
Swansea v Bolton
The last of our March 2 Championship betting tips is for Swansea v Bolton. Swansea has struggled to come to terms with the Championship this season and won’t live up to expectations, but they look to have a free shot at three points when hosting lowly Bolton, a side on-track to be relegated. The Swans have lost their last two, but we’ll support them here at 8/15 with Ladbrokes. One for your accumulators.
A Losing Streak
Bolton is second bottom of the division and has lost four of their last five and each of their last two. They aren’t relegated just yet but have shown us nothing this year to suggest a turnaround in fortunes is fast approaching. We can’t back them for an away win, even at 11/2 (Bet365).