Bookies home in on Blades

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Sheffield United remain unbeaten at home this term but have drawn more games than they have won at Bramall Lane so one or two sceptical punters might be keen to keep the stalemate onside at odds of 11/4 with bet365 as the Blades prepare for a festive showdown against Scunthorpe.

William Hill quote odds of 7/1 for it to finish 1-1 but a glance at the League One table, which shows the Iron to be struggling at the wrong end, suggests that Danny Wilson’s promotion-chasing side should have more than enough to come out on top.

Indeed the bookmakers are confident of a United success, Stan James pricing them at 8/13 and BetVictor installing the visitors as 5/1 underdogs while Paddy Power offer odds of 7/5 about the Blades taking in a lead at the end of each half.

BetVictor post 7/1 against them carding a slender 2-1 triumph but some supporters might be expecting a more comfortable win and for them there’s value in bet365’s handicaps, where Wilson’s side are 8/5 when kicking off a goal in arrears.

More specifically, it’s 12/1 via Skybet for a 3-1 United victory and in attack, Nick Blackman is the man bookmakers fear most; he’s 9/2 (bet365) to break the deadlock in a clash that’s 4/5 via Stan James to produce three or more goals.

Sheffield Wednesday picked up a rare maximum haul in their last away fixture, bagging the only goal in the vital derby clash at Barnsley and that was only the second travelling victory of the campaign for the struggling Owls.

They’re not expected to improve on that record either, as they head to Bolton; Stan James rating them as outsiders at 4/1 and BetVictor quoting the Trotters at 4/5 to send Wednesday home empty-handed.

Bet365 chalk the Owls up at 11/4 to bag a respectable point at the Reebok Stadium, where a 2-2 scoreline is on offer at 14/1 (William Hill) and for undecided fans, Ladbrokes make Dave Jones’ men even money to avoid defeat.

On the other side of the coin, optimists can tackle bet365’s 14/1 for Wednesday to prevail 2-1.

Also in the Championship, Barnsley are 8/5 with Stan James to ease their relegation worries by securing a vital maximum haul in their home clash with Birmingham, which is 12/5 (Ladbrokes) to end in stalemate.

At the top of League One Doncaster are 9/5 via Skybet to gain revenge for their FA Cup exit at the hands of Oldham, by beating the Latics at Boundary Park.

In League Two, BetVictor mark 13/10 against a Rotherham success over Port Vale and also make Chesterfield 6/5 to overcome York.

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