Weekend betting: Preston North End’s odds of victory at Brentford’s Griffin Park
32Red’s betting expert Jack Milner takes a look at the final weekend of the regular season and the race for a play-off berth in the Championship.
PNE ended their season at Deepdale with a frenetic 3-3 draw against Sheffield Wednesday, and head to Griffin Park to finish the season at Brentford on Sunday.
The hosts are 19/20 favourites with 32Red, PNE 3/1 and the draw 5/2.
With little left to play for bar pride I can see only one thing at the weekend – and that’s goals.
A score draw between the two sides looks the most obvious play and, at bigger prices, I like the 2-2 and 3-3 correct scores at 12/1 and 50/1 respectively.
For those expecting a PNE win then you can back them at 8/1 to win and both teams to score and 12/1 to beat Brentford by the 2-1 correct score.
You need a brain the size of Albert Einstein and a calculator stolen from NASA to work out the permutations for those Championship sides bidding to seal a top-six berth at the climax of the Championship season this weekend
Norwich and Sheffield United have already sealed automatic promotion and will be playing Premier League football next season.
However, the fate of Leeds, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and ‘ AN Other’ has yet to be confirmed with the play-offs on the horizon.
The Baggies could seal third places, and thus miss out on a semi-final date with Aston Villa, should they beat Derby at Pride Park and hope Ipswich, already relegated to League One, do a number on Leeds at Portman Road.
The Whites played out a bad-tempered 1-1 draw with Villa last weekend at Elland Road and it will be fascinating to see how the two sides fair if meet in the play-offs.
Shirt sponsors 32Red can’t split the pair, making them 2/1 joint-favourties to join Norwich and Aston Villa in the Premier League next season, but it will be fascinating to see who joins them with Bristol City, Middlesbrough and Derby all vying to join them and West Bromwich Albion in the season climax.
The Baggies have perhaps gone under the radar thus far, but have two massive threats in the final third and will have chances, regardless of the opposition, with Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez up front. 32Red are 7/2 for WBA to return to the Premier League after last year’s relegation from the top-flight. However, it is hard to see anyone beating Aston Villa over two legs, given the form shown by the club since the turn of March.
Dean Smith’s side ended a sequence of 10 league wins on the bounce in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Leeds, and one of the most bizarre sequences of play that I have seen in years. There will be fireworks should the pair meet in the semis. But they are much likely to meet at Wembley with Derby or Boro surely booked for sixth and Leeds odds-on to finish third.
Promotion prices: Aston Villa 2/1, Leeds United 2/1, WBA 7/2, Derby 8/1, Boro 12/1, Bristol City 33/1.
Top-six finish: Derby 4/9, Boro 9/4.
Leeds face the burden of play-off football after narrowly missing out on automatic promotion to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United and enter the business end of the season in far-from-great form, and are now winless in their last three games.
Ipswich should provide the perfect confidence-booster to Marcelo Bielsa’s side and 32Red make them warm 8/13 favourites to leave Portman Road with third place well and truly sewn-up; Ipswich 11/4 and the draw 5/2.
It will be fascinating to see what side WBA put out at Pride Park with Baggies caretaker boss James Shan likely to have one eye on a likely two-legged affair with Villa in the play-offs.
Derby must win to seal sixth place and 32Red expect them to do so, chalking them up as the 10/11 favourites to beat WBA on Sunday; the visitors 11/4 and the draw likewise.
Derby’s point midweek at Swansea means they can afford to drop points against WBA and still finish sixth, providing Boro don’t beat Rotherham at the New York Stadium.
The Millers have little to play for with relegation already confirmed but will surely want to end their season on a high and hope plenty of Millers’ fans follow them into League One next term – Boro already popular with punters at 8/11 with 32Red, Rotherham 4/1 and the draw 11/4.
For all the latest odds head to www.32Red.com