Wembley Stadium hosts all three Football League Play off Finals this bank holiday weekend and it is worth noting that the league sponsors Sky Bet are offering a free £10 in-play bet on all three matches, if you place a pre-match bet on that game >>>>
League 2 Play Off Final – Southend v Wycombe
Saturday 23rd May / 5.30pm
|Matt McClure (ew)||First Goalscorer||8/1||Bet365|
|Paul Hayes (ew)||First Goalscorer||13/2||Bet365|
|Yes||Both Teams To Score||39/40||BetVictor|
|Over 2.5||Total Goals||4/6||Sky Bet|
Many consider this an even contest, as both sides finished on 84 points this season, but the bookmakers regard Wycombe as slight favourites here – the Chairboys beat Southend 4-1 win at Adams Park in December and drew 2-2 at Roots Hall in March.
In that 4-1 victory Matt McClure scored twice, and he should be backed each-way to score the first goal here at a best price of 8/1 with Bet365, while Wycombe’s top scorer, Paul Hayes, should also be backed to score first at 13/2 with Bet365 – he has scored 15 goals this season, eight more than any of his team mates, and scored the first goal in both legs of Wycombe’s semi-final wins against Plymouth.
Although the Shrimpers have not beaten Wycombe in any of their last four meetings (D2, L2), they did score in all four of those games, so back both teams to score again at 39/40 with BetVictor and take best odds of 4/6 with Sky Bet on ‘Over 2.5 Goals’.
League 1 Play Off Final – Preston v Swindon
Sunday 24th May / 5.30pm
|Over 2.5||Total Goals||11/10||BetVictor|
|Preston North End||To Win To Nil||13/5||BetVictor|
|Jermaine Beckford||First Goalscorer||6/1||Ladbrokes|
|Ben Gladwin (ew)||First Goalscorer||10/1||Bet365|
|John Swift||Anytime Goalscorer||9/2||Sky Bet|
We can also see plenty of goals in Sunday’s final. Swindon especially have been both scoring and leaking goals of late, highlighted by that epic second leg 5-5 encounter with Sheffield United in their play off semi-final.
So, let’s start by backing ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ at stand-out odds of 11/10 with BetVictor.
But it is worth remembering that Preston (who finished 10 points above Swindon) have won their last four games without conceding, including a 3-0 win over Swindon a month ago, so have a saver on the Lilywhites to win ‘to nil’ at 13/5 with BetVictor.
Preston have an experienced squad with many having played at the top level. Former Everton striker Jermaine Beckford scored three of North End’s four goals in their play-off semi-final wins over Chesterfield, including a 50-yard strike in the second leg – let’s back him to score first here at a stand-out 6/1 with Ladbrokes.
Swindon’s league goals have mostly come from strikers Michael Smith (15) and Andy Williams (21) this season, but Ben Gladwin scored 10 from midfield for the Robins, including the first two goals in that remarkable 5-5 playoff semi-final. At the prices, we’ll back Gladwin each-way to score the first goal at 10/1 with Bet365, who pay 1/3 odds for the ‘place’ in this market – if your player scores at any time in the game.
Finally, we also suggest backing another Robins midfielder, John Swift (on-loan from Chelsea), to score a goal at any time in the game at best odds of 9/2 with Sky Bet.
Championship Play Off – Norwich v Middlesbrough
Monday 25th May / 3pm
|Middlesbrough||To Win The Playoffs||11/10||Sky Bet|
|Under 2.5||Total Goals||11/8||BetVictor|
|Patrick Bamford||First Goalscorer||6/1||BetVictor|
|Cameron Jerome||Anytime Goalscorer||11/5||BetVictor|
Bookmakers make Norwich (who finished 1 point ahead of Boro) slight favourites to be playing in the Premier League next season, but this looks sure to be a close affair and with so much at stake it wouldn’t surprise us if this game ended in a draw after 90 minutes. Therefore, we suggest backing the stalemate with Bet365 at 23/10.
In fact, we are slightly surprised that Middlesbrough are not favourites, given that they beat Norwich 4-0 and 1-0 this season – and that recent 1-0 win at Carrow Road was much more convincing than that scoreline suggests. We mentioned before the first leg of the semi-finals that Boro were the best value and that still looks to be the case, with Sky Bet offering them at odds of 11/10 to be promoted.
Boro play a defensive 4-2-3-1 formation, and they both scored and conceded the fewest goals of any of the top eight Championship sides this season – indeed they had the best defensive record in the division, conceding just 37 goals in 46 games.
Meanwhile, only Boro and champions Bournemouth conceded fewer than Norwich (48) this season and so, unlike the other two play-off finals, we fancy a low scoring affair here and you can back ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ at a huge looking 11/8 with BetVictor.
Let’s also go for the 1-1 draw at 5/1 and back Patrick Bamford (17 goals in 39 games for Boro) to score the first goal at 6/1, while Cameron Jerome (20 goals this season for the Canaries) can get on the score sheet too at odds of 11/5 – all with BetVictor who are offering to refund losing bets up to £10 on this game, if it goes to penalties.