OptaJoke Betting Blog – Week 17

As the season draws to a close and most of the up and downs around the leagues become set in stone, there isn’t a great deal of value in a lot of teams. A lot of sides will now either be promoted or relegated, assured of a midtable finish or be in position to rest players as they have secured a play-off spot. That said there is still value in keeping a good run going into the end of a season or improving on a downward slope. As usual we are here to give you the best of the bets, the safer option this week is a double and the longer shot is a over 2.5 goals treble.

Middlesbrough to beat Doncaster

‘Boro have been on a great run of form in the last few weeks and are showing glimpses of the form that saw them named amongst the favourites for the Championship title back in August. They are comfortable in 15th but that hasn’t stopped them from dispatching Hull, Coventry and Cardiff in their last 3 games, the later of which was a particularly eye catching performance. They have only lost 1 game in their last 11 and it’s a shame that a poor start to the season handicapped their potential for achieving more this time around, but with Scott McDonald and Julio Arca in good form they will hope to get the three points at The Keepmoat Stadium.

They visit Doncaster Rovers who are without a win in 11 games, they are now safe from the threat of relegation as the other teams are too far adrift. Their squad isn’t the biggest and now the burden of potential relegation is out of the way for this season some younger players may get an opportunity to make an impact. Rovers have a particularly leaky defence which has seen them on the end of some big scorelines this season, they have conceded a rather sizeable 78 goals and with Billy Sharp the only player in double figures going forward things were never going to end well. Although neither of these teams has anything left to play for I think the visitors will want to continue their good run of form into the end of the season and may have too much for a Doncaster side who just can’t buy a win, away win for me.

Southampton v Walsall

Saints sit top of the League One form table having won their last 5 consecutive games and 8 of their last 9. After a disappointing start to the campaign they have hit form at exactly the right time. They have racked up an impressive 41 goals scored at home this season with only 12 conceded, an impressive tally in any league. With no worry of play-off games looming over them there could be no desire to make wholesale changes by Martin Atkins but if he does decided to change things Southamptons squad is far superior to that of most of the teams at this level and they will still be a dangerous proposition.

Walsall visit St Mary’s needing a positive result and hoping that Dagenham and Redbridge don’t outdo them. Although they managed a morale boosting victory over Charlton last time out I just think this may be a step too far and the fact that they have to try and get a result will play into the hands of a Saints side who have scored goals for fun over the last couple of months. The visitors record against the top 6 this season has been pretty poor, winning only one game and losing 8 of their previous encounters with sides that now sit in a play-off place. This one is only going one way in my opinion and that is a home win.

This double pays around 2/1 with most firms.

Over 2.5 goals treble:

Fulham v Liverpool

Fulham come into this one off the back of two consecutive 3-0 victories, and have only failed to find the net in an impressive 18% of their games at Craven Cottage this season. They face a Liverpool side who are also in a rich vein of attacking form with their last 4 games seeing them score 12 times. Maxi is proving a handy threat from midfield notching 4 in his last 2 games and the impact of Suarez and Carroll will continue to improve as the weeks go on. I think this one could be a good game and wouldn’t like to call the result but I see goals.

Stoke v Arsenal

This is exactly the kind of game Arsenal don’t like the look of on the fixture list, Stoke will bombard the Gunners arielly at every opportunity and with a makeshift Arsenal defence likely to be missing John Djourou The Potters will fancy their chances. Stoke have been solid at The Britannnia stadium this season with 9 wins and 4 draws. Arsenal will be smarting after seeing their title hopes dented and will want to get back on track and I can see both teams finding the net at least once here.

Burnley v Cardiff

The home side have been solid on their own turf this year, averaging 68% of their games going over the 2.5 goals mark at Turf Moor. Although they have managed to score 39 goals this year they have also conceded more, 29 to be exact and with the visit of Cardiff we could be in for high scoring affair. The Bluebirds will want to get some form back after thier blip against ‘Boro earlier in the week and will always pose an attacking threat. They have won their last 3 home games and even if they decide to rest players we could see some goals in this one.

This treble returns around 6/1

As always, good luck and gamble responsibly

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