Wednesday, May 06, 2009

'Best Bet Special' - 1st Leg Play-Off Betting Tips with Betfair

Hello and welcome to a 'special' edition of my guest blog, previewing this weekend's 1st leg play-off fixtures, and in particular looking at The Championship as four teams fight it out for that lucrative final promotion place, that will ultimately take them to the 'promise land' - The Premier League.

Drama, nerves and excitement are guaranteed but hopefully I can also try and win you some cash with my 'best bet' tips.

Last time out I correctly predicted two home wins and two draws in my sections list so here’s hoping for more correct football predictions this week.

Preston North End v Sheff United

Friday 8th May KO 19.45 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Going into the final 45 minutes of the season Alan Irvine’s Preston were still outside the play-off places. But a Sean St-Ledger header against QPR coupled with Sheffield Wednesday’s defeat of Cardiff saw the Lilywhites sneak through in dramatic style, at the expense of The Bluebirds. Kevin Blackwell’s Blades still held hopes of automatic promotion on the last day, but with Birmingham ending the campaign with a win they had to be content with a play-off spot.

Current Match odds:

Preston 13/8   Sheff Utd 2/1 Draw 12/5

Preston 1-0 15/2 2-0 13/1 2-1 11/1 3-0 37/1

Sheff U 0-1  8/1 0-2 16/1 1-2 12/1 0-3 47/1

Draw 0-0 9/1 1-1 6/1 2-2 18/1

My ‘best bet’ prediction:

Tight, passionate and tense – all the attributes we expect from the play-offs. Preston know they need to take some sort of result over the Pennines' for the 2nd leg, and they have been in good form at Deepdale recently. Because of that I am going for a narrow home win.
Preston 1-0 win @ 15/2 

Burnley v Reading

Saturday 9th May KO 17.20 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Burnley’s mammoth season continues – this will be their 59th game of a campaign, which has also included a journey to the FA Cup fifth round and the semi-final of the Carling Cup. Standing in their way is Steve Coppell’s Reading. Pre-season favourites for automatic promotion the Royals will be disappointed to have finished 4th, as they now face the lottery of the play-offs. However with last year’s final day relegation still fresh in the memory, they will be hungry and determined to make a return to the Premier League at the first attempt.     

Current Match odds:

Burnley 6/4 Reading 2/1 Draw 5/2      

Burnley 1-0 15/2 2-0 13/1 2-1 10/1 3-0 33/1

Reading 0-1  17/2 0-2 17/1 1-2 12/1 0-3 45/1

Draw 0-0 9/1 1-1 6/1 2-2 17/1

My ‘best bet’ prediction:

Burnley are a tough proposition at Turf Moor, and despite their long season they are showing no apparent signs of fatigue. I think they will take a valuable lead to the Madejski Stadium for the 2nd leg.
Burnley 2-1 win @ 10/1

The Best Of The Rest:
Eight other teams face off this week in the race to earn promotion from Leagues One and Two. 

Here are my predictions:

Home win:
Thursday 7th May KO 19.45 Rochdale v Gillingham

Away win:
Friday 8th Mat KO 19.45 Scunthorpe v MK Dons

Saturday 9th May KO 12.45 Millwall v Leeds
Thursday 7th May KO 19.45 Shrewsbury v Bury

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