1:26pm, Fri 16th Nov 2012
With a three point lead, a game in hand over their closest rival and the best goal-difference in the table Newport County must wonder what they are doing wrong to not get recognition from punters. Yes of course itâ€™s the bookmakers that set the title prices but it is a case of supply and demand and The Exiles remain friendless in the market. Justin Edinburghâ€™s team are a best price of 13/2 to win the title with us and that will also pay out on each-way bets at a quarter of that price if they finish in the top three. A home fixture over Hyde sees them as the joint-shortest priced favourites of the weekend to gain three points and stay at the summit. Edinburghâ€™s side are just 1/2 to maintain a 100% record in matches against teams in the bottom eight (six matches, six wins so far). Hyde are one place off the bottom of the table, but could be described as being in good form of late. Just four defeats in their last ten league games has given them a glimmer of hope and has closed the gap to their survival rivals. Their only away win of the season came at Cambridge United a couple of weeks ago and Scott McNivenâ€™s team are rated as the 5/1 outsiders to win at Rodney Parade. If Hyde do produce that shock win then Grimsby Town could go to the top of the table with a win over Braintree Town at Blundell Park. Grimsby are the other 1/2 favourites in this round of fixtures and couldnâ€™t be playing the Essex outfit at a better time. Alan Devonshireâ€™s team crashed out of the FA Cup in midweek as Tranmere swept them aside at the Amlin Stadium. On top of the defeat the Braintree boss also lost key personnel to injuries and some tired legs might still be present in the visitorsâ€™ line-up here. With The Mariners averaging exactly two goals per game at home it could pay to speculate on them beating a -1 goal handicap at a price of 6/4.
Back-to-back wins have propelled Forest Green Rovers into third place in the table, a sequence that followed a disastrous spell of four defeats on the bounce. Dave Hockadayâ€™s team travel to Barrow for a weekend fixture which has them priced at 4/5 to make it a hat-trick of league victories. Barrow came through their FA Cup replay with Guiseley in midweek and could be another side feeling the effects of two games in a short space of time. For that reason a home win is offered at a best price of 3/1. Wrexham, along with Mansfield Town, will be competing in their 200th regular season game at this level on Saturday. That (unwanted) milestone will be ticked-off with a visit from Gateshead. Andy Morrellâ€™s side are priced at 4/5 to win at home in the league for the first time since early October. Gateshead saw their long unbeaten league run come to an end at Braintree last weekend and are 3/1 to bounce back here. A Â£25 bet on Dartford to win each of their 18 games this season would have set you back Â£450 in stake money by now â€“ but would have also returned you a whopping Â£411.75p in clear profit! (based on best prices available). That particular figure was boosted last week with their excellent win at Luton Town. Tony Burmanâ€™s team sit in that all-important fifth place as they prepare to take on Southport at Princes Park. A home win is the clear 4/6 favourite and one look at the table tells you why. As last seasonâ€™s surprise package Liam Watsonâ€™s team were an outside shout for the play-offs until they dropped away late on. Their start to this season sees them in the bottom half of the table looking to avoid a relegation battle. Although they are close enough to the teams around them to be not too worried yet. Defeat could see them end the weekend in the bottom four, and they are priced as 10/3 outsiders to win the game.
Luton Town have suffered defeats in their last two league matches and will look to avoid a third on a difficult trip to Mansfield Town on Sunday afternoon. The Stags may not be hitting the predicted heights of their pre-season title price but there is not much wrong with their league form at their One Call Stadium. If you ignore the 4-3 defeat to Newport on the opening day of the season the next 720 minutes of home football for Paul Coxâ€™s side has seen them concede just two goals â€“ going hand-in-hand with an eight match unbeaten sequence on their own patch. The Stags are the narrow 11/8 favourites to give a welcome boost to their promotion credentials and at the same time close up the gap on one of their rivals for those honours to just four points (with a game in hand too). The Hatters are offered at 7/4 to halt their mini league slump. Macclesfield Town face an important week for their promotion chances with two home games in the space of four days. The first of those sees Ebbsfleet United visit Moss Rose. A home win is priced as short as 4/6 whilst a win for the Kent side is on offer at 7/2.
Two in-form sides meet at Sincil Bank as FA Cup heroes Lincoln City and Hereford United face-off for three crucial league points. Momentum will be key for both sides and they could cancel each other out but a win for the away team at 7/4 looks like a touch of value. With home advantage Lincoln are the 5/4 favourites. Elsewhere draw specialists AFC Telford United and Kidderminster Harriers meet at the New Bucks Head where itâ€™s just 11/5 that they end with a point apiece. Stockport County travel to bottom side Nuneaton Town priced at 7/5 to take advantage of weary home bodies after a midweek cup exit. Tamworth have undone a lot of good work from earlier in the season with a poor run of form. Marcus Lawâ€™s team havenâ€™t found the net in any of their last four matches and have drifted to 9/4 to win at Cambridge United. The Uâ€™s are the Evens favourites to follow up last weekâ€™s win over Macclesfield. Woking are one of ten home favourites in the weekend BSBP schedule at 21/20 to overcome visitors Alfreton Town.
Alanâ€™s Best Weekend Treble:
FOREST GREEN ROVERS to win at Barrow
HEREFORD UNITED to win at Lincoln City
STOCKPORT COUNTY to win at Nuneaton Town
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