Football tips: Your best bets for Friday’s TV Championship games

Our tipster Colin Harvey settles in for a very, very Good Friday.

Comments

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

It’s going to be a great Friday in The Championship as we get not one, not two, not three but FOUR games on the TV throughout the day. Given the sheer volume of teams on the telly on Friday, we’re guaranteed action at the top, in the playoffs and in the relegation dog fight.

First up it’s Luton v Nottingham Forest in a really juicy playoff clash at 12.30. Bournemouth then tackle Middlesbrough with The Cherries looking to tighten their grip on automatic promotion and Boro are just outside the playoffs in 8th.

WELCOME TO PADDY POWER NEWS!

Huddersfield host QPR at 5.30pm with The Terriers trying to keep the pressure on Bournemouth and The Hoops ruing a shocking run of form that’s seen them drop out of the playoff picture into mid-table obscurity. Finally it’s Derby bracing themselves to take on Fulham who can take another step towards both promotion and the title.

There’s plenty going on so I’ll serve up a best bet for each match and another at a bit more of a price. You can double up, make an acca or play single. The world is your oyster. Let’s get into the games.

Steve Cooper

12.30pm: Luton v Nottingham Forest

TV: Sky Sports Football

Nottingham Forest have hit top gear and are in sensational form heading into the end of the season. They’ve won five on the trot in the second tier and are up to 4th. The wheels might be coming off the Luton bandwagon at completely the wrong time and they’ve drawn two and lost one in their last three.

Best Bet: Nottingham Forest to Win

Momentum is a huge factor at this stage of the season and it’s undeniable that Forest have it and Luton have lost it. The Hatters are a good side and they could turn The Tricky Trees over on their day, but the form lines are undeniable.

Forest have now gone 10 games since their last league defeat, winning seven and drawing three. They have a mean defence and have scored two or more in each of their last five. Forest to Win is your best bet here.

Value Play: Brennan Johnson to Score First

Brennan Johnson has been having a sensational season and has got to be the best young player in the English leagues outside of the top flight. He’s up to 15 goals this term with the likes of Leeds, Newcastle and Brentford sniffing around.

He’s been the catalyst for their turnaround under Steve Cooper and is in fine goal-scoring form. He’s bagged four in Forest’s last four and looks the best chance to open the scoring here. Johnson to Score First might be worth a go at a bit of a price.

3pm: Bournemouth v Middlesbrough

TV: Sky Sports Football

Bournemouth are looking good for a return to the Premier League and hold a four-point cushion over Huddersfield in 3rd with two games in hand. Boro have hit a bit of the bump in the road and will need to get back on it quickly if they’re to make up the three point gap to Sheffield United in 6th, though they do have a game in hand.

Best Bet: Bournemouth to Win

Scott Parker’s Cherries haven’t won for two games but both of those have been away from home. I’m backing Bournemouth to Win here back on home soil with the carrot of the Premier League dangling ever-so-tantalisingly close.

Boro have a middling away record and have lost their last two games, both of which came at The Riverside. They have done well away from home lately but two losses on the bounce coming into this, coupled with the home side’s better quality and good form at the Vitality, is pointing me towards a Bournemouth Win.

Value Play: Dominic Solanke to 2 goals or more

Dominic Solanke is Bournemouth’s main goal threat by a mile. He’s got 14 more than his nearest challenger, Philip Billing, with 25 but has been going through something of a mini drought by his high standards.

The south-coast club have not scored for two games and I think Solanke is going to be fired up and ready to right that wrong here. He’s a decent price to score first but I’ll take a bit of a chance on Solanke to Score 2 or More Goals in this one in front of the TV cameras to help his side closer to the promised land.

Carlos Corberan Huddersfield

5.30pm: Huddersfield v QPR

TV: Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football

Huddersfield have been one of the surprise packages this season, especially after their meek showing last term. They’re 3rd in the Championship and, while automatic promotion might be beyond them, they look nailed on for a playoff place. It’s turning out to be another season of what could have been for QPR. Early season promise has given way to capitulation and they’ve now lost seven of their last eight, slumping to 11th in the table.

Best Bet: Huddersfield to Win

This Huddersfield to Win punt is pretty simple, really. As outlined above, QPR are in absolutely dire form. The Terriers had been in poor form themselves, losing three of their four matches leading up to the last international window and drawing the other.

However, they’ve sorted themselves out during that break and look to be back to their best, winning against Hull and promotion rivals Luton without conceding. Huddersfield to Win is a cracking price for any accas you might fancy on Friday.

Value Play: Half Time Draw/Full Time Huddersfield

I was tempted to dip my toe into the Correct Score Combinations market here and take a look at Huddersfield to win 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 as QPR have, largely, been scoring during their recent losing run. However, I’ll side with another trend I’ve noticed as I suspect Huddersfield will secure another shut out here.

I’ll take a chance on Half Time Draw/Full Time Huddersfield. This has landed the last two times our hosts have taken to the field and they’ve been grinding their opponents down before striking late. Let’s hope they do so again.

8pm: Derby v Fulham

TV: Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football

Friday’s bumper action concludes with the ultimate meeting of the haves and have nots in this league. Derby are as good as down now, they’re nine points from safety with five to play and who knows if they’ll even still be going next season given everything that’s going on behind the scenes. In contrast, Fulham are cruising to the title and need just five points from their remaining six games to guarantee promotion.

Best Bet: Under 2.5 Goals

Fulham have endured a couple of surprise results recently, losing to Coventry and West Brom in recent weeks. Derby’s revival around the turn of the year has stalled badly and they’ve only been able to win against teams around them.

There is a chance Fulham could run riot here but both sides have a big Under 2.5 Goals trend of late. It’s landed in six of The Rams’ last eight and exactly the same number for Fulham. This should be closer than you might expect.

Value Play: Correct Score: 1-1

Value is a little tricky to find here, given how heavy favourites Fulham rightly are. However, this could be tight and I think there may be some value in backing Derby to get something out of the game.

As such, I will take a chance on a score draw. Fulham are regular scorers but in nothing like the form that saw them batter everyone they faced. They’ve scored in pretty much every game they’ve played in 2022 and even netted against Manchester City. They’ve only scored more than one once in the last five, though.

That gives The Rams a chance of getting something here and they’ve scored in five of their last six. Obviously conceding goals has been the issue but they never get hammered and have only conceded more than two once in their last 10. If they can hang in there they might nick something in a 1-1 draw.

Friday’s football tips

12.30pm: Luton v Nottingham Forest
Best Bet: Nottingham Forest to Win
Value Play: Brennan Johnson to Score First

3pm: Bournemouth v Middlesbrough
Best Bet: Bournemouth to Win
Value Play: Dominic Solanke to 2 goals or more

5.30pm: Huddersfield v QPR
Best Bet: Huddersfield to Win
Value Play: Half Time Draw/Full Time Huddersfield

8pm: Derby v Fulham
Best Bet: Under 2.5 Goals
Value Play: Correct Score: 1-1

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

READ MORE

The latest football odds are on PaddyPower.com right now

THE PADDY POWER GUIDE TO SAFER GAMBLING – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

What do you think?