As announced, here's the unofficial pick for tomorrow - I'll be taking the bet for one point, so for as much as I take the outsider bets for during the 2nd half of the season. Here's the full staking list:
advised bank: 60 points
unofficial long-term bets: 1 point
unofficial asian handicap bets*: 1 point (*such as this one)
unofficial outsider bets: 0.25 point
official asian handicap bets (Oct-Dec): 2 points
official outsider bets (Oct-Dec): 0.5 point
official asian handicap bets (Jan-May): 4 points
official outsider bets (Jan-May): 1 point
1 October 2016
National League: (0) DAG & RED - Tranmere (min. odds: 1.65) 1 point
No, not every bet I take and advise this season will be on John Still's Daggers, but if you ask me, they're significantly underrated by the bookmakers ahead of their home clash with fellow promotion hopefuls Tranmere. Daggers are the second best home team in the league with five wins (and a one-off 0:2 defeat to Boreham Wood earlier this month) in six home games so far (only Aldershot have a better home record at the moment with five wins and a draw), they've scored as many as eleven and conceded only two goals in these six home games and, as they've conceded both goals in the same game, each one of their five home wins was also coupled with a clean sheet (3:0 vs Southport, 1:0 vs Lincoln, 3:0 vs Wrexham, 2:0 vs Dover, 2:0 vs North Ferriby), they've won both home games against top-nine teams so far (1:0 vs 5th Lincoln in mid-August, 2:0 vs 8th Dover in mid-September) and also all four games since that shock 0:2 home defeat to Boreham Wood (5:2 at Solihull, 2:0 vs Dover, 2:0 vs North Ferriby, 3:1 at Bromley). I've written quite a lot about them in the unofficial long-term bet preview. I don't think Still is going to mess with the winning team, which means we'll probably see Justham between the sticks; Widdowson, Doe, Staunton and Raymond at the back; Robinson and Boucaud in the middle of the park and an excellent trio of Maguire-Drew, Whitely and Okenabirhie behind the league's top scorer Hawkins (ten goals so far) who's scored at least once (and up to three) in each of the last four games, with the likes of Benson, Howell and Assombalonga waiting for their respective chance from the bench. That's a very good team and, let's not forget, a great manager in legendary John Still who's proved many times so far he knows what he's doing - especially at this level.
Tranmere are currently managed by caretaker boss Carden and the new manager most probably won't be in charge of the team even if he is announced before-kick off (which is very unlikely). Carden's won his only game in charge so far (3:1 at home vs Woking) using a new formation (442 instead of the 433 which was what Brabin prefered), but the away game at Dag & Red should prove to be a much tougher task than the home game with Woking. Tranmere have only won two away games so far (2:0 at 20th Bromley on the opening day of the season, 1:0 at 10th Boreham Wood ten days after that, so a month and a half ago), they're now without a win in their last four away games (1:1 at Southport, 1:3 at Aldershot, 0:0 at York, 0:1 at Sutton), failed to score in the last two, they actually have one of the worst away attacks in the league at the moment with only five goals scored in six away games so far, they've lost their only away game played at a top-nine team so far (1:3 at 7th Aldershot earlier this month) and will be missing three key players (striker Connor Jennings who was Wrexham's top scorer last season and midfielder Harris who's only missed a few games since joining last summer are both still injured, while versatile midfielder/left-back Hughes is still suspended) and a couple of very important wingers, Mekki and Kirby, who are both still out injured as well (of these five players, only Kirby has a chance of making it). They did sign midfielder Osborne on loan from Fleetwood earlier today and that's still an excellent team for this level of football (Carden will most probably go with last weekend's winning team, so Davies between the sticks; Sutton, McNulty, Ihiekwe and Ridehalgh at the back; Steve Jennings and Maynard in the middle of the park; new signings Tollitt and Almond on the flanks; Cook and Norwood up front), especially in the final third, but Tranmere did fail to score in three consecutive games prior to the Woking home win, two of which were on the road, and those unavailable players, three of which are key first-choice players, will definitely be missed. All things considered, anything better than 1.65 for this draw-no-bet (we get our money back in case of a draw) looks great to me.
current best odds:
1.82 with Marathon...
1.80 with Coral (dnb)...
1.75 with Betfair (dnb), Sportingbet (dnb)...
1.73 with Pinnacle, Bet365, Ladbrokes (dnb), Skybet (dnb), Unibet, Will Hill (dnb)...