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Football Betting: Week Two

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 03/08/2005

IN Week Two of Football Betting we turn our attention to the top of League Two. The bookies quite rightly have placed big-spending Northampton and Wycombe as the two sides who are - on paper - most likely to win the division.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Beat the Bookies > Week 2

Those two have made the most impressive signings of the summer and have set their stalls out for automatic promotion. However, League Two is wide open, and neither team in my opinion represents value for money.

From a betting point of view the most important point about League Two is that with so many changes having taken place during the summer at a lot of clubs, the previous season's form does not always count for a lot (Scunthorpe last year were a prime example).

This is particularly true of the smaller or less wealthy clubs who did well last season but have lost a lot of their better players.

At this stage of the season the bookies tend to over-rely on last season's final league placings when drawing up their books. Or so I believe.

Therefore my opinion is that the best value lies in betting on a "small" team who did well last season not repeating their success, or a "big" team who underachieved last year going one stage better.

To me the best example of the first type of club is Lincoln, who reached the Play-Offs last year, but have seen many of their best players leave in the summer. The likes of Yeo, Taylor-Fletcher and Futcher have all departed from Sincil Bank over the summer months.

There are several in the underachieving category including Grimsby and their first two opponents Oxford and Bristol Rovers. Personally I am holding off backing Town until after their first three games, the third of which is away at Chester. Taking my fans' hat off and putting my betting hat on I would expect the odds to have - on average - lengthened on Town after the first three relatively tough games.

Therefore right this minute betting on Lincoln to do less well than is expected by the bookies is my value bet. I have chosen a spread betting index as my preferred way of expressing this bet. IG Index's League Two 60 Index (1st 60, 2nd 40, 3rd 30, 4th 25, 5th 20, 6th 15, 7th 10, 8th 5) has the following prices. I have also put in brackets the fixed odd prices to win the league from out of interest.

Northampton 23-26 (6/1)
Wycombe 21-24 (7/1)
Peterborough 15-18 (12/1)
Wrexham 14-17 (9/1)
Lincoln City 13-16 (16/1)
Darlington 10-13 (10/1)
Torquay 10-13 (14/1)
Macclesfield 8-11 (14/1)
Bristol Rovers 7-10 (20/1)
Oxford Utd 7-10 (14/1)
Barnet 6-9 (25/1)
Leyton Orient 6-9 (20/1)
Boston Utd 6-9 (16/1)
Rochdale 5-8 (25/1)
Notts County 3-6 (25/1)
Carlisle 3-6 (20/1)
Mansfield 3-6 (33/1)
Chester 4-7 (33/1)
Stockport 2-4 (25/1)
Grimsby 2-4 (25/1)
Cheltenham 1-3 (25/1)
Bury 1-3 (50/1)
Shrewsbury 1-3 (66/1)
Rushden & D'monds 1-3 (80/1)

My intention was to put £10 on my chosen bet each week. With most spread bets this is rather hard to do, so with this particular bet I have chosen to sell Lincoln at £2 per point. This means if they finish out of the top 8 I will win £26. If Lincoln finish 6th or above I will lose money; the higher the Imps finish the more I lose. If Lincoln win the League I will lose £74. In practice I will probably sell this bet before that happens and cut my losses - the "beauty" of spread betting.

Sell Lincoln

Previous Bets

27/07Rushden to get relegated5/2

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