Lays of the Weekend: Swindon head trio of flimsy favourites

Cardiff, Swindon and Burton have got ‘the look of lay’ in the Football League, suggests Michael Lintorn…

Lay Cardiff to beat Charlton @ 1.9420/21

No side in the Championship is in better form than Charlton right now, with Guy Luzon’s side winning no fewer than four of their last five outings. That’s why it is mystifying that their hosts are odds-on for victory.

Only Millwall and Wigan have worse Championship home records over the last six matches than the Bluebirds, who last won in front of their partisans five games ago.

Those two points are enough to cast doubt over the margin of Cardiff’s favouritism, however there is a third to add into the mix for the charm.

Charlton may have been beaten in two of their last four road games, but those losses came against foes far superior to Russell Slade’s men: title-chasing Middlesbrough and Derby. They thrashed Wigan and drew with Wolves in the other fixtures.

Lay Swindon to beat Notts County @ 1.564/7

The Robins may be sitting pretty in fourth, locked in a three-way dance for League One’s second automatic-promotion spot, but they’ve seriously come off the rails of late to the extent that they’d be rock bottom had the season kicked off six games ago.

Half of the four County Ground defeats they’ve sustained all term have come in their last three home games, with an apparent mini-renaissance halted by a 3-0 midweek caning from Gillingham.

After that game, boss Mark Cooper sounded at a loss to explain his side’s dip in form, telling BBC Wiltshire: “It was one of those evenings when we just had too many players under par. The dressing room is very, very quiet. I’ll take the blame for tonight because I might have picked the wrong team.

“No matter what we tried, it was just not good enough. We gambled, but I don’t think we’d have scored if we’d have been sat here until tomorrow night. We tried to change it, freshen the strikers up, but it was just a bad, bad evening. Things can’t stay the same for Saturday after that performance.”

It was hardly pre-Agincourt Henry V stuff from the gaffer and Swindon seem a preposterously short price to beat Notts County as a result. Though the visitors are 18th, home form is their weakness. When it comes to life on the open road, they are League One’s joint-fourth-best side this term.

Lay Burton to win at Hartlepool @ 2.1211/10

Every punter and their dog knows that Burton are a formidable side at the Pirelli Stadium and have been for some time, but whether as many are on the scent of Pools’ recent Victoria Park surge is doubtful.

The Brewers travel to the north east on the back of their first consecutive defeats under the stewardship of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, the second of which came on home turf.

As a result, they look worth opposing against a side who have bested play-off chasing Plymouth and Northampton in a spell of seven home games under new boss Ronnie Moore in which they’ve been beaten just twice.