The 2022/23 Championship play-off semi-final first legs kick-off this weekend and the 5:30pm BST kick-off on Saturday will see Sunderland vs Luton at the Stadium of Light. Both these two teams weren’t tipped by the majority of fans and pundits to finish in the top 6 so it feels like there is no pressure on them here. Here are my football betting tips for this big game.
Mowbray’s Men Hitting Form at the Right Time
Sunderland come into these play-offs as one of the in-form teams. Tony Mowbray’s side finished in the final play-off qualification spot in 6th place. It was a position the Black Cats earned by going unbeaten for their last 9 league games. It certainly feels that they have gatecrashed the play-offs this season and the bookies are now pricing them at 15/4 to win the play-offs.
This Sunderland team has become free-scoring under Mowbray, having now scored in their last 7 consecutive league matches. Their attacking wealth comes in the form of Manchester United loanee and club top scorer Amad Diallo, former Tottenham winger Jack Clarke, and ex-Manchester City youth prodigy Patrick Roberts. That’s before we even get onto the injured striker Ross Stewart. Diallo is a particularly tempting pick at 7/1 with Bet365 to score first.
There are certainly a lot of similarities between this Sunderland team and the West Brom side that were promoted from this division under Mowbray back in 2008. The club scored 2 or more goals in 4 of their last 5 games and are available at 15/8 with Betfair to score over 1.5 goals here.
Edwards Hoping for Fairytale Story
There is no doubt that Luton are the surprise success story of this season. When Nathan Jones departed the club to take on a managerial role with Premier League club Southampton back in November everyone thought the Hatters were doomed. Former Forest Green Rovers and Watford gaffer Rob Edwards was swiftly appointed and the club haven’t looked back.
Luton were unfortunate to miss out on the automatic promotion spots finishing in 3rd place in the league. If Sunderland’s undefeated run looked impressive then Luton’s was next level with the club not suffering a loss in 14 league games. Although the fact they won just 1 of their last 4 league matches is probably why BetUK only have them listed at 11/4 second favourites to win the play-offs.
Carlton Morris has been a key player for Luton this season with the striker finishing the regular season with 20 league goals. This included him bagging 4 goals in the club’s last 6 league games of the season. He is priced at 12/5 with Bet365 to score any time. If you want a more outside chance any time scorer bet then centre back Tom Lockyer scored in 2 of the last 3 league games and he’s listed at 20/1 to score anytime with Betfair.
This is where the statistics make for some really interesting reading. Both of the previous meetings between these two clubs this season ended in 1-1 draws. In fact, the last four league meetings between these two teams have ended in 1-1 draws. The two sides simply cannot be separated when going toe-to-toe it would seem.
To add further intrigue to this, Sunderland drew 5 of their last 9 league matches of the season. Luton then also drew 3 of their last 4 league games with two of those ending 1-1. Anyone else getting the draw vibes here? A draw is available at 11/5 with Bet365 and if you want to go deeper into the mad Hatters’ rabbit hole then a correct score of 1-1 can be found at odds of 5/1 with Betfred.
Sunderland vs Luton Betting Tips
It’s brilliant to see these two teams qualifying for the play-offs ahead of other teams who have had time in the limelight in recent seasons. I’m expecting a riveting tie here with both sides coming into these games in decent form. It’s going to be tight, it’s going to be nervy, and it’s going to be exciting.
My bets for this have to be backing the draw. Not sure I’ve got the courage to go for the 1-1 correct score but power to you if you are that brave. I also fancy Diallo to score any time as he looks to leave his mark on these play-offs.
Draw @ 11/5 with Bet365
BTTS @ 19/20 with Unibet
All odds are accurate at the time of writing.
Join The Best Betting Community In The World
Get involved in all the betting chat for the first legs of the play-offs on our dedicated Championship betting tips forum. From trends, stats, and tips, we discuss anything and everything as we look to beat the bookies.