* 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.
Boxing Day footy is one of the highlights of the EFL calendar with the vast majority of the 72 clubs going at it at 3pm. The sheen’s going to be taken off a bit this year because of bloody Covid, with plenty of games already falling by the wayside a few days out as I pen this.
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Fear not, though. There’s plenty on and to help you navigate the Covid-affected fixture list I’ll be rustling up best bets from across the divisions for you to do whatever you wish with. You might fancy throwing them into an acca, and I’ll offer up some suggestions for that, or you can take them on as singles, doubles, nothing at all – whatever.
I’ll be looking for some value to take your mind off the hangover and the thought of meals consisting solely of leftover turkey for the foreseeable future. So, with three best bets in each of The Championship, League One (or not, as it turns out – see below!) and League Two for you to mull over, let’s see if we can unwrap some winners on Sunday.
Could it be true? Are Blackburn poised to finally return to the Premier League? And is that really Tony Mowbray in the dugout? Well, if recent trends continue then it’ll be a yes to both and they’ll be home and hosed by March.
They’re 3rd, just three points off top and have won six of their last seven. On the 26th they face Hull who had improved but haven’t won in three, drawing two and losing last time out. Rovers are flying and, at a nice price, Blackburn to Win looks a good bet.
Luton and Bristol City have both been having middling types of seasons with The Hatters in 14th and The Robins in 18th. While they’ve obviously been wildly inconsistent, one thing that’s been pretty regular is goals.
Town have seen 58 goals in their 22 games, an average of 2.64 per game and for City it’s 61 goals in 23, an average of 2.65 per match. Over 2.5 Goals has landed in Bristol City’s last two games and two of Luton’s last three so there’s a decent chance it will pay again here.
Similarly to Blackburn, Forest’s upturn recently has been nothing short of a Christmas miracle. Steve Cooper looks to be a top manager and he’s turned Forest from a side who had lost six of their first seven into one that has lost once in the last 16.
Middlesbrough are going well under Chris Wilder and sit 9th, two places behind Forest. They’re in decent nick as well and have won three of their last four but Forest’s away record is too good to ignore. This should be a close match but it might pay to side with Forest to Win given the prices as they boast the best record on the road in the division other than the top two.
Well then folks. A wee explanation is probably in order as to why we’re a little shy on the League One tips.
Since penning this article, all three selections we put forward for the third tier on Boxing Day have fallen by the wayside amid the Covid chaos.
We’ve had a bit more luck with League Two with our three picks from that division surviving (so far), so read on for our selections from the basement division…
Slim pickings in League Two with five games already off at the time of writing. Mansfield are in great form and will be hoping to improve on their 11th place in the second half of the season. They’ve won six of their last seven games and await the trip of a Hartlepool side with a shocking away record.
The Pool are a funny old team and are 1st in the home table and 24th in the away equivalent. They’ve taken just four points on the road this term and lost five on the bounce before a win and a draw in their last two – both at home. With those two sets of form lines you have to be on the Mansfield Win on Sunday.
There’s a real basement battle in League Two on Sunday as Oldham in 23rd host the only team below them in the EFL, Scunthorpe. Obviously these two are in dire form and both are on 16 points after 21 games, each three points from safety.
Scunny have drawn an inordinate amount of games this season, winning two, losing nine and sharing the spoils in 10. The Latics have won four, drawn four and lost 13. With little rely on with the two worst sides playing each other, it might pay to back Scunthorpe’s uncanny knack of sharing the spoils again here and The Draw at a juicy price.
Tranmere will be viewing their home Boxing Day clash with Barrow as a must-win as they look to improve on their 5th spot in League Two. They’ve won their last four matches, all by a one-goal margin. Barrow are 19th in the fourth tier and hadn’t won in nine games before their shock win over Swindon the last time they took to the field back on December 11th.
Tranmere to Win is an attractive price for your accas but in terms of a best bet my NAP on Sunday is Tranmere to Win and Under 2.5 Goals. Unders has landed in all five of Barrow’s last five games and six of Tranmere’s last eight. Throw that all into the mix and we should see another narrow Rovers win.
Sunday’s 3pm football tips
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