Brighton Championship Play-Off Betting Tips

Sky_Bet_ChampionshipMark Rawlinson

We’ve reached the exciting point of the season in the Football League, with the play-offs getting underway this week.

Brighton, Derby County, Wigan Athletic and QPR are all in action in the Championship first legs over the next couple of days, with a place in the final at Wembley on the line.

Brighton v Derby County Betting Tips

The first taste of the play-offs this year sees Oscar Garcia’s Brighton host Derby County on Thursday evening.

Brighton secured a last-gasp play-off place in dramatic fashion last Saturday thanks to Leandro Ulloa’s stoppage time winner over Nottingham Forest, knocking Reading out of the top six.

The Seagulls head into this clash in good form, having avoided defeat during their last eight games and will be hungry to make up for last year’s play-off disappointment, when they were beaten by Crystal Palace in the semi-finals.

It looks like right-back Bruno and midfielder Dale Stephens will both miss the first leg with injuries but Matt Upson and Will Hoskins are expected to be available.

Since his appointment at the County Ground in the autumn, former England boss Steve McClaren has performed wonders at the Derbyshire outfit, going from mid-table obscurity to book their place in the play-offs.

They may the long trip to the South coast in similarly good form, with six wins from the last seven, whilst they drew 1-1 at Leeds United on Saturday.

Jake Buxton, Craig Bryson, George Thorne, Jamie Ward and Chris Martin are all set for returns but Shaun Barker and James O’Connor are both injured for the visitors.

BET OF THE DAY: Derby have won two meetings in the regular Championship season, and I expect them to have enough to take the win here. They’re best priced at 21/10 with Bet 365.

Brighton are slight favourites at 31/20 with Bet Victor whilst the draw is priced at 23/10 with Ladbrokes.

Catch the match live from 7:45pm on Sky Sports 1.

Wigan Athletic v QPR Betting Tips

Friday’s Championship play-off action comes from the DW Stadium as Wigan Athletic bid to bounce straight back into the Premier League as they face big-spenders QPR, who were also relegated last season.

Just like Derby, FA Cup semi-finalists Wigan looked to be heading for mid-table mediocrity before Christmas but their replacement of Owen Coyle for Uwe Rosler, coupled with their exit from the Europa League, has seen them clinch a play-off spot.

However the Latics head into this first leg in very poor form, having lost four of their last six in the league, including home defeats to strugglers Millwall and Blackpool. They have no new injury concerns, with top scorer Nick Powell set for a return following tonsillitis.

It has been well documented how well funded visitors QPR have been this season, with their current wage bill surpassing that of the likes of Borussia Dortmund Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid.

Therefore, a fourth place finish may well seem like an under-performance this campaign for Harry Redknapp’s side, whose tenure would look extremely precarious should they not go onto clinch promotion via the play-offs.

Likewise, their form of late hasn’t been particularly inspiring, with just three wins in seven, although they are unbeaten in the last three. The Hoops are without full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto who has returned to Spurs after his loan spell experied.

You have to go back to 2011 for the last time Wigan beat QPR, when it was a Premier League fixture. Their two meetings this season have resulted in just one goal, with QPR winning their home match 1-0 – under 1.5 goals at 17/8 with Bet Victor looks like a good offer here.

Wigan are priced as 13/10 favourites with Bet 365, whilst a QPR win is priced at 5/2 with Bet Victor.

Catch the match live from 7:45pm on Sky Sports 1.

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