BETTING COLUMN BY SEAMUS O’CONCHUR
We don’t know if it’s been the same for other punters around the country, but it’s been a frustrating enough start to the season. The extent of this can be seen in the changes in the outright market, where Sligo Rovers are as big as 8/1 with Bet 365 to claim the league title.
Last Friday’s narrow defeat in Tallaght has caused many to write off any lingering chances that the Bit O’Red had of getting to the top and staying there, while quotes of 13/2 about Dundalk will amuse many Bohs fans who saw them run out of ideas against our well-drilled defence in Oriel last Friday night.
That Dundalk are shorter than Sligo for the league might be as good a guide as any in betting tonight’s games, where a contrarian approach can pay dividends. First up let’s deal with the televised fixture between league champions St Pat’s and the above-mentioned Lilywhites.
We hit the target last week advising both teams to score in our own game against the Louth side and in the familiar surroundings of Richmond Park, it seems inconceivable that the Saints won’t find the net. They won the league without Keith Fahey and as much as he often provides the x-factor in close games, they have enough to get past Dundalk in this spot and bring in juicy quotes of 6/5 (Bet 365).
Sligo head north to face Roddy’s Derry, and although a punt on Sligo at 11/8 (Boyles) might feel like a shot in the dark for some, the pedigree of their squad compared to Derry’s is hard to ignore. All is not well in Candystripe nation and having already been beaten at home by Cork City this season, the home advantage they have enjoyed over the years doesn’t look like much of a factor this season. Sligo have the players to break down what is being seen by most as a very defensive Derry outfit, so the away win here would come as no surprise.
Closer to home now, and as far as Bohs fans are concerned, the goals have been flying in all season so far. The opposition tonight though, in the shape of Bray Wanderers, are a side against which we’ve already kept a clean sheet this season. 3,4,4,2 is the pattern of goals per game so far for us this season and although we don’t read anything into small sample sizes, it’s a fair bet that Owen Heary will want to tighten up at the back and try to keep the door closed having conceded two against Drogheda, three against Rovers, and one last week against Dundalk.
A clean sheet tonight would be an obvious improvement from a defence that was very competent away from home last week. Marginal preference is for Both Teams To Score – No at evens with Powers, but we wouldn’t put anyone off backing under 2.5 goals at 20/21 with Betdaq.
St Pat’s Athletic, 1pt 6/5 (Bet 365)
Sligo Rovers, 1pt 11/8 (Boyles)
Bohs-Bray Both Teams to Score – No, 1pt evens (Powers)