THE dangling of a 6-1 carrot is too hard to resist for a potentially great value punt on Leeds United to win at Middlesbrough tomorrow.
Boro are no bigger than 4-7 to see off the Whites and Aitor Karanka’s leaders are clearly a force to be reckoned with.
There’s no fluke about them being top of the table – Whites coach Neil Redfearn describing the Riversiders as the most accomplished team in the division this week – and the likelihood is that Boro will be in the Premier next term.
Karanka’s men have also bagged nine wins from 15 league games at home this term and it was very early in the season when Sheffield Wednesday and Reading left the Riverside with all three points.
The Owls and Royals are the only two teams to have won at Boro in the league this term, but there are reasons to dream that Leeds could be the third.
The biggest factor is United’s improving form and it’s a bit of an insult that Leeds are 6-1 with BetVictor when the Whites have won four of their last five games - including their last two fixtures away from home, at Reading and Huddersfield.
Winning at Boro is a different ball game but bagging three points on their travels is no longer the issue it used to be for the Whites.
And there must be a hope that Middlesbrough’s busy schedule will catch up with them.
It’s been well documented that Boro are being asked to play on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday lunch-time and their last two games – against Arsenal in the FA Cup and at Birmingham with ten men in the league – could have taken their toll.
Boro will also be under more pressure to win than Leeds with a whole host of teams within touching distance of their leadership and the odds of 6-1 about Leeds just look too big.
Boro may well turn on the class and outclass United and the hosts have the first eight in the first goalscorer market headed by Kike at 9-2 though Patrick Bamford is notably short at 11-4 to net first with Stan James but 5-1 elsewhere.
Fresh from Wednesday’s equaliser at Birmingham, he warrants a small saver.
Billy Sharp and Mirco Antenucci oddly head the Whites first scorer markets at 11-1 when it’s pretty obvious that Steve Morison will start upfront.
He’ll score eventually and is a worth a nibble at 12s to net first with Stan James or 19-4 to bag any time if you prefer.
But while the draw also makes a bit of appeal at a best-priced 10-3 with Bet365 and William Hill, the 6-1 on offer for Leeds is too big to ignore.
If the Whites are to land a memorable win then a 1-0 scoreline looks most likely at 15-1 with BetVictor.
If it’s 1-0 Leeds and Morison scoring first, that really would be an afternoon to remember!
Leeds to win at Middlesbrough – 6-1 with BetVictor.
Patrick Bamford to score first – 5-1 with Bet365 and BetVictor.
Steve Morison any time scorer - 19-4 with Stan James.