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Football League

Championship betting preview: Drought at the New Den suits Birmingham


It's turning into a long old season for Millwall and the New Den faithful could be subjected to another afternoon of boredom in Bermondsey when Birmingham visit on Saturday. Take the 9/4 quote about the game producing under 1.5 goals.

The bet has been landed in six of the Lions' 13 home games so far, including each of the last three, and Blues aren't the sort of team to leave their guard down and give away free shots, so more of the same is to be expected.

Indeed, the two teams bear a lot of similarities with a heavy emphasis on being honest and aggressive to compensate for a general lack of creativity. Birmingham have a bit more quality about them but they hardly boast an abundance of flair players, so we should expect the two sides to be pretty well-matched with the Londoners benefitting from home advantage.

Chris Hughton's men might be 11 points better off in the Championship table but they have been pretty dismal on the road, picking up just nine points from a dozen away matches, although it's worth pointing out that they haven't been given the runaround too often in that sequence and could be due a change of fortune.

Blues tend to deal in fine margins - only once in their last 14 matches has a game been settled by more than the odd goal - so it will obviously suit them that Millwall have only scored once in the last six and it would be entirely in-keeping with the respective home and away records if a solitary strike proved to be the winner.

Meanwhile, we see a similar scenario unfolding at the Amex Stadium where Derek McInnes will set up his miserly Bristol City  side to frustrate a Brighton team who aren't behind the door when it comes to leaving the safety catch on.

The Seagulls' last three matches have produced eight goals - excessive by their own standards - but only once in the last 13 have both teams scored in a game involving Gus Poyet's men and Albion featured in four successive matches that were settled by solitary strike leading up to Christmas, which took them to double-figures on the under 1.5 goals market for the season.

But this bet is mostly about McInnes and the impact he has made since his arrival from St Johnstone in October. The Robins' last  seven matches have produced a grand total of eight goals but that doesn't tell the whole story because none of them were scored in the first-half, three of them arrived in one game at Derby and two others - in games against Middlesbrough and Millwall - arrived deep into injury time.

So we're confident about the same bet copping in both South London and Sussex and it just so happens that Stan James offer best price about the pair, so let's top-up our investment with small but pulse-quickening under 1.5 goals double that pays out at nearly 10/1.

Recommended bets:

1pt Under 1.5 goals Brighton v Bristol City at 9/4 (Stan James)

1pt Under 1.5 goals Millwall v Birmingham at 9/4 (Sportingbet, Stan James)

0.5pt double under 1.5 goals at Brighton and Millwall at 9.56/1 (Stan James)

For more betting news and views, please visit Bestofthebets.com. You can also follow Mike Holden on Twitter: @Miguel_BOTB