This coming weekend will see the Football League Play-Off Finals take place and the action draws to a close with a 3pm BST kick-off on Monday afternoon from Wembley Stadium when South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday go toe-to-toe in the League One Play-Off Final.
Read on to see my football tips for this huge game that will decide which of these two clubs will be competing in the Championship next season.
Gritty Tykes to Grind Out Win?
All the media attention might have been on Sheffield Wednesday’s epic play-off comeback against Peterborough in the semi-finals but Barnsley deserve praise for digging deep to get past a resilient Bolton team 2-1 on aggregate. It might not have been as chaotic or passionate as the other Play-Off Semi-Final but it showed the true character of this Tykes side and shows exactly why they may be decent value at 11/10 with BetVictor to earn promotion to the Championship here.
Both teams have scored in just 2 of the last 6 games involving Barnsley so the odds of Evens with BetVictor for both teams to score not coming in are tempting. Especially given how notoriously nervous and edgy Play-Off Final matches can be.
There were 10 points that separated Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday in the league table this season so that probably explains why Wednesday are the team being backed by the bookies here. In fact, Devante Cole is the shortest-priced anytime scorer for Barnsley and he’s listed at 16/5 with Paddy Power.
Owls Set to Fly Back to Where They Belong?
It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for Sheffield Wednesday fans this year. Darren Moore led the team to a stunning total of 96 points. Despite occupying one of the top two automatic promotion spots in League One for most of the season, that points tally was still only enough for Wednesday to finish in 3rd place.
All hope had seemed lost when the team suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss away to Peterborough in the Play-Off Semi-Final but an extraordinary turnaround in the second leg at home saw Wednesday take the tie to penalties where they prevailed as 5-3 winners. Sheffield Wednesday are now priced at 6/5 with Betfair to win this game and they’re 17/2 with Paddy Power to do it on penalties. I certainly hope for the health of Owls fans that doesn’t happen!
A stand-out bet for me here is backing striker Michael Smith to get on the scoresheet. The physical frontman has scored 5 goals in his last 4 games for the club and he’s valued at 2/1 to score anytime with Betfair. It’s also worth noting that 7 of the last 8 games involving Sheffield Wednesday have seen over 2.5 goals scored. You can find that outcome available at 11/10 with Betfred.
Just 16 miles separate these two football teams so it’s easy to see why there is such an intense rivalry between them. You can argue that it’s probably a stronger feeling on the side of Barnsley but there’s no denying Wednesday would still love to rub this one in their neighbour’s faces.
It’s actually been Barnsley that have triumphed over their local enemies in recent matches. The Tykes have won 3 of the last 4 meetings including both of their previous league encounters this season. Both of those wins came by a 2-goal margin. Backing that to happen in this game can be found at 9/1 with Bet365. Interestingly, 7 of the last 9 meetings have seen both teams scoring which is available at 10/11 with Bet365 for this match.
Barnsley vs Sheffield Wednesday Betting Tips
Play-Off Final matches are always tough to call and we’ve already seen our fair share of drama in the League One Play-Offs this season. Throw in the fact it’s technically a local derby and it’s a powder keg of unpredictability.
I have to wonder how much that semi-final game took out of these Sheffield Wednesday players. There’s also the psychological element that Wednesday lost in a play-off final as recently as 2016 yet Barnsley have won both of their last two play-off final appearances. I wouldn’t be surprised if this goes all the way to penalties.
Barnsley to Qualify @ 11/10 with BetVictor promo code
Method of Victory: Either Team on Penalties @ 4/1 with Betfair promo code
All odds are accurate at the time of writing.