League One play-off final: Preston pain can end at 10th time of asking
On nine previous occasions Preston North End have tried to earn promotion via the play-offs, and every time they have failed.
Coral believes punters can ignore this past history, however, as they make Simon Grayson’s side even-money favourites to beat Swindon Town in 90 minutes at Wembley, and odds-on at 4/5 to finally go up this way.
Preston failed to get past last term’s eventual League One winners Rotherham United from their semi, but crushed Chesterfield this season winning 4-0 on aggregate.
Grayson acolyte Jermaine Beckford bagged three of those goals across two legs, and is a tasty price in a 10/3 wincast. It’s strike partner Joe Garner who is a proven menace when up against the West Country club, though, after hitting a Deepdale hat-trick a month ago.
As League One’s leading marksman following 26 goals and included in our third-tier Team of the Season, Garner is well worth looking at in an enhanced matchday special of his own. Punters can get 3/1 on him netting anytime and a Preston win in 90 minutes, staking up to a maximum of £20.
What makes these odds for North End’s front two to run riot so attractive is the fact that Swindon conceded six goals in their sensational 7-6 aggregate semi-final win over Sheffield United.
Mark Cooper’s men, who simply know no other way than to attack, are rated just as likely to force extra time as win in 90 minutes, with both possibilities priced at 5/2 apiece.
The Robins have had three successful play-off campaigns before, but curiously only gone up twice as they were not admitted to the top-flight in 1990. At 6/5 to be in the Championship next season, punters who cannot be persuaded against the so-called Preston curse can consider this good value.
Swindon top scorer Andy Williams grabbed the winner when they hosted North End at the County Ground back in November, so features in an enhanced wincast of his own after 22 goals this term and not being risked last time out. It’s a 6/1 shot Williams scores and Town win in 90 minutes, with customers again able to stake a max of £20.
There are also decent anytime odds of 9/4 to take on Williams’ strike partner Michael Smith in the anytime market after his brace proved key to sneaking past the Blades.
What should let Robins supporters down, though, is that leaky backline. Your best bet, then, might just be for a Preston win with both teams scoring at 15/4.
Punters who fancy high drama in this play-off final can back superb special odds of 6/1 for the match to go to penalties. This should be considered too, as two of the last three Wembley outings in League One have had to be settled by this lethal lottery.
Coral betting tip: Backing Beckford (10/3) or Garner (3/1 max stake £20) for goals and a Preston win are well worth it!