Five months, five-and-a-half matches or 15 minutes: on what sample do you focus when weighing up the value in the 10/3 quote on bottom-club Chesterfield to to beat leaders Charlton at the B2net Stadium on Saturday?
Based on the season from August until January, the bet would be a non-starter. In fact, you would be looking at this match the other way around, searching for reasons not to smash into the 10/11 about the away win.
However, the Chesterfield team we see now isn't the same one that went 17 matches without a win and it's not the same side that slumped to a 2-0 home defeat against Exeter as recently as January 7. More than half of that team has been upgraded in the transfer window.
So let's refine the question: do we focus on what the Spireites did in their encounters against Leyton Orient, Oldham (twice), Colchester, Bournemouth and Carlisle (for 75 minutes), or do we shun them for their sins in the final 15 minutes at Brunton Park when they switched off a couple of times to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?
Bearing in mind that Carlisle's late turnaround against John Sheridan's men was their sixth win in ten unbeaten home matches - a sequence that includes victories over both Sheffield clubs and Stevenage - it might well pay to forgive the Derbyshire club for that indiscretion and support them once again.
It remains a theme in Sheridan's career that his teams have knocked down a disproportionate ratio of heavyweights due to his knack of removing fear, although we obviously didn't see much evidence of that in the first half of this season. Nonetheless, defeats against Charlton away (1-3), Sheffield Wednesday away (1-3), Sheffield United at home (0-1) and Huddersfield away (0-1) were all evenly-contested for most of the 90 minutes.
Now we're prepared to believe that his new-look side can land a prize scalp with little warning because Charlton are beginning to reach the point in their campaign when complacency beomes an increasing danger. The Addicks have guarded against it well enough so far, as the pundits keep reminding us, but the threat isn't ever one that ever goes away and sometimes it can pay to be the punter that holds back the longest to play that particular angle.
Either way, our willingness to pursue this interest is only enhanced by our confidence in how Chris Powell's men are likely to go about their business if they do conduct it in the most professional manner because the 17/20 available on under 2.5 goals serves as a handy saver.
A solitary strike has settled each of Charlton's last three away matches and it would be five out of six overall had they not snatched a last-gasp equaliser in a rearranged game against Bury at The Valley last week.
That obviously points towards some value in the 11/4 quote on under 1.5 goals but given that the Addicks have won 2-0 on six occasions and finished all-square at 1-1 on a further five, it's reasonable to want the extra goal onside.
The under 2.5 goals bet has been landed in ten out of Charlton's 15 away games and ten out of Chesterfield's 14 at home.
1pt Chesterfield to beat Charlton at 10/3 (Ladbrokes, Stan James)
2pts Under 2.5 goals Chesterfield v Charlton at 17/20 (BetVictor)Reuse content