EFL Betting Tips: Four betting tips from across the EFL

By Matthew O'Regan

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2 February 2024

The EFL calendar has felt interrupted recently with the return of the FA Cup causing a backlog of games. However, this weekend presents a full schedule of games and on my debut piece I will preview four games across the three leagues. 

Norwich vs Coventry

Kick Off: 15:00

David Wagner has tended to divide opinion in Norfolk. On one hand, the Canaries are 10th and just three points off the playoffs after minimal summer spending. On the other hand, the football has often been lethargic and tedious, as well as defensively fragile. Jonathon Rowe and Gabriel Sara have been driving forces to Norwich’s current league position, scoring 17 goals between them. However, the former is potentially injured for Saturday’s affair – a big blow for the hosts.

Coventry on the other hand are flying after a slow start to the season that saw them win just one of their opening eight games. A 2-1 defeat at Ipswich was the Sky-blues only defeat in their last 16 games in all competitions. 

Mark Robin’s side currently sit in sixth place as they aim to atone for last season’s heartbreak at Wembley. Coventry’s shrewd transfer strategy has been a major reason for the resurgence, with Milan Van Ewijk, Tatsuhiro Sakamoto and Haji Wright particularly all impressing. 

Coventry are unbeaten in 12 games, including draws against promotion chasers Leeds and Southampton, alongside victories at Sunderland and Middlesbrough and at home to leaders Leicester. They look unbeatable at the moment, and odds of 2.06 for ‘draw no bet’ presents serious value. 

Prediction: Coventry Draw No Bet @ 2.06

Swansea vs Plymouth

Kick Off: 15:00

Two teams only separated by goal difference face off in South Wales as 16th place Swansea host 15th place Plymouth. 

After much-loved manager Russell Martin departed to recently relegated Southampton in the summer, Swansea acted quickly to secure the services of the much-touted Michael Duff from Barnsley. Things didn’t work out for the 46-year-old who was replaced by Notts County’s Luke Williams. 

Williams defeated League 2 Morecambe 2-0 in his first game in the FA Cup, before drawing 2-2 with Birmingham and losing 1-3 to Southampton. The next round of the cup saw a 5-0 defeat to AFC Bournemouth. The poor run continued, losing 3-1 to runaway leaders Leicester, meaning his five games have averaged 3.8 goals per game. 

His Magpies side were renowned for high-scoring games, with 20/26 of their League 2 games seeing over 2.5 goals before his departure. On top of this, 12/13 of their home games saw over 2.5 goals. The 42-year-old has inherited a Swansea side that has seen over 2.5 goals in 8/14 of their home games- including Williams sole home league game against Southampton and seven of their last eight in the Championship.

They host a Plymouth side with an identical record in their last seven, seeing over 2.5 goals in all bar one game. Argyle can share Swansea’s pain in losing an important manager, with Steven Schumacher leaving to divisional rivals Stoke. He was replaced by England u20 manager Ian Foster, with his four games averaging 3 goals per game.

Plymouth are blessed with attacking talent, with Morgan Whittaker (15 goals) and Ryan Hardie (10 goals) amongst the top scorers in the league. In fact, Argyle are the top scorers outside the top four, scoring 47 goals already.

However, their attacking philosophy has it’s drawbacks, with only Rotherham and Blackburn conceding more and Plymouth games averaging 3.35 goals. 

Both sides are in the top three for ‘over 2.5 goals’ so a cracking encounter is expected. 

Prediction: Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.72

Oxford vs Reading

Kick Off: 12:30

The League 1 selection comes in the Thames Valley Derby as Oxford host Reading. 

Despite looking shoe-ins for promotion earlier in the season, Oxford now have a fight on to even secure play-offs after a dismal run of form since manager Liam Manning departed for Bristol City. 

He was replaced by lifelong Oxford fan Des Buckingham who swapped Mumbai for Oxfordshire. However, it has not been a happy reunion for the 38-year-old who is under great scrutiny and faces an uphill battle to keep his job. Buckingham has won just four of his 13 league games in charge and has seen his side slide down the table. 

Of his baker’s dozen matches in charge, nine have seen three or more goals. In 14 games at the Kassam Stadium, ten have seen three or more goals. 

Their rivals Reading are in dire straits off the pitch. Much protested owner Dai Yongge is destroying the club and it is worrying times for the Royals. 

On the pitch, things are not much better. Ruben Selles side currently occupy the relegation zone due to their points deductions. With Tom Holmes, Tom McIntyre and Nelson Abbey all departing, the fourth leakiest defensive in the league has got even weaker. 

Of their 13 away games, nine have seen over 2.5 goals. 

With two rivals fighting at opposite ends of the table in bad form, we should see an end-to-end game in Oxford. 

Prediction: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.77

Tranmere vs Crewe

Kick Off: 15:00

Tranmere have undergone a bit of a renaissance under Nigel Adkins, with Tranmere winning nine of his 20 league matches in charge, a run that has seen them steer clear of any relegation worries and presents hope for a late play-off push.

The Superwhites games have averaged 3.03 goals per game, with 45 goals scored and 43 conceded. A key component of this attacking prowess is Connor Jennings. The 32-year-old has nine goals and five assists this season. 

The last nine games at Prenton Park have seen three or more goals, making it 12/14 for the season. 

They host a Crewe side who have seen over 2.5 goals in 8/14 away from home, including their last three. With 55 goals scored, Lee Bells side boast the third best offensive record in the league – only Stockport and Notts County have scored more. In fact, Crewe games average a staggering 3.41 goals per game. 

Ex-Tranmere striker Elliott Nevitt has been in prolific form, scoring in his last three games which has taken his total to 10 for the season. 

With two in-form teams possessing an abundance of attacking talent, expect a high-scoring game on Merseyside.

Prediction: BTTS and over 2.5 goals @ 1.95

Recommended Bets

Back Coventry ‘draw no bet’ against Norwich @ 2.06
Back ‘Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals’ in Plymouth vs Swansea @ 1.72
Back ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ in Oxford vs Reading @ 1.72
Back ‘BTTS and over 2.5 goals’ in Tranmere vs Crewe @ 1.95

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