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Free betting tips: Preview for the Sky Bet EFL weekend of 18/19 August

Football
Our best bets for the latest round of Sky Bet EFL action
Our best bets for the latest round of Sky Bet EFL action

After five winning tips from six last week, including a 6/1 headline, Tom Carnduff looks at the latest round of EFL games.


Recommended EFL bets

2pts Bolton to beat Reading at 19/5

2pts Leeds to be winning after 30 minutes at 8/5

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Leeds v Rotherham

Elland Road, Saturday 18th August, 1500 BST

Kemar Roofe scores for Leeds against Derby
Kemar Roofe scores for Leeds against Derby

The latest instalment of 'Bielsa ball' takes place at Elland Road as Leeds welcome Rotherham on Saturday.

The Whites have been outstanding in their early season performances - beating Stoke 3-1 on opening day and then following that up with a 4-1 win over Derby last weekend.

Despite numerous changes, they also wrapped up a 2-1 win at home to Bolton in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

Leeds' displays have been eye-catching, so much so that they have been backed into 9/2 favourites from 11/1 to win the Sky Bet Championship title.

Alongside winning, a constant theme throughout their opening three encounters under Bielsa is first-half goals.

Against Stoke, Derby and Bolton - Leeds have been leading at half-time and have also scored two goals in the first 45 minutes.

Their first-half performances are strong, and in all three of those games they have been leading at the 30-minute mark.

Leeds come up against a Rotherham side who have experienced a mixed start to the season, with their opening day defeat to Brentford being the standout result.

The Millers were comfortably beaten 5-1 by the Bees, and they will be expecting little when they travel to West Yorkshire despite bouncing back with victory over Ipswich.

Paul Warne may set up his side with the aim of frustrating Leeds and trying to limit their opportunities on goal. However, based on what we have seen, Samuel Saiz and co. are able to find opportunities to score from nothing.

Best bet: Leeds to be winning after 30 minutes at 8/5


Reading v Bolton

Madejski Stadium, Saturday 18th August, 1500 BST

Yanic Wildschut celebrates his goal for Bolton against West Brom
Yanic Wildschut celebrates his goal for Bolton against West Brom

It's been contrasting starts to the season for these two sides, and Bolton represent great value when they travel to take on Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

Phil Parkinson's men started their campaign with an away win over West Brom before following it up with a draw against Bristol City.

Despite defeat to Leeds in the Cup - Bolton will probably feel they deserved more given their strong second-half showing.

Speaking to Sporting Life after the loss to Leeds, Parkinson said: "Last year, we struggled for away wins and, last time Bolton were in the Championship prior to me taking over, they didn't get a win away in the whole season.

"So to get our first one of the season at West Brom was a huge lift and I felt that you could see that confidence in the lads tonight (against Leeds)."

Bolton are a side playing with that bit of confidence given the fact they have started the season probably better than they expected.

They face Reading who have suffered two defeats - and failed to capitalise on chances presented to them by Derby in their opening day defeat.

This does have the feel of a game that could go either way, but Bolton edge it based on recent showings and given the fact they are currently at a best price of 19/5, worth backing for that value.

Best bet: Bolton to win at 19/5


Burton v Doncaster

Pirelli Stadium, Saturday 18th August, 1500 BST

Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann
Doncaster Rovers manager Grant McCann

Doncaster travel to the Pirelli Stadium full of confidence having been successful in both of their opening encounters so far this season.

Rovers also emerged victorious in their Carabao Cup clash with Scunthorpe in midweek, and I don't know if they should be as big as the 23/10 price on offer for a win against Burton.

Nigel Clough's side have seen two defeats from two in the league so far, that coming against Rochdale and Gillingham, although they did secure a spot in the second round of the Cup with a win over Shrewsbury.

I fancy Doncaster to wrap up the points here, but I am more interested in the goalscorer market and backing Mallik Wilks to find the net.

The 19-year-old forward, on loan from Leeds, has started their two league games so far and has struck in both. McCann granted him the start in midweek too and he once again found the net, scoring first.

Wilks can be found at a best price of 7/2 to score anytime, and based on current form, that seems too big. The youngster is also 10/1 to score the first goal of the game, which he has done in his last two outings.

Best bet: Mallik Wilks to score anytime at 7/2


Portsmouth v Oxford

Fratton Park, Saturday 18th August, 1500 BST

Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett
Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett

Portsmouth welcome Oxford to Fratton Park on Saturday and will be optimistic that they can secure victory due to the starts that both have made.

Pompey wrapped up victory over Luton before travelling to Blackpool and earning three points despite being priced up at 17/10.

They now return home and sit as odds-on favourites against an Oxford side who are yet to score this season.

A 4-0 hammering by Barnsley was followed up with a 2-0 defeat at home to Fleetwood - far from the ideal start for a club who may be battling relegation this season.

They are leaking goals at the back, which the likes of Ronan Curtis and Oli Hawkins will look to pounce upon as they aim to add to their tallies.

I'd put faith in Portsmouth the secure victory here, and they are more than capable of finding the net on more than one occasion in the encounter too.

Best bet: Portsmouth to win and over 1.5 goals at 29/20


Stevenage v Morecambe

Lamex Stadium, Saturday 18th August 1500 BST

Johnny Hunt in action for Stevenage
Johnny Hunt in action for Stevenage

Morecambe have had little luck during over the past two weeks, conceding 11 goals in three games, and their fortunes aren't set to get much better when they travel to Stevenage.

Unsurprisingly, Jim Bentley's men sit bottom of the pile with their poor showing away at Crewe being a significant factor.

On the contrary, Dino Mammria's Stevenage side are mixing amongst those at the top with victory over Crawley following a draw against Tranmere.

They have struck the net five times in those two games, showing they are a side with goals in them. Given Morecambe's defensive showings so far, there's little doubt that Stevenage won't be able to add to their tally so far here.

Backing Stevenage to score over 1.5 goals in the game looks great value at a shade of odds-on, with 10/11 the general price across the market.

The best price of 7/10 available on them to win shows how fancied they are in this contest.

Given that both are odds-on, the best route to approach here would be combining the two given the fact that Stevenage should win by a margin greater than one-goal.

Boro to win and over 1.5 goals comes back at 23/20, which looks a good banker bet for this weekend's action.

Best bet: Stevenage to win and over 1.5 goals at 23/20


Crewe v MK Dons

Gresty Road, Saturday 18th August, 1500 BST

Crewe manager David Artell
Crewe manager David Artell

It's been a mixed start to the season for Crewe. They hammered Morecambe 6-0 on opening day, but then followed that up with a 1-0 defeat to Newport.

They host an MK Dons side who have had the perfect start to the season with three wins from three - including a 3-0 victory over League One side Charlton in the Carabao Cup.

They are a tough side to come up against under Paul Tisdale - and that is reflected by the fact that they have only conceded one in those three encounters so far.

I like the look of an MK Dons victory at the 7/5 mark given the contrasting fortunes of these two sides in the past seven days.

If this game was being hosted in Milton Keynes, you'd expect them to be odds-on and a short price at that.

Milton Keynes will also be looking to capitalise on the slow start by Notts County, who they are expected to rival for the title in May, and a strong start could put them in a good place for the coming months.

Best bet: MK Dons to win at 7/5


Odds correct at 1220 BST (16/08/18)

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