Fresh on the back of a terrific start to my tipping journey at the Odds Bible, today sees the introduction of the Football League to my picks. Here is a summary of last weekend's Premier League picks and results.
Double @ 3.70 CORRECT - Southampton v Chelsea BTTS, Crystal Palace WIN
Huddersfield WIN @ 2.75 CORRECT
Spurs WIN and BTTS 4.33 WRONG
Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal @ 7.50 WRONG
Newcastle 2-1 Arsenal @ 13.00 CORRECT
So onto today's action...
Portsmouth Draw No Bet v Bradford (H) - @ 4/6 (SkyBet)
Another enormous game for Portsmouth in the context of their overall season, they are currently sitting in 7th, one point off the play-offs. With just four games remaining in Portsmouth's season, every point is vital from now until the conclusion of the campaign. While Bradford may occupy a mid-table spot, they have been plagued by a quite simply atrocious second half to their season, effectively a collapse of grand proportions. Bradford have picked up just one win in their last fifteen games, managing a draw on just three occasions. Perhaps even more worryingly, they have failed to score in six out of their last seven competitive fixtures. With Portsmouth currently performing well and unbeaten in six, in addition to the relative importance of this fixture, Portsmouth DNB looks a safe play.
Rochdale WIN v Oldham (A) - @ EVENS (Uni Bet)
As the relegation plot thickens, Oldham's visit to Rochdale looks set to be a fantastic spectacle with so much at stake, in abundance with the fact its a local derby. Rochdale currently sit just one point and one place behind Oldham (21st and 20th), both having played the same amount of games. Many pundits are surprised to see Keith Hill's side languishing so far down the league, and results over the last couple of months have exemplified this. With 19 points in their last 11 games, Rochdale have shown they are up for the fight, and notable recent wins against Shrewsbury and Peterborough have massively boosted their chances of avoiding relegation. In fairness to Oldham, they have also shown a great deal of fight in recent months, but their inability to convert draws into wins remains a concern, drawing their last three against beatable opposition. While Oldham have improved on the road slightly in recent times, their away form still makes for pretty bleak reading over the duration of the season. Home advantage will be key tonight, especially in a game of this magnitude, I'm backing Rochdale to secure an invaluable win.
Exeter WIN v Chesterfield (A) - @ EVENS (Bet365)
Once again, another crucial encounter in both the promotion and relegation reckoning, a key aspect of what makes this period of the season so consistently exhilarating to observe as a neutral. Chesterfield have endured a miserable campaign, a second successive relegation looks a very realistic eventuality. The only potential saving grace is the fact they've played two games less than both Barnet and Grimsby respectively. However, despite Chesterfield's need for points, they are struggling to make inroads on the points deficit, and I'm expecting Exeter to compound the misery for them this Tuesday evening. Chesterfield have suffered defeat in three out of their last four games, with two of them defeats coming against relegation rivals. Unfortunately they are struggling away from home on the big occasions, and tonight is another big occasion, Exeter will be eager to strengthen their claims for automatic promotion. Exeter have picked up four wins in their last six, but equally managed a fantastic 1-1 draw away to league leaders Accrington Stanley at the weekend. Exeter should be brimming with confidence from the off, and therefore looking to get on the front foot early doors, throwing Chesterfield's fragile mental resolve into question.
Lincoln v Wycombe DRAW @ 3.50 (BetVictor)
With automatic promotion and play-off places yet to be decided, here is another encounter to whet the appetite, taking into account the importance of the fixture for both sides. Lincoln sit outside the play-offs on goal difference, yet have two games in hand on Mansfield, while one game in hand on Coventry. Wycombe are positioned in the final automatic promotion spot with four points separating them from 4th and 5th placed Notts County and Exeter. They can consolidate their position with a win tonight, taking them a step closer to promotion. While the importance of a win for both sides can't be understated, avoiding defeat is also equally important, every point matters at this stage of the season. Both sides have demonstrated that they are stubborn and very tough to beat. Lincoln have lost at home just three times in the league, drawing on six occasions. Away visitors Wycombe are now nine games unbeaten on the road, an impressive feat (7 W, 2 D) in a competitive league such as this. I feel both sides will have the hunger, desire and determination to play out a very tight game with little impetus given either way, and as such I'm happy to take the value on a draw, where I anticipated a best price of around 3.25.
Words by David Huntingford