This week sees the first midweek action of the EFL season with two teams putting their 100 per cent records on the line. Lincoln and Blackpool proudly sit at the top of League One with nine points taken from a possible nine. Both sides are away from home on Tuesday night as the Imps travel to MK Dons while a trip to Gillingham awaits Blackpool. Charlie Mullan picks out some of the best bets available from the midweek matches.
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BTTS and over 2.5 goals between Sheffield Wednesday and Luton @ 5/4
Luton (16/5) have taken one point from their first three matches since returning to the second tier of English football as they try to get used to the step up from League One. Their first game in the Championship since the 2006/07 season, saw them snatch a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Middlesbrough. That set the tone for their next two games as the goals flowed at both ends with a total of 12 scored – the most in the Championship. Since then, the Hatters have lost 2-1 – at Cardiff and at home to West Brom on Saturday to make it three games in a row with at least three goals scored.
Luton are 13/2 with SportPesa to bag their first win of the season with goals for both them and the Owls who are 53/20 to win with both sides scoring. A score draw is trading at 16/5. Wednesday (10/11) have scored in both halves in two of their three league games so far and they are 2/1 to score either side of half-time against the newly promoted side. Wednesday are also 9/2 to win both haves which they managed to do against Reading and Barnsley.
BTTS between Swindon v Northampton, Forest Green v Port Vale and Rochdale v Sunderland
Northampton’s 2-1 defeat at home to Macclesfield was their second successive game in which both teams scored, while at the same time on Saturday afternoon, Swindon (1/1) salvaged a point in a 1-1 draw at Exeter to make it back-to-back games in which the Robins and their opponents found the back of the net. The point helped move Town to the top of the League Two table and their home game with the Cobblers (57/20) could well see both teams scoring.
In nine of the last 10 meetings, both sides have netted including the last four. Swindon are 3/1 to win with at least one goal for them and Northampton who are 13/2 to win with goals for both sides. Both meetings last season ended 1-1 and a 1-1 draw this time is trading at 9/2 with a score draw of any kind available at 33/10. Last season, Northampton were involved in 30 league games where both teams scored.
Forest Green (41/20) were second on that list of games in which BTTS happened in League Two with it happening in 29 of their 46 fixtures. And their first away game of this season suggests this could be a similar season where BTTS happens a many of their games. In their first away game at Walsall, they let a 1-0 lead slip with four minutes to go in a 1-1 draw. Port Vale (7/5) have drawn all three of their games so far this season 1-1 scoring first in each of them. They are 20/23 to score first in this fixture with another 1-1 draw trading with SportPesa at 17/4. Vale are 15/4 to win with both teams scoring while Rovers are 19/4 to win with goals for both sides.
After just three league games, Jack Ross must be thinking this season is on course to have a similar narrative of last season when Sunderland (20/21) were involved in 33 games where both they and their opposition found the net. Three games in this term and both teams have scored in all three of the Black Cats’ games including their 2-1 win over Portsmouth on Saturday. The Stadium of Light side have only played Rochdale (29/10) twice before and there were goals for both sides in those fixtures also as Sunderland won 4-1 at home and 2-1 at Spotland last season. Two of Dale’s opening three matches have ended with goals for both teams and Rochdale are 25/4 to win with both teams to score while Sunderland are 57/20 to win with goals for both sides. A score draw is trading at 33/10.
Over 2.5 goals between Oldham v Exeter, MK Dons v Lincoln and Southend v Peterborough
Exeter (8/5) have started the season unbeaten in their first three games with two wins and a draw. And they will fancy their chances against an Oldham (33/20) side that is still searching for their first point of the season. The Latics’ have conceded the first goal in all three while Exeter have scored the first goal in all three of their matches. Oldham are 1/1 to break that trend and open the scoring while Exeter are 20/21 to get the game’s first goal.
Games involving Exeter have only produced a total of four goals and all four have been netted in the final 18 minutes. Four of the six goals conceded by Oldham have come in the first half and the Grecians will be hoping they don’t have to wait as long for their first goal. Exeter to win in a game with at least three total goals or more is trading at 9/2 with SportPesa while the Latics are 7/2 to win with at least three goals scored.
MK Dons (33/20) host Lincoln (33/20) with the home side having played just twice in the league compared to Lincoln’s three. Their match with Bury was postponed which should make them fresher than the Imps who have started the season with three wins from three. Saturday’s 4-0 win at home to Southend was their third successive game in which they have kept a clean sheet and they are 9/5 to register a fourth at Milton Keynes. The Dons lost their last league game 3-2 which should make their fixture with Lincoln a certainty for goals. The home side are 15/4 to win with over 2.5 goals scored while Lincoln are also 15/4 to win with at least three goals scored. A score draw is available at 13/1.
Southend (11/5) will be grateful that both Bolton and Bury were handed a points deduction of 12 points before the season started. And it is because of those punishments that the Shrimpers are not currently bottom of League One after losing all three of their matches. Their last two games Southend (11/5) have played have seen a total of eight goals scored, but only one was netted by one of their players in a 3-1 defeat at home to Blackpool.
Peterborough (5/4) have been involved in two games with over 3.5 goals scored including Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to Ipswich. Southend will take heart from the fact that four of the six goals Posh have conceded have come in the opening 13 minutes. The Shrimpers, who are 17/4 to win with over 2.5 total goals, are 5/4 to score the first goal while Peterborough are 37/20 to net the opening goal. The visitors are also 5/2 to win the game with at least three goals scored.