Championship weekend betting preview: Blackpool to control first 45

 

March is shaping up to be a make-or-break month for Blackpool. Having propelled themselves from ninth to fourth over the course of the past seven matches, the next seven games - five of them against top-half opposition - will reveal a great deal more about their promotion credentials.

Anything is possible. By the end of it, they could conceivably be in pole position for the title if they take maximum points on the last two Saturdays against Reading and Southampton.

Equally, defeat in those matches could plunge them out of the automatic picture altogether and leave them struggling to make the play-offs, particularly if they continue to make life difficult by giving themselves mountains to climb.

In last 11 league matches, Blackpool have conceded the first goal nine times. It's a surprising statistic given their sudden rise to prominence but much of their success has been down to the vast array of attacking options at Ian Holloway's disposal and his ability to change the course of games from the substitutes bench.

Of the 23 goals that Blackpool have scored in the aforementioned 11-match sample, 19 have arrived in the second half and ten of those have been plundered in the last ten minutes. But perhaps most staggering of all is the fact that the Tangerines have come from behind to win five times and rescued a point twice.

However, salvaging something from a losing position against Hull City on Friday night might be an altogether different prospect if their bad habits continue. The Tigers haven't conceded twice in a game since a 2-1 defeat at Southampton in November and they head to the Fylde coast on a run of six straight clean sheets.

The contrasting characteristics of the two teams open up all kinds of possible betting angles but it's over the course of 45 minutes where we see the biggest window of opportunity, the deal-breaker being the statistic that shows Hull reaching the interval with their goal intact in 25 out of 33 matches.

In Jack Hobbs and James Chester, the Tigers boast arguably the most formidable central defensive partnership in the division and they provide a huge platform for Hull to reap full rewards against teams liable to shoot themselves in the foot.

Given that Blackpool have only reached half-time without conceding in seven of their last 23, there's a much greater chance that Hull might be ahead at the interval than the layers appear to be crediting them with and tempted though we are by the 0-1 and 0-2 options on the half-time score market at respective odds of 11/2 and 22/1, it's the 10/3 on Hull to win the first half that gets the nod.

Recommended bet:

1pt Hull to win the first half against Blackpool at 10/3 (Blue Square)

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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project