Reading move into what is probably the biggest week of the season so far, culminating in a home clash in the FA cup quarter finals on Friday night at home to Crystal Palace. However, before then, they make the long trip to Yorkshire facing Huddersfield (11/10). Reading (3/1) are heading up there as outsiders, despite being unbeaten in six in the league, with the points to be shared at 5/2.
Last year, Reading played an extremely weakened side with one full day's rest before hosting Bradford in the FA Cup Quarter Final replay after an away game at Watford. The words of McDermott on Saturday night was certainly hinting towards a weaker side, with 2 full days rest, does it need to be as weak as last year? Probably not. But there will certainly be changes - certainly contributing to the price on the game. Huddersfield have been struggling in the recent weeks, with two back to back losses against Ipswich, and a resurgent Derby County. However are Huddersfield worth a bet?
The goal difference they have at home of +5 shows that they can beat the teams lower in the league comfortably, a 5-0 vs Charlton, a 4-1 v Bolton, however they've not beaten any of the teams in the top half at home except Preston, and only picked up nine points in 18 games vs teams in the top half this season. The games they have won this season have often been 'comfortable' with 9/10 of their wins being by more than one goal. This leads me to look at the handicap bet tonight (under the assumption McDermott doesn't want to lose another CB, and with him ruling out McShane for Tuesday, we may see a George Evans or Michael Hector at CB on Tuesday). Huddersfield are 3/1 to win by more than a goal, and possibly worth a small bet.
In terms of goalscorers, with Vydra likely to get a small amount of game time on Tuesday night, it'd be wise to scoot past him for first goal scorer at 15/2 and look further afield at Kermorgant at 8/1 who should be starting given he is unable to play on the Friday night. Nahki Wells at 5/1 is the obvious choice for Huddersfield having scored 13 goals so far in the league this season so far, with Harry Bunn and Emyr Huws at 17/2 and 8/1 respectively, being the next choices.
Given the games so far this season between the two teams, (a pair of 2-2 draws, and a 5-2 victory) looking at the over 2.5 goals market at 5/4 is worth a glance. Huddersfield have had seven O2.5 and ten U2.5 at home, with Reading having had eight of each away from home so far. A 43% chance combined between the two, with a 5/4 chance coming in at 44.44%, so a tiny squeak of value on the over 2.5 goals market also.
Looking ahead to Friday, and Reading are 13/8 (38%) are slight underdogs to qualify against Palace at 8/13 (62%). More details to come later in the week in the next Bookie Watch.
If you are having a bet tonight, good luck, and as ever, Come on Urz
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