West Brom v Birmingham
The first of our March 30 Championship betting tips is for West Brom v Birmingham. Domestic football returns following the international break and the Championship weekend gets going with this Friday night clash that’ll be shown live on Sky Sports. The Baggies have home advantage and aim for the win needed to keep alive their faint hopes of automatic promotion. They start the round seven points behind Sheffield United in second but are unbeaten in three and have won each of their last two, so can pile on the pressure, at least overnight. Fourth is looking like the lowest they will finish this term and that assurance allows them to go and challenge for major honours without fear. The home win is good enough for us at 3/4 with Unibet.
Low in Confidence
Birmingham are more than capable of spoiling the party and will set-up aiming to do just that, but they don’t have as much to play for as their hosts, and they can be found kicking their heels down in 18th. The Blues are five points better than the relegation zone, which will keep them switched on between now and the finish line, but they are easy to oppose on the back of four defeats in-a-row. Confidence is low in the camp and the pressure will be on to stamp out the individual errors that have cost them dear already this year. The draw trades 11/4 – top price at Bet365 – the same firm will give you 10/3 if you rate the chances of an away win.
Aston Villa v Blackburn
Villa looked down and out and it appeared they would roll to a stop this season following an uninspiring run of form, but they have rescued their promotion campaign thanks to an extended run of wins and go into the weekend sitting sixth. 14 wins, 15 draws and nine defeats has them on 57 points, one off Middlesbrough in fifth and only three better than Nottingham Forest down in 11th. It’s shaping up to be a thrilling finish to the year with any two from seven in with a realistic chance of landing a play-off spot. Did we expect anything different from the most competitive division in the country? The locals are 8/13 favourites with most firms, including Coral.
Sit Back and Enjoy the Game
Blackburn can afford to let their guard down and enjoy playing football between now and the finish. They’ll go nowhere near the promotion play-off picture and are far enough ahead of the relegation zone to ensure there will be no worries. They’re pre-season aim was to beat the drop and secure a mid-table finish and that’s exactly what they’ll achieve, rolling to a stop. Blackburn have managed just one win in their last five, losing three of four, and that makes them easy to go against. We do just that and avoid the urge to snap at the 9/2 about an away win offered by Bet365.
Sheff Utd v Bristol City
This looks like a great chance for Sheffield United to crank up the pressure on leaders Norwich City who aren’t in action until later in the day. The Blades set-up on the back of a three-game winning run and have won four and drawn one of their five most recent goes. They go in just four points behind the pace of The Canaries and can cut that to one and see how their rivals for the title react in the evening game shown live on Sky Sports. Sheff Utd are 8/11 at Bet365 and that will do a job in our weekend accumulators.
A Winless Run
Bristol City are one of the sides in the mix for an extended season through the play-offs and they start the weekend in ninth. 15 wins, 10 draws and 11 defeats has them on 55 points, two behind Aston Villa and the top-six. They aren’t making headlines like some of the teams around them in the pecking order, but Bristol are picking up points and going about their work. They are stuck on a winless run, however, and that puts us off backing them as the pressure begins to mount. The away day isn’t for us, even at the 21/5 you’ll get when betting with Coral.
Leeds v Millwall
This has all the ingredients of a cracker as Leeds United and Millwall battle it out on the pitch for three valuable Championship points. The home side need the win to keep alive their hopes of gaining automatic promotion to the Premier League. They aren’t in a position to turn their noses up at the play-offs but, if given the choice, they’d much prefer a top-two finish that would allow them to avoid the lottery of extra games. Leeds won three on the trot recently but did lose last time out and that has them five off leaders Norwich and one behind Sheffield United. They are expected to bounce back at 8/15 with Coral. One for your weekend accumulators.
Millwall fans haven’t had things as good as those in the opposing stands but they do need the points just as much as the home crowd as they find themselves involved in a murky relegation dog fight. The Lions make this trip from The Den having lost four of their last five and that has dragged them down towards danger. They did score a win in the spare on their last start to move out of the bottom three and they now must battle to drive through the ranks. Another maximum would certainly see them achieve that, but on form alone we can’t back them. Traders have the away day at 13/2 – top price with Bet365.
Middlesbrough v Norwich
The last of our March 30 Championship betting tips is for Middlesbrough v Norwich. It’s the game of the day in the Championship and the TV schedulers look to have picked well as they have chosen to screen this one live on Sky Sports from 5.30pm. An increased audience is expected to be in their seats well before kick-off as we get a look at how serious Norwich are of winning the title and going up to the Premier League as champions, as well as Boro’s chances of being involved in play-off football. The home side started the weekend in fifth but are winless in their last four and have lost each of their last three. That left them a point better than Preston in seventh and with the pressure rising, fans are beginning to worry. A draw would help them stop the rot but that has been written off by bookies who offer the level finish at 9/4 (Bet365). The home win is unlikely, according to traders, chalked up at 9/5 by the same firm.
Top of the Tree
23 wins, nine draws and six defeats has Norwich top of the league and looking like a side well on their way to playing Premier League football. They strengthened their cause with a run of wins and the 78 points on the board has them four better than Sheffield United and five above Leeds United heading towards the weekend. Every win moves them closer to the finish line, but they must continue their form if they are to reach the flag without feeling the pressure. While teams around them are dropping points, The Canaries have been solid and that will make all the difference. The away win is favourite with all major firms and customers of Bet365 can get their hands on a decent 6/4 if putting their trust in Norwich. It promises to be a competitive contest, but their class should shine through in the end and we’re happy to take a punt.