Football fans cheering in stadium at night

Written by Cornermanden. The author’s opinions and predictions are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Unibet. Odds and details may change between the time of writing and when placing a bet – always check before betting.

Only 10 rounds remain of this League One season, so still there’s plenty to play for. Here’s a look ahead to what we have in store this weekend in the 3rd tier of English football, and my betting tips for League One round 36.

The Draw Specialists
Exeter City – Lincoln City

Two Cities go toe to toe when Exeter City, who had midweek off, host Lincoln City, who were on the road in the midweek and now have to prepare for another away game. After Exeter lost their manager Matt Taylor to Rotherham, Gary Caldwell has seen the team become a bit less “sparkly” offensively, and a bit more robust defensively. This means that Exeter are involved in fewer open games than before, which in other words means that the games are settled on lower margins, meaning that draws are more likely to occur.

One of my (and some other bettor’s) biggest flaws is the opposite of the “hot hand fallacy” (which describes our tendency to believe that a successful run of form or streak is likely to lead to further success), which is that I always fear that a streak will end at some time, and that this may well be the day. There’s no logic behind that, but I just feel that way and hate betting on teams who have x number of wins in a row, for example. When we consider that Lincoln have played out 18 draws of 34 matches, it’s incredibly interesting to see them priced at 3.40 to get a draw at Exeter. It’s almost worth a blind punt, just because of the extraordinary statistics.

Play Up Pompey
Portsmouth – Sheffield Wednesday

Portsmouth are looking sharper now than before John Mousinho took charge. He replaced Danny Cowley, who had his Pompey team playing quite dull and defensive football. Mousinho just retired as a player and was a good ball playing centre half for Oxford United, and is clearly very fond of a progressive style of play where his team are brave on the ball and play with freedom and confidence. They were well beaten by Barnsley on Tuesday, and were the poorer side when they got an undeserved win at Cambridge last Saturday.

Sheffield Wednesday are now next up for Pompey, a team who just keep winning games and conceding next to nothing in terms of chances and goals. Only three games have been lost for Wednesday this season, and the last time that happened was in the start of October when they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Plymouth. They are correct favourites, but 2.00 to beat a decent team at their own turf? Not for me.

My Bet of The Weekend
Oxford United – Derby County

Oxford United let their manager Karl Robinson go early last week, and are yet to replace him. That means that Craig Short is in charge of the team as caretaker until a more permanent solution is found. They lost to Lincoln City last week, but things are looking up for the U’s who created chances and were unlucky to fall to a defeat. Lincoln fans said that Oxford were one of the better teams to come to Sincil Bank this season, so that’s encouraging stuff for United.

Derby have had a monumental match load for the last weeks, with this being the team’s 8th game since the 11th of February. Meanwhile, Oxford have only played five games in this period, and have had the two last midweeks off, while Derby have played tough games. This is also County’s second away game in five games, which is a tough task for any team. 

Paul Warne’s team started their away record under his reign quite well, but since beating Cambridge and Accrington almost half a year ago, they’ve only beaten Port Vale, Cheltenham and MK Dons away from home. Defeats have come at the hands of teams like Plymouth, Barnsley, Wycombe and Ipswich, while drawing at Bolton, Burton and Morecambe. They don’t rotate much, so the demand on the same players to go again and perform is colossal. I don’t think this will be as straightforward for Derby as one might think, although a price of 1.95 suggests that they have an approximately 50 percent chance of winning. 

I’m going to lay Derby here, and back Oxford to get something in what might be their new manager’s first game in charge. Derby’s match load and away form and Oxford’s potential gives me a very strong belief that the market is wrong here, and that I’m tempted to say that we have the incorrect favourite in this game. This is a very, very good bet in my book. I’m backing Oxford to win or draw at 1.85 with Unibet.


These are my betting tips for League One round 36: