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Match Previews

SkyBet League Two betting preview

24 April 2015

Burton Albion v Northampton Town

Sky Bet League 2 leaders Burton could wrap up the title this weekend if they can beat Northampton and second-placed Shrewsbury fail to win their game. Albion are 4/5 favourites to pick up all three points and should be confident of doing so having won seven of their last 10 games and drawing the other three. They also won the corresponding fixture earlier in the season 2-1 and a repeat scoreline can be backed at 15/2. The Cobblers, who are 100/30 for victory and 5/2 to draw, could still make the play-offs but they trail seventh-placed Plymouth by four points with just two games to play. They have scored in six of their last seven matches so this could be a high-scoring affair. Burton pair Stuart Beavon and Adam McGurk are both 9/2 to score first and 5/4 to net anytime while 18-goal Northampton striker Marc Richards is 6/1 and 7/4 in the respective markets.

Top Tip: Over 2.5 goals at 10/11.

Bury v AFC Wimbledon

Bury’s automatic promotion hopes suffered a huge setback when they were beaten by Southend, who leapfrogged them into fourth, on Tuesday night in front of a bumper crowd at Gigg Lane. The Shakers, still two points behind third-placed Wycombe, are 1/2 to bounce back with a much-needed victory against an AFC Wimbledon side with nothing but pride on the line. Bury had gone into Tuesday’s clash on the back of seven wins from eight games, conceding just three goals in the process, so it’s understandable why this weekend’s visitors are priced as big as 11/2 to claim victory and 3/1 to take a point. AFC Wimbledon are on six-match winless streak and have only found the net four times in that run so a Bury win to nil at 11/8 could be well backed. Bury’s Danny Nardiello is 7/2 to score first and 10/11 to net anytime while opposition striker Adebayo Akinfenwa is 8/1 and 11/4.

Top Tip: One or both teams not to score at 8/11.

Cheltenham Town v Shrewsbury Town

A crucial match at both ends of the table takes place at Whadden Road where relegation battlers Cheltenham host title hopefuls Shrewsbury. Although the visitors aren’t promoted yet, they lead fourth-placed Southend by five points with two games to go so their focus will also be trying to stay in touch with leaders Burton, who are two points clear. The Shrews are therefore favourites at 3/4 for victory although this won’t be an easy clash considering Cheltenham are fighting for their lives in pursuit of third-bottom Hartlepool, who are just one point better off. The hosts are 7/2 to claim a precious win and 5/2 to take what would be a creditable point but six defeats and one win in their last seven means form is against them. James Collins has netted 15 goals in League Two this season so he’s 4/1 favourite to score first and evens to strike anytime while Shaun Harrad of Cheltenham is 7/1 and 12/5 in the respective markets.

Top Tip: James Collins to score first at 4/1.

Dagenham & Redbridge v Accrington Stanley

Dagenham & Redbridge are 11/8 favourites to win their mid-table battle with Accrington on Saturday as both sides begin to look forward to the summer. The Daggers head into this clash in 14th – three places and three points above Stanley – and on the back of a patchy run of form, while their opponents have drawn their last three games. The visitors are 19/10 to claim victory and 23/10 to be involved in a fourth straight draw. Dagenham won the reverse victory 2-1 and a repeat scoreline is 17/2. Jamie Cureton is 9/2 favourite to score first and 5/4 to net anytime while Accrington’s Terry Gornell is 13/2 and 2/1 in the respective markets.

Top Tip: Back the draw at 23/10.

Hartlepool United v Exeter City

Hartlepool are in desperate need of the points as they chase League Two survival and they can be backed at 11/10 to beat out-of-form Exeter at home on Saturday. The hosts, who hold a slender one-point lead over second-bottom Cheltenham, have drawn two and lost three of their last five games but fortunately for them, Exeter come into this clash on the back of three straight defeats which have almost ended their hopes of reaching the play-offs. The visitors are 23/10 to bounce back with a victory and the same price to earn a draw which wouldn’t do much to ease the nerves of Hartlepool fans. They can take confidence from winning the reverse fixture 2-1 back in October and a repeat scoreline is 8/1. Jordan Hugill is 5/1 to net first and 11/8 to score anytime while Exeter’s Tom Nichols, who has 15 goals to his name in the division this season, is 6/1 and 7/4 respectively.

Top Tip: Tom Nichols to score anytime at 7/4.

Mansfield Town v Portsmouth

Mansfield fans can enjoy their final home game of the season knowing relegation this season is impossible and their side can be backed at 6/4 for victory over Portsmouth. Both teams head into this fixture on poor runs of form. The hosts have lost six of their last seven although they did beat struggling bottom club Tranmere, while Pompey, who are 17/10 to win on Saturday and 23/10 to draw, have suffered three straight defeats, scoring just one goal. The previous meeting between the sides this season was 1-1 and a repeat scoreline is 5/1. Portsmouth’s Matt Tubbs is 5/1 to score first and 11/8 to net anytime while Mansfield’s Vadaine Oliver is 11/2 and 6/4 in the same respective markets.

Top Tip: Draw and under 2.5 goals at 3/1

Oxford United v Cambridge United

Both sides are safe in mid-table as the season winds down with the hosts favoured here with Sky Bet at even money. That’s no great surprise as Michael Appleton’s men arrive on the back of an impressive 3-0 away win at Tranmere that left their manager purring. They have been racking up the draws lately but are unbeaten in six games now. The visitors are four points behind Oxford and can be backed at 5/2 after they secured their status for next season by beating Mansfield 3-1. They have been a bit inconsistent but can relax now and were big winners in the reverse fixture last October 5-1. This could well be entertaining but a draw could be a satisfactory outcome for both sides.

Top Tip: Back the draw at 12/5

Plymouth Argyle v Tranmere Rovers

The Pilgrims are still battling for a berth in the play-offs and are a short price here with Sky Bet at 4/6 to get the better of bottom club Tranmere. Their hopes of extending the season hit a bump in the road with a 2-0 defeat at Carlisle and manager John Sheridan will be keen to see his side show a positive response. Tranmere remain rooted to the foot of the table but can still pull themselves out of trouble and are 18/5 with Sky Bet for a crucial three points. They have parted company with boss Micky Adams since their last game and how they respond to that departure will be key to any hopes they have. A fresh approach in the short term has often seen sides produce a change in form and an improved showing from the visitors could make the draw with Sky Bet worth a value play.

Top Tip: Back the draw at 11/4

Southend United v Luton Town

Fourth plays eighth here in one of the key League 2 fixtures of the weekend. For Southend, two wins from two games are likely to be necessary if they’re to have a chance of securing automatic promotion, and something similar may be needed from Luton if they’re to pass either Plymouth or Stevenage and secure a play-off spot. The Shrimpers boast a solid home record but goals have been in short supply. Remarkably for a side chasing promotion, only five teams have scored fewer home goals this season than Southend; however, none have a better defensive record so they know all about how to grind out a win-to-nil. Interestingly, while Luton score plenty at home they do struggle for goals on their travels – only the division’s bottom three sides have scored fewer away goals. All of this points to a bet on under 2.5 at 4/6. There were only two in the reverse, both scored by Luton, and with so much at stake this could be tense from the outset. The form table has Southend top with six wins in six, all of which have been to nil, and 15/8 that they add another doesn’t look a bad price. If Luton are to pull off an upset you sense it won’t be by far so 11/2 that they win by one goal is the most tempting price for those wishing to support the away side.

Top tip: Under 2.5 goals at 4/6.

Stevenage v Carlisle United

A win for Stevenage would secure them a place in the play-offs and Sky Bet think they are likely to achieve that aim and make them 4/7 for three points. They are now unbeaten in six games following a gritty 1-0 victory against Portsmouth which could have been more comfortable if they had
converted some of their chances. Carlisle ensured that they will again be in League Two next season by beating Plymouth last week 2-0 and they are 9/2 to follow-up with Sky Bet. They are unbeaten in three games and are finishing the season strongly – the draw can be backed at 14/5. With both sides in good form, it might be worth an adventurous shilling on both teams scoring in both halves of the game at a meaty 20/1.

Top tip: Both teams to score in both halves at 20/1.

Wycombe Wanderers v Morecambe

Back-to-back defeats have ended Morecambe’s fine tilt at the play-offs, so if this game is decided on incentive alone then Wycombe will justify Sky Bet’s 1/2 quote. The Chairboys know that two more wins will virtually guarantee their automatic promotion to League 1 and their last two home games have ended in 2-1 victories, albeit the most recent required a late Paul Hayes penalty. However, it’s home form which has cost them a run at the title – Wycombe are top of the away table – so with that and Morecambe’s solid record on the road in mind the price about a home win looks short enough. With four goals in 10, defender Alfie Mawson might offer some value to find the net once more for the hosts but the best bet is both teams to score at evens. The reverse fixture ended 3-1 to Wycombe and while they may well win, their defensive record at Adams Park hints that the visitors might get chances.

Top Tip: Both teams to score at even-money.

York City v Newport County

Four consecutive defeats have sadly dented Newport’s play-off hopes, with two teams now ahead of them to pass and a poor goal difference further undermining their cause. They’ve enjoyed a much more successful season than York, but it looks likely that both sides will remain in League 2 for another year. The Minstermen were leading the reverse fixture 1-0 before having a man sent off, after which they conceded three times without adding to their tally, and four wins in six suggest they’re in the sort of form to serve it up to Newport once more. The visitors simply have to go into all-out attack mode given their situation, which makes a score draw an interesting option at 3/1. However, the recent form of these sides makes a bet on York to win and both teams to score the most tempting proposition here as Newport’s brilliant campaign may end in ultimate disappointment.

Top tip: York to win and both teams to score at 4/1.

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