Unfortunately, Utd’s trip to Cappielow last week fell foul of the weather, so we didn’t get to see if Nicky Clark would again prove an able replacement for the injured Lawrence Shankland and net us a tidy 2.37 shot. The Scotland international is due back for this match and I fancy him to get on the scoresheet here. His goalscoring exploits have been no secret; 17 in 13 league matches at a rate of 1.35 goals/90. 12 of those have come in his 6 home matches and he’s netted in every game at Tannadice. Furthermore, Utd have won every game he’s scored in home and away.
1.25 is the shortest price Utd have been all season, but I think this is justified as there’s a strong case for Alloa being the worst side in the league. Avoiding relegation last season was an excellent achievement, but it’s a yearly battle for part-time sides in this league. They’re currently 2 points above the automatic relegation spot, have scored the 2nd fewest goals and the 2nd worst goal difference. But dig into the shot metrics and they’re 10th for shots, 9th for shots on target and 10th for both shots against and shots on target against.
The logic of this bet is straightforward – when Shankland scores, Utd win. And I definitely fancy him to score against arguably the poorest side in the league.
Tuesday night’s win away at Ayr saw Dunfermline jump into the play-off spots for the first time since the opening weekend of the season. They’d been languishing near the bottom of the table, but a run of 5-1-2 since the start of October has seen them back into the chasing pack. This has been powered by the excellent form of Kevin Nisbet. He scored just twice in their first 7 games, casting doubt over whether he could replicate his exploits last season at a higher level. But 9 goals in his last 8 have put him second, on 11, in the goalscoring charts and his rate of 0.81 goals/90 is only bettered by the aforementioned Shankland. I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him to score anytime (1.83 Bet365), but the angle I like is Dunfermline team goals. They’ve scored 2+ in 5/8 home matches and 2 of the matches in which they failed were against the two best sides in the division, Dundee Utd and Inverness.
Their opponents on Saturday have the worst away record in the league 0-0-7 and have conceded the 2nd most goals overall (29). They’re averaging 3.00 goals against away from home and have conceded 2+ in 5/7. If you look exclusively at their away matches to the top half, they’ve shipped 6 to Dundee Utd, 5 to Inverness, 4 to Ayr and 2 to Dundee. Dunfermline sit between the latter two, so I think it’s likely they’ll concede at least twice here. On top of this Morton needed a replay to see off Highland League side Brora in the cup and conceded in both matches. The 10-hour roundtrip in midweek was also far from ideal.
Given Dunfermline’s firepower and Morton’s ropey defence away from Cappielow I think 1.90 on Dunfermline to score 2+ is more than fair.