I felt Queens Park were being undervalued last weekend and I still don’t think the markets have caught up with the quality they signed in the window. They’re on a slightly underwhelming record of 4-5-3 at home this season and have slightly underperformed their xPts, but I think we could continue to see the reversion here. They’ve won 2 of their 3 games at Hampden under McKinnon and I feel this could prove the difference against a side who are 2 points ahead of them in the able but effectively level on xPts.
Elgin currently occupy the last play-off spot and will be hoping to still be there come 4.45pm on Saturday. Whilst they’ve avoided defeat on 9/12 away trips, only 4 of those have been wins and they’ve come at 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th. On the face of it their form also looks good with 5 wins in their last 8, but they’ve benefited from a generous run of fixtures facing doomed Brechin twice and 3 other bottom half sides. Last weekend’s 3-0 defeat of Cove was the standout result in Scotland, but it came on home soil and isn’t the first time the league leaders have capitulated on their travels.
There’s 2.30 currently available on The Spiders and I wouldn’t put anyone off taking that as they’ve only been a longer price at home twice; versus the top 2, Cove and Edinburgh City. However, I’m playing it a little safer with the -0.25 Asian line due to the number of home draws. The odds are suggesting these teams are rated roughly equal and, whilst the numbers broadly agree, I think QP’s new signings tip the scales slightly.
With Brechin already looking stranded in 10th and on a shocking run of form, both these sides can start looking up the table and think about preparations for next campaign. Stenhousemuir have had a disappointing season considering they were 3rd favourites in the ante-post odds and it’s no surprise that they’re the biggest underperformers in the xPts table. Albion Rovers went off in 9th, so this season is going roughly as expected. They continue to battle away with one the division’s smallest budgets and will be thankful that this year’s league contains a side just as hapless as last season’s Berwick to keep them out the dreaded relegation play-off.
Whilst quality may be in short supply for these two sides, entertainment is not. Games at Ochilview are averaging 3.42 goals per game with both teams scoring in 67%. Similarly, when the Wee Rovers play away from home their matches average 3.20 GPG and BTTS in 60%.
Albion Rovers have a freakishly good record against Stenhousemuir considering both sides are generally competing at the same level; they’ve won 12 and lost just 3 of their 19 meetings in the last decade. That coupled with the fact they’re level on points mean it’s tempting to side with them on the double chance around 1.75, but I’m going with a stats play on the goals. Over 2.5 and BTTS has landed in 8/12 home matches for Stenny and 5/10 for Rover away, so 1.85 seems more than fair.