FOOTBALL BETTING: Live on SkySports2: Fri 19.45 & SkySports1: Sat 12.15: It’s playoffs time in League 1; Swindon v Charlton followed by Huddersfield v Millwall.
No team in League One lost fewer matches than Swindon and Charlton, who both suffered only eight defeats across a 46-game campaign and as the pair shared the spoils in both of their encounters this season, you can barely slip a cigarette paper between them ahead of their play-off semi-final double-header, which gets under way at the County Ground on Friday evening.
Most firms make the Addicks favourites to make it to Wembley but 888Sport are unable to separate the teams, chalking 5/6 against both and that’s a quote worth taking when it comes to Phil Parkinson’s men.
Charlton have form on their side, having won four of their last seven and the two defeats suffered in that sequence have forgivably come against champions Norwich and an excellent Southampton side. Swindon, by contrast have just one win in their last six, hitting a sticky patch at precisely the wrong time.
The Robins, at 11/8 with Victor Chandler to win the home leg, desperately need to a lead back to the Valley but it’s Charlton that can put themselves in the box seat; they’re 21/10 (Paddy Power) to come out on top.
For the less convinced, Betfred rate the Addicks at 8/13 when giving them a head start in the handicaps but the more ambitious should tackle bet365’s 4/1 for Parkinson’s men to nick it by one-goal while, in a potentially open clash that is set to produce three or more goals (11/10, William Hill), 888Sport’s 12/1 for a 2-1 away win catches the eye.
At the Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield entertain Millwall and just like they did in the league a month ago, the Terriers can get the better of the Lions. Strong at home, Town look overpriced at 11/8 (Stan James) but they will struggle to prevail by a substantial margin and Kenny Jackett’s men look the better bet in terms of qualification, at 8/11 with Paddy Power, although punters may prefer to wait until the outcome of the first leg as Millwall’s odds to reach the final will increase should they lose.