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Free betting tips: Preview for the Sky Bet EFL fixtures on August 25

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 returning profit in the opening three weekend previews of the Sky Bet EFL season, Tom Carnduff picks out 5/1 and 13/2 best bets.


Recommended EFL bets

2pts Draw/Wigan in half-time/full-time at 5/1

2pts Walsall to win and both teams to score at 13/2

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


QPR v Wigan

Loftus Road, Saturday, 1500 BST

Wigan celebrate taking the lead at Stoke
Wigan celebrate taking the lead at Stoke

It's been a dismal start to the season for QPR, and they will carry little hope into their next game as they welcome Wigan.

The Latics will be the fancied outfit here, but the visitors may have to be patient before they make a breakthrough.

While Steve McClaren's side are without a point, their first-half performances offer a slight bit of encouragement.

The R's were level at the break against Preston, Sheffield United and, rather remarkably given the final scoreline, West Brom but would go onto leave empty-handed in all three encounters.

The hosts need to post some form of response, but their answer to a 7-1 hammering in the West Midlands was to lose 3-0 at home to Bristol City.

They've done little to conjure any kind of optimism that they will turn it around here, given the fact that Wigan have picked up seven points from their first four games and beat Stoke 3-0 last time out.

A best-price of 5/1 is available on draw/Wigan in the half-time/full-time market which looks great value given the track record going into this one.

QPR are evidently having issues in the second 45 minutes of games, which Wigan will look to expose on Saturday.

Best bet: Draw/Wigan in Half-time/Full-time at 5/1

EFL Preview - Saturday 25 August


Blackburn v Brentford

Ewood Park, Saturday, 1500 BST

Ollie Watkins: The Brentford striker draws his side level v Stoke
Ollie Watkins: The Brentford striker draws his side level

They were seconds away from wrapping up all three points against Aston Villa in midweek, but Brentford will still be full of confidence having gone unbeaten so far this season.

I put my faith in Ollie Watkins to strike on Wednesday, and despite no goal at Villa Park, his performance means I'm happy to back him once again here.

The 22-year-old grabbed an assist on Neal Maupay's first goal, while also having two great chances to score himself only to be denied by a wonderful save and a slight deflection.

Watkins is in his second campaign at this level, and while ten goals last season can be applauded given the step up, his start to the current season has been fantastic and promises much more.

The forward scored three goals in as many games at the start of the season, forming a healthy rivalry with Maupay in Brentford's forward department. Alongside them is Sergi Canos on the right - and the trio create an attack that is problematic for many defences.

Blackburn will be sweating on a potential return for Bradley Dack, and while they battled back for a point against Reading, they will be disappointed by the fact they went 2-0 down in the first place.

Watkins can be backed at a best price of 40/17 to score here, and based on early showings, he is more than capable of doing just that at Ewood Park.

Best bet: Ollie Watkins to score anytime at 40/17


Bolton v Sheffield United

Macron Stadium, Saturday, 1500 BST

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

They've probably been the surprise package of the Sky Bet Championship so far this season, and Bolton join Middlesbrough and Leeds on double figures in the points column.

Wanderers have won games against West Brom, Reading and Birmingham and picked up a valuable point when they faced Bristol City.

Bolton are clearly a side in-form and, based on their start, I was surprised to see them priced up as big as 17/5 outsiders in this one.

Sheffield United have seemingly responded to a poor start of the season where they lost their opening two. They beat Norwich last time out and QPR before that, but were beaten 3-0 by Middlesbrough on a recent away trip.

Phil Parkinson's men have shown that they have the ability to grind out a result, winning by a one-goal margin in all three games that they have won this season.

This could be another low-scoring game, but based on the value available on the hosts, the vote has to be for a narrow home win.

Best bet: Bolton to win at 17/5


Rochdale v Walsall

Crown Oil Arena, Saturday, 1500 BST

Celebrations for Walsall at AFC Wimbledon
Celebrations for Walsall at AFC Wimbledon

Like Bolton, Walsall have surprised many with the start they have made to the season as they sit on ten points in Sky Bet League One.

The Saddlers find themselves as outsiders away at Rochdale, but Keith Hill's side have done little to inspire confidence in front of their home fans.

Rochdale have conceded eight goals in their two home games so far this season, while Walsall boast an unbeaten record with three wins from a possible four.

The 11/4 price on Walsall is tempting enough, but the 13/2 on an away win with both teams to score looks incredibly good value.

Dean Keates' men, despite an outstanding start, have conceded in every game they've played. While Rochdale sit in 17th, they have managed to net in all but one outing so far this season.

That highlights how this game has the potential for goals, with both sides capable of finding the net.

In fact, Rochdale have scored are the joint-highest scorers among teams in the bottom-half of the standings with five, and their 11 goals conceded is also close to a league high with only Oxford producing a worse return.

With that in mind it's worth enhancing the price about a Walsall win by going for goals at both ends.

Best bet: Walsall to win and both teams to score at 13/2


Doncaster v Portsmouth

Keepmoat Stadium, Saturday, 1500 BST

Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett
Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett

Portsmouth were Sporting Life's tip to win Sky Bet League One this season, and they've started in fantastic fashion with four wins in as many games.

They can travel to face Doncaster with plenty of confidence, and I'm backing Ronan Curtis to continue his great start to life on the south coast.

The 22-year-old made the switch to the third tier outfit from Derry City in Ireland, and has scored three goals in his first four outings.

Curtis has also contributed two assists and is at the top of his game ahead of this trip north.

Despite producing goals in their opening encounters, Curtis is 11/4 to score anytime against a Doncaster side who were maybe fortunate to pick up a point against Shrewsbury in midweek.

Portsmouth are expected to be among the highest scorers in this division and six goals in their last two games underlines the threat they pose.

Despite a good start, Doncaster are now winless in two, with the defeat to Burton a bit of an eyebrow raiser.

This is another game in which Portsmouth are capable of finding the net, and Curtis is a player capable of doing just that.

Best bet: Ronan Curtis to score anytime at 11/4


MK Dons v Exeter

Stadium MK, Saturday, 1500 BST

Paul Tisdale joined MK Dons in the summer
Paul Tisdale joined MK Dons in the summer

It's the Paul Tisdale derby as MK Dons welcome Exeter in a game between two sides who have started very well.

Both teams are undefeated after four games, with the visitors sitting top of the Sky Bet League Two table on goal difference.

Exeter have been in wonderful form and have answered those questions regarding how they would cope after Tisdale's departure in the summer.

Exeter have been defensively sound but their eight goals scored shows where their strength lies and it's that which makes them value at 3/1 against opponents who've been less prolific.

They've also won both of their games on the road this season, while MK dropped points last time out at home to Grimsby.

This does have the feel of a game that could go either way, but I'd lean towards Exeter based on what we've seen so far.

Best bet: Exeter to win at 3/1


Posted at 1645 BST on 23/08/18

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