After a scary second half in west London last week against Fulham, Reading take on a Brighton side who have started the season frighteningly well (Last Halloween reference, promise). Brighton are currently atop the league table having claimed eight wins and five draws from their opening 13 games. Reading with their loss last week have dropped out of the playoffs, and sit in seventh spot.
Brighton come into the game as large outsiders, and are priced up currently at 5/2 generally. Reading are favourites for the game with the price being set at 23/20. The draw is being priced at a pretty standard 23/10 for Saturday's game. Reading appear to have been hit hard on the odds from their recent winning run, with the loss at Fulham appearing in the bookies price to be a blip, rather than a change in turn for the Royals.
I'd suggest at the price given, the draw represent a good prices, with Brighton having won three away games so far (Fulham, Ipswich, Leeds) and drawn three as well (Huddersfield, Wolves & Bolton). Although they haven't taken on a top of the table side away from home yet, and the wins they have had so far away from home have been one goal only. I think Reading have a slight advantage being at home, and a low scoring draw wouldn't be a surprise.
So far, Brighton have played just two games against teams in the top eight (the least in the league), drawing once and winning once. Reading have managed to claim 50% of the points, with two wins and two losses in their four games. However, in these six games combined, there has only been 12 goals. Under 2.5 goals is 9/13 currently, so reasonably low odds for the total. However, with Reading looking good early on in games, a 1-0 half time scoreline is worth exploring, with Reading currently available at 13/4 for the HT.
Nick Blackman, the current top scorer in the league is the justified favourite to get the first goal at 11/2. With Vydra back in the side, Piazon became more threatening against Fulham, whether he keeps his place on Saturday however makes a bet on him questionable, even with teasing odds of 7/1. Odds on Paul McShane scoring anytime at 20/1 also appear to be long given that free kicks and set pieces were often aimed at him against Charlton, and he appears to have become the defacto target for these moments.
If you are looking for a Brighton goalscorer to back, who currently have 10 goals in six away games, Hemmed is their current top scorer, available at 13/2, however he has hit a bit of a dry spell, not scoring in five. The better place may be to look at last goalscorer, and look towards a certain Mr Zamora, who has scored two in the past three, his first for a number of years for Brighton. Last goalscorer odds on him at 9/1, alongside first goalscorer of 9/1 as well, looks to be well worth a small punt.
Reading to be winning at HT 1-0 @ 13/4 - 1pt
McShane to score anytime @ 20/1 - 0.25 pt
Game to end a draw - 23/10 - 2pt
Zamora FGS @ 9/1 - 1pt