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Darran

Non-League Ante-Post 2018/19

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Less than a week to go until the start of the season and finally I have completed my ante-post look at the various leagues. The last two seasons have both seen over 20pts profit so hopefully at the very least that will be matched and it would be nice to go even better. Hopefully you have already got some nice prices on Billericay and Concord when I put them up a couple of weeks ago. I suspect some of these prices won't last either.

 

National League

 

Only one place to start and that is with Salford who you will struggle to get over 2/1 about now. That is a crazy price to win this league and anyone backing them now needs their head read in my view. If you are sitting on bet at the bigger prices then you will certainly have the value, but the big question is will they actually win the title? I don’t think they will. For me they have the wrong manager. John Askey was rumoured as a possible for the job and he would have been a much better choice than Graham Alexander in my view. It has been proven time and time again in this league that you need to know your Non-League football yet the Class of 92 have gone for someone who hasn’t been near a Non-League club in his career until this point. He could be in for a big shock as others have been in the past. As for the signings most of them do have Non-League experience so that is a good thing for them although despite what the players say they are clearly there for the money. You don’t drop down from League 1 back into Non-League football if you aren’t getting paid more cash. As for Adam Rooney to me it seems crazy that he would turn down playing big games against Celtic and Rangers to play Solihull Moors! Money doesn’t always work in this league as Forest Green proved and they had to go up via the play-offs in the end. No promoted club has gone straight up either and again Fleetwood could only make the play-offs in their first season. Chances are Salford are spending more money than either of those two, but it is impossible to know for certain. There is obviously a chance they could walk away with it, but for me as good as their squad is it doesn’t warrant the current stupid price and I am more than happy to look elsewhere.

 

Chesterfield are the only other team in single figures and getting Martin Allen in as manager is a good move. He has made some decent enough signings although they were on a transfer embargo whilst a failed takeover was being discussed. That concerns me as I think they are a club who need the extra money a takeover would have brought. They have suffered a double relegation and it might just take a bit of time for Allen to change things around especially if he wasn’t able to bring in more players because of the embargo. Fans will want the play-offs, but I wonder if they might just miss out this season.

 

Leyton Orient improved massively under Justin Edinburgh and as I said at the time it was a really good choice of manager for the club. Edinburgh cut his managerial teeth in Non-League and had plenty of success. He turned around a side who were in a relegation battle at the time and keeping Macauley Bonne is huge for them. They were on my shortlist and I was tempted to back them, but I just wonder about the strength in depth in the squad and they look more play-off contenders than title contenders for me at the moment.

Gary Waddock has had to rebuild again at Aldershot although as we know that doesn’t mean they won’t make it a hat-trick of play-off appearances since Waddock came back. Again they were on my shortlist as I have full faith in Waddock putting together a squad capable of being in contention at the top of the table, but to me they just lack that little bit extra you need to win the title.

 

Wrexham should have been in the play-offs last year and I am certain they would have been if Darren Keates had remained in charge instead of going to Walsall. As soon as he left they really struggled and in the end missed out on a play-off berth. Even when Keates was still in charge they drew too many games and a lack of a goal scorer was a big reason for that. They have gone with rookie manager Sam Ricketts and he has certainly tried to rectify the problem of a lack of goals. For me it has to be a watching brief with them as there is too much guesswork involved about if they can mount a title challenge.

 

Sutton and Boreham Wood were both surprise play-off teams last season especially the latter. Sutton are a bigger price than they were last season when they ended up finishing 3rd, but I can’t see them repeating that feat. Wood are really going to miss Bruno Andrade and he really was the only player who caused Tranmere any problems in the Play-Off Final. I think they will slip back into mid-table this time around. I tipped Dover to go down last term, but I really should have known better given how well Chris Kinnear has done there. He has had to rebuild again, but he will surely have them nearer the top than the bottom. Hartlepool are interesting with Jeff Stelling now heavily involved in the club. They have made some interesting signings and they should certainly do better than last time around. They weren’t quite on my shortlist, but I will certainly be keeping a close eye on them.

 

So for me at the prices I am happy to take 3 e/w in the hope that at the very least one of them hit the frame. The first one is Barnet. Getting John Still in as manger was a superb appointment and I have been really impressed with the signings he has made over the summer. Losing John Akinde was a big blow, but they look strong all over the park and they will basically have a new player in Dave Tarpey. He got injured in his 2nd game at the club and is only just on his way back. He proved in less than a month at Maidenhead last season that he was up to the task of scoring plenty of goals at this level and fingers crossed he can get back to peak form. I think they have a good chance of going straight back up.

 

AFC Fylde are the other main pick. They might not have as much money as Salford, but they still signed Ryan Croasdale for £50k over the summer which again proves they are big spenders at this level. They looked like they were going to get nowhere near the play-offs, but they went on an incredible run of form once they got used to the division and fully deserved their spot in the play-offs. That was a bridge too far last time around, but they look stronger this season and keeping hold of Danny Rowe who will no doubt score 20+ goals again is a big plus to their chances. Everything points to them being capable of at least a top 3 finish this time around.

 

The other team are another side who were promoted in 2016 and also reached the play-offs last season Ebbsfleet. They didn’t quite have the consistency all the way through the season to challenge for the title last term, but the squad looks to have evolved nicely over the summer and like Fylde they should be able to improve on their showing last season. They aren’t short of cash either so they have the capability of strengthening if needed.

 

I always like getting involved in the relegation market and although as mentioned above I did tip Dover last year I also put up Woking which continues a good run on this front. Gateshead head the betting and it is easy to see why as they have had to go part-time and cut the budget. They have however also just been taken over so there could be some cash coming at some point so I wouldn’t want to get involved at the odds. Mark Yates did a great job to keep Solihull Moors up last season and that earned him a move to Macclesfield. Tim Flowers who joined at the same time as Yates has now taken over. His managerial career so far is poor, but they have a pretty decent looking squad and if Flowers has improved since he was last in charge of a football club then I think they will survive. Barrow look set to struggle. They were lucky to stay up last season and they might not be so fortunate this time around. Dagenham & Redbridge were tempting. It has been well publicised about how bad things are for them off the pitch and I am not sure getting Peter Taylor in as manger was a good move. As much as I don’t pay close attention to pre season friendlies, Dagenham have actually done pretty well in them so maybe they might be capable of surviving. Havant & Waterlooville won a really weak National League South last season, but Lee Bradbury has made some really good signings and they could actually surprise a few people this season. However the team who also came up via that league might not be so lucky. Braintree snuck into the play-offs by finishing 6th and they were 17 points behind Havant. They don’t look any stronger than last season to me and I think they will really struggle. I put them up a couple of years ago when they were relegated and they look a good bet to me to go straight back down. I will also back them to finish bottom with Skybet as I think they go into the season with the weakest squad in the league.

 

National League North

 

This looks wide open this season with quite a few teams seemingly going for promotion. Stockport head the betting and they probably do look to have their best chance of gaining promotion this time around. I think they will have to have another go via the play-offs though. Chester seem to have steadied themselves after relegation and have done well to get the Salford management duo in. Even so they nearly went bust and as much as they look to have built a decent side they don’t strike me as great value to land the title. York were really disappointing last season when I put them up over Salford. They look fairly strong, but I can see them doing a Stockport and find it pretty tough to get out of this division. Brackley did really well last season finishing 3rd and winning the FA Trophy. I’m not sure they will match that this time around, but they will be in play-off contention. Hereford have had 3 promotions now since reforming and will surely be in and around the play-offs, but I can’t have them as being potential winners. Kidderminster are as short as 8/1 which seems skinny although again they will surely be in and around the play-offs. Chorely always go well and should again. Spennymoor would have been in the play-offs last term if it wasn’t for a big backlog of fixtures and I am sure they can be up there again. Darlington look primed to do better than last season as well and Altrincham should do well after promotion.

 

I have mentioned a lot of clubs there which shows how open it is, but I have decided to back three. Southport are the main bet. Liam Watson has won this league twice (once with Southport) so he knows exactly what it takes and I really like the squad he has built. They had a bizarre season last year going from being unbeatable, to not being able to win, back to being unbeatable before struggling again. They clearly mean business this time around and I think they will go very close.

 

Boston weren’t really on my radar until I noticed how well they had signed over the summer and their front line looks really impressive. Again it seems like they mean business and they look set to have a proper promotion push this season.

 

I put up Alfreton last season and they were pretty rubbish to be fair. However this time around they have Billy Heath as manager and he certainly knows what it takes to get out of this division. He has got players in who he knows well and also know what it takes to get out of this league. At 25/1 I can’t resist having a small play on them e/w in what looks a wide open league.

 

National League South

 

Now I usually wait until the week before the leagues start before I put my preview up, but this division I had two clear teams that I wanted to back (I may add a 3rd nearer the start of the season) and as a few more bookies have gone up with prices, and good ones at that, I am starting my tips a little earlier than usual. Now the 10/1 with BetVictor did not last long once I put it up this morning, but the 8/1 with Betway is still there to take at the time of writing. Now either Betway are happy to stand it for a few quid or the people who follow me don't have Betway accounts! I was in a bit of shock when I saw BetVictor go 10/1 because I was expecting bookies to be really cautious in pricing up Billericay. I thought we would see no bigger than 5/2 and in which case I would have looked to have taken them on, but at the prices they are I have to back them. First and key thing is that Tamplin is no longer manager so hopefully he will stay in the background. I certainly think he realised he was getting in the way during their massive dip in form and I don't think it was a coincidence that once he wasn't around performances improved a hell of a lot. Everyone was expecting them to walk away with the league last season and fair play to Dulwich for pushing them so close. The other issue last term though was the fact they over stretched themselves with cup runs and winning two of them and of course the bad weather which meant a huge backlog in fixtures. This time around they won't have a league cup to play, you would hope they don't take the County Cup so seriously and surely the weather can't be as bad as last season. Tamplin has gone on record saying the wage budget has been cut for this season as he doesn't have to offer so much money to players to play for the team. I also think there will be less players in the squad this time around which will also bring the cost down. The budget though is still massive for the division and there is little doubt in my mind that they have the best squad. Jake Robinson who scored over 50 goals for them last season is a proven scorer at this level having got 24 in the league for Hemel Hempstead the season before in just 30 games. Mosses Emmanuel has been added and he is proven in the National League and he will score plenty at this level. They have added well in other areas of the pitch as well and there is plenty of experience in the team not only at this level but above as well. 

 

Last season they proved on their cup runs that they can beat teams at this level and they beat a team in Harrogate who of course won promotion last season so that just went to show that they had the basis of a team who could already battle it out at the right end of the table at Step 2. This division was not very strong at all last season and although it might be a bit stronger this time around I think their squad last season would have been in the play-offs and this stronger side should be capable of winning the title. I think at the very least they will be in the top 3 though and at the price they look a great e/w bet. 5/1 and 11/2 is available with other bookies and I still rate that a good price. Obviously there is one concern with backing them and that is if anything should happen to Tamplin. I certainly can't see him getting bored if they are contending for the title and anything that might happen off the pitch is a bigger worry. At the end of the day though I think it is pointless second guessing anything and going on the facts we have now and that is they look to have the best squad in the league.

 

I will add to this preview when I write the full one in a couple of weeks and I will talk about some of the other sides who look contenders, but there is one other team who I am going to put up as a bet now because 25/1 (William Hill and BetVictor) is way too big a price. I am staying in Essex as well as Concord are the team in question. They were in a relegation battle last time around and only finished 17th so it might seem odd to want to back them to be in promotion contention this time around, but they have made plenty of statements of intent since the season finished. First of all they got Sammy Moore and Jack Midson in as manager and assistant manager from Leatherhead. They of course had great success there last season and the backlog in fixtures due to the weather and FA Cup run meant they just missed the play-offs. They were quick to announce signings as well and they were pretty impressive and you also have the management team who should be more than capable of still being able to hold their own at this level. Betway are only 14/1 and that would still be on the right side of value so the 25s has to be taken.

 

Not surprisingly since writing the above Billericay have been massive movers and the team looks even stronger than it did when I put them up. The 25s has gone on Concord as well although I would still be happy to take the 20’s at the moment.

 

Dartford should probably have won the league last season and might be regretting not going up when the league appeared to be the weakest it ever has been. They should be capable of going well again, but with a new manager in charge I think it will be more a play-off bid than a title one. Chelmsford are always there or thereabouts and will no doubt be bang in the play-off hunt once again. One season they will surely go up although if it is to be this year I think it will have to be via the play-offs, but a top 3 placing is certainly within their compass. Woking have done well I think to get Alan Dowson in as manager and he has made some good signings I think. The Woking fans have had little to cheer in the last couple of seasons and they should certainly be winning more games this season. Dowson of course did a fantastic job to get to the play-off final last term with Hampton & Richmond and although Gary McCann deserves a chance to manager at this level I find it hard to see them matching last season’s efforts. Torquay were the other relegated side and like Woking their fans have had little to cheer in recent seasons. I have to say though I don’t really fancy them at all and I think they are shorter in the betting than they should be. Bath City seem to be giving it a go this season and getting John Mills from Hereford looks a very shrewd bit of business. If you gave me a 4th pick it would be them and they should be capable of having their best season for a while.

 

I put up Hemel and St Albans last season and both probably should have finished higher than they did. Both should go well again and although they won’t be carrying my money I think they should both be in the play-off mix. Wealdstone are a team who have flattered to deceive in the league a bit, but they again look to have a decent side on paper. It will be interesting to see how promoted teams Dulwich and Slough get on. Dulwich will no doubt be very easy on the eye to watch, but being away from Champion Hill and all the off field issues will stop them being play-off contenders for me, but it is great to see them finally reach this level. Chippenham appear to have strengthened and they might be dark horses to go well.

 

The other tip though is going to be Welling. Manager Steve King isn’t to everyone’s taste, but his record is really good and he has won this league before. I thought the job he did at Whitehawk last season was incredible as he nearly kept them up and they didn’t win a game until New Years Day. Indeed I think I am right in saying that in 2018 alone Whitehawk were 3rd in the table. I thought it was a good move from Welling to get him in as manger and I like the signings he has made. 20/1 is available with every bookie who has the league priced up except Betway who are only 14’s and I would probably have them a shade shorter than that.

 

Evo-Stik League South Premier

 

If you aren’t aware we now have an extra league at Step 3 which means there are now 4 leagues to look at. What that means are fewer sides in each division and in my view it also means that the leagues won’t have too much depth to them. The weakest of them to me looks like being this league and it is one of the reasons why Weymouth are one of my stronger ante-post bets. In the end Hereford won the Evo-Stik Southern Premier fairly easily, but Kettering, Kings Lynn, Slough and Weymouth were all just behind and they in turn were miles clear of the rest. Weymouth won’t have any of those 4 to worry about this season and to me it gives them the perfect opportunity to start making their way back up the pyramid. The squad looks no weaker than last season and that may well be enough to see them take the title. The two biggest dangers for me are Taunton and Salisbury. Taunton won their league by 19 points last season and were only defeated once. There is no reason why they can’t go well again after that superb season. Salisbury were the team they beat into 2nd and I just can’t understand why they are shorter than Taunton in the betting. I’m guessing they have been priced on name and Taunton should be shorter. I do want Salisbury covered however because I do think they under-performed a bit last season and in a weak league they should go close as well.

 

Gosport are a stupidly short price in my view. They were awful last season and as much as they probably knew they had to do very little to stay up I just don’t see how they can improve anywhere near enough to be involved at the other end of the table. It will be interesting to see how Craig McAllister and Matt Tubbs get on there, but they are priced up based on those two names and they should be more than double the price they are. Hendon were defeated on penalties in the Bostik Premier Play-Off Final by Dulwich, but they have lost Gary McCann as manager and I think it will be at least a season of rebuilding especially in a new league. Poole have come down from the National League South and they will be hoping to be in the play-off hunt at the very least and Staines should be as well. Outside of that and it is hard to see anyone having much of an impact and I think Weymouth should be a bit shorter in the betting than they are.

 

Evo-Stik League Central Premier

 

Kettering and Kings Lynn have ended up in this league and not surprisingly are at the head of the market and not surprisingly can barely be separated. To be honest I can’t really separate them either and at the prices I am happy to back them both. Both teams look to have evolved nicely and should be capable of backing up last season’s efforts. If pushed I would just favour Kettering as Kings Lynn have a new manager, but that would really be my only reason. Tamworth should be up their challenging after relegation last season. They have recruited well and although I am not backing them myself I wouldn’t put anyone off if they did fancy them. Stourbridge under performed last season although they had some big losses last summer after a good season before that. They could easily improve and be in the hunt this time around. AFC Rushden & Diamonds are near the head of the market, but for me that is more on name than anything else and they will be more play-off hopefuls than title contenders.

 

There are two I like e/w at double figure prices. Leiston have always gone well in the Bostik Premier and although this is a new league for them they should be capable of going well in this league and wouldn’t have to do too much more to be in with a chance of a top 3 finish. At an even bigger price Rushall Olympic look over priced to me. They finished last season really strongly under Liam McDonald and they should be able to build on that this season. If they do then they can be top 3 contenders.

 

Bostik Premier

 

Either I have got this league completely wrong or the bookies have because 3 of my 4 bets are at huge prices. I have had Kingstonian on my mind to back for this league since May. The reason was they were making some really impressive early signings that signalled their intent of going for the title this season. Last season they treaded water a bit, but after they couldn’t get in the play-offs and they were always safe from relegation as only one team went down, I think they eased off and had this season in mind. With no Billericay or Dulwich around aiming for the title is a realistic ambition for a team like Kingstonian. I was expecting the bookies to have noticed their signings and put them in the front 5 in the betting. I nearly fell off my chair when I saw 33/1 with Bet365. That price is stupid for the level of quality in their squad. Now the one slight concern is at the time of writing their pre-season form has been pretty poor and ideally you would want to see better, but as I have said elsewhere I don’t pay too much attention to pre-season form as it really doesn’t count for an awful lot once the season starts. As I have seen one manager say why would you want your squad to peak in July when you want to be getting to your peak later in the season. The 33s has gone already but the 20/1 on offer is still a very good price

 

Two others I like at massive prices are Enfield and Dorking. Enfield signing Billy Bricknell from Billericay is a superb signing and although they were disappointing last season they did finish in the play-offs the season before and that will surely be there aim at the very least again. Dorking have finally moved to their new ground and they seem to be showing plenty of ambition about making a promotion bid this season. They will want to go well to attract the fans and they should be capable of improving from last season.

 

AFC Hornchurch have been installed as favourites which I find a bit surprising. I know they got over 100 points last season, but I would make them a bit bigger myself. Relegated sides Bognor Regis and Whitehawk are behind them, but I can’t have either. Bognor look a side in transition and were poor last season. If Steve King had remained at Whitehawk then I would have been all over them, but he hasn’t and I can’t have them given the players that have left. Folkestone need to prove they are more than one season wonders after a superb 3rd place last year, but they might well be able to do that. Carshalton, Lewes and Haringey are other promoted sides that near the top of the betting and might be capable of doing well. The one team near the head of the betting who I am betting though is Margate. They drew too many games last season and if they can turn some of them into victories then they should go very close to winning the title. I would probably have them at the top of the market so a double figure price looks a solid e/w bet.

 

Evo-Stik Northern Premier

 

So the final league to take a look at and there is every chance it could be between two promoted sides who both have cash to spend. South Shields are pretty short at 3/1, but for very good reason. They are a rare North East side who have shown the ambition to rise up through the pyramid and they are being well backed off the pitch to do just that. They will be hard to beat, but Basford are also well backed off the field and I am surprised they are available at a double figure price. They looked like they might go through the season unbeaten at one stage and although they ended up losing 4 the league was won well before the season’s end. They certainly should not be underestimated. Finally I am going to also cover Gainsborough Trinity who have come from the other direction. Lee Sinnott wasn’t able to keep them up, but he has been a superb manager since he started at Farsely back in 2003 and their forward line looks really impressive for the level. Speaking of Farsley they could go well and I wouldn’t totally write off the likes of Warrington, Workington and Scarborough either. However I really do think the winner will come from one of the 3 tips.

 

National League

Barnet 1pt e/w @ 14/1 with Bet365/Ladbrokes/Coral/Paddy Power/Betway/BetVictor

AFC Fylde 1pt e/w @ 16/1 with Paddy Power

Ebbsfleet 0.5pts e/w @ 25/1 with William Hill

Braintree to be relegated 2pts @ 7/4 with 188bet/BetVictor

Braintree to finish bottom 1pt @ 13/2 with Skybet

 

National League South

Billericay 1.5pts e/w at 10/1 with BetVictor (already advised)

Concord Rangers 0.5pts e/w @ 25/1 with William Hill & BetVictor (already advised)

Welling 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365

 

National League North

Southport 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Bet365/Betfred

Boston United 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with William Hill

Alfreton 0.5pts @ 25/1 with Betway

 

Bostik Premier

Kingstonian 1pt e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365

Margate 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Betway

Enfield 0.5pts e/w @ 40/1 with Bet365

Dorking 0.5pts e/w @ 33/1 with Bet365

 

Evo-Stik League Central Premier

Kettering 1pt @ 6/1 with Betway

Kings Lynn 1pt @ 13/2 with Betway

Leiston 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1 with Betway

Rushall Olympic 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365

 

Evo-Stik League Southern Premier

Weymouth 2pts @ 13/2 with Bet365

Salisbury 0.5pts @ 7/1 with Bet365/Betway

Taunton 0.5pts e/w @ 18/1 with Bet365

 

Evo-Stik League Northern Premier

South Shields 2pts @ 3/1 with Bet365/Betway

Basford 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Bet365

Gainsborough Trinity 0.5pts @ 7/1 with Bet365

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You definitely got the best odds on Billericay! Hold no value now imo with the possibility of the owner going bankrupt/losing interest mid-season..certainly will happen at some point, just a question of when. Can see him losing interest when attendances don't increase as he expects them to, no way they can continue as they are with an owner with such a dodgy financial history. Great play at odds you got them for, expect the wheels to fall off when they get to the Conference and he cant afford to spend his way out of it.

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21 hours ago, HastGill1 said:

You definitely got the best odds on Billericay! Hold no value now imo with the possibility of the owner going bankrupt/losing interest mid-season..certainly will happen at some point, just a question of when. Can see him losing interest when attendances don't increase as he expects them to, no way they can continue as they are with an owner with such a dodgy financial history. Great play at odds you got them for, expect the wheels to fall off when they get to the Conference and he cant afford to spend his way out of it.

The only way he is going to lose interest is if they aren't competing for promotion and if they aren't then the bet is doomed anyway. The other side of things concern me more, but like I say pointless second guessing anything that might happen. 

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I really fear for my side (Dover) this coming season, yes I know PSF are no gauge on how a season my pan out, but we are seriously lacking a goal threat from open play. Yes our defence looks reasonably solid, low scoring games I envisage and set pieces are going to be vital. I'd bite your hand off if you offered 20th place on goal difference come 27th April 19.

I've already backed Wrexham @ 7/4 Saturday with 1pt

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So I thought I would give an ante-post update given we are pretty much at the halfway stage of the season looking at how the bets are going and what I think will happen in the leagues come Aprll.

 

National League

Barnet 1pt e/w @ 14/1 with Bet365/Ladbrokes/Coral/Paddy Power/Betway/BetVictor

AFC Fylde 1pt e/w @ 16/1 with Paddy Power

Ebbsfleet 0.5pts e/w @ 25/1 with William Hill

Braintree to be relegated 2pts @ 7/4 with 188bet/BetVictor

Braintree to finish bottom 1pt @ 13/2 with Skybet

I was close to putting Leyton Orient up, but went with Ebbsfleet instead and obviously that was a big mistake, but then I had no idea of the off the field issues at the Kent side which only came to light in recent weeks. To be fair to Gary Hill he has improved them since he came in and they are on the edge of the play-offs, but they won't be finishing in the first 3. Neither will Barnet who have had a bad time of things injury wise. I think they will improve in the 2nd half of the season, but I'm not sure it will be enough to make the play-offs. Fylde are still in contention to finish in the top 3, but losing to Dover on Saturday wasn't great when they could have made 3 points on the top 2. As for those top 2 although both lost on Saturday I still think the title will go to either Leyton Orient or Salford. For me both look to have that little bit more class than anyone else in the division. Salford are slight favourites and that is probably right although I wouldn't want to back either. Harrogate are in 3rd and although I thought they would do OK, I certainly didn't have them in the title hunt. They don't seem to be showing signs of a drop off in form and they should reach the play-offs. Wrexham should as well although they need to get the right manager in. If they do they are the team most likely to push the other two although I can only see them finishing 3rd at best. Solihull have been a big surprise. I knew they wouldn't go down, but to be in 5th at this stage is amazing. They look a good side and unless they get an injury crisis I can't see them not finishing in the play-off positions. 

At the other end of the table Braintree have been every bit as bad as I thought they would be. They already look like they will be going down and they are bottom by 5 points so there is a decent chance of the 13/2 on them to finish bottom coming in as well. Some of the other teams around them look capable of improving although I think Maidenhead will go down. Bromley, Aldershot and Halifax look possible relegation contenders. Aldershot will be relaying on their home form to stay up because their away form is awful. Bromley have added players last week, but they really need to improve fast. Halifax are really struggling to win games especially away from home and their fans will be looking over their shoulders.

National League South

Billericay 1.5pts e/w at 10/1 with BetVictor (already advised)

Concord Rangers 0.5pts e/w @ 25/1 with William Hill & BetVictor (already advised)

Welling 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365

Well it was all going so well with Billericay looking hard to beat and then players have started to leave. Quite how fare it will go I am not sure, but Bet365 have pushed them out to 6/1 with seems a massive over reaction to me. The only player so far I am unhappy about leaving is Jake Robinson and even with a £10k budget that will still put them in a strong position. I do find it hard to see them winning the league now though, but they should certainly remain competitive. I also think they will be better off without Tamplin involved. I don't think the players respected it him at all and the win over Eastbourne on Saturday showed they are still more than capable of holding their own. I think Torquay will win the league though and they have been really impressive since Gary Johnson took over as manager. It is their's to lose now for me. I didn't fancy Woking at all for the title, but with the Cup run they may have money to spend so I am not so against them as I was. My other two tips in Welling and Concord are 4th and 5th so are giving us a great run for our money and I will be disappointed if at least one of my 3 bets don't hit the frame.

National League North

Southport 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Bet365/Betfred

Boston United 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with William Hill

Alfreton 0.5pts @ 25/1 with Betway

A bit of a disaster for the 2nd year running in this league although at least Boston have some sort of chance of getting involved. Southport are now showing why I put them up, but its about 3 months too late sadly and Alfreton after a good start have been hopeless for weeks. I was close to putting Chorley up as a bet and they started the season very strongly. They have had a bit of a wobble in recent weeks though, but in an open division they still have a chance. Bradford are currently top which is a big surprise for me. My gut is they won't stay there, but have a good chance of being in the play-offs again. I backed Spennymoor at a huge price last year and didn't touch them this time around, but they are certainly bang in contention. Chester, Altrincham and Kidderminster would be the other possible winners for me. After Saturday's win Kiddie may have gotten over their downturn in form and they would seem to be the ones that are over priced to me.

Bostik Premier

Kingstonian 1pt e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365

Margate 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Betway

Enfield 0.5pts e/w @ 40/1 with Bet365

Dorking 0.5pts e/w @ 33/1 with Bet365

I said in the preview the bookies had made a complete mess with pricing this league up and so it has turned out.AFC Hornchurch were the favourites and they sit in 16th place with just 19 points and 2nd in Whitehawk are currently bottom having won just twice all season! My main bet Kingstonian started badly and it is a shame because they have got themselves in contention in recent weeks and I still wouldn't be ruling them out of getting into the 3. Dorking are currently top and it would be great to nail a 33/1 chance. They have cash to spend so I am hopeful they can do it. Enfield are in contention as well and giving us a good run for our money. Funnily enough Margate are the only ones who probably won't be involved as they have looked a mid-table side so far. Worthing were 40/1 and are now favourites and given they have at least 3 games in had over the teams around them it is easy to see why. It will be interesting to see if they can carry on in the same form over the rest of the season. There are a handful of other teams in contention, but Haringey could be the most dangerous. They have been in good form since their FA Cup run came to an end and if that continues they could play a part.

Evo-Stik League Central Premier

Kettering 1pt @ 6/1 with Betway

Kings Lynn 1pt @ 13/2 with Betway

Leiston 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1 with Betway

Rushall Olympic 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365

This league already looks a two horse race with Kettering and Stourbridge. I would be disappointed if Kettering didn't win it from here to be honest. Kings Lynn's slow start has cost them but they should get in the play-offs. Tamworth were the favourites for this division but they have struggled a bit and at best are outside shots at a play-off place.

Evo-Stik League Southern Premier

Weymouth 2pts @ 13/2 with Bet365

Salisbury 0.5pts @ 7/1 with Bet365/Betway

Taunton 0.5pts e/w @ 18/1 with Bet365

I would be amazed if I don't have the winner of this league as Taunton are top with Weymouth in 2nd and Salisbury in 3rd. The Met Police have games in hand and have only lost 2 games, but it is hard to seem them staying with the other 3 over a whole season. Gosport were in single figures and they have done badly as I though they would.

Evo-Stik League Northern Premier

South Shields 2pts @ 3/1 with Bet365/Betway

Basford 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Bet365

Gainsborough Trinity 0.5pts @ 7/1 with Bet365

South Shields' away form has been pretty shocking at it might stop them from winning the league, but if they can improve it over the 2nd half of the season then they have a chance. Farsely are best positioned and they are the right favourites for me at the moment. Warrington are going well again and should go close. Nantwich and Scarborough are 1st and 2nd, but they have played more games then everyone else which isn't going to help their cause. Gainsborough and Basford are in with a chance as well so all is not lost on either of those two.

These are my ideas of the winners of the leagues now.

National League - Just siding with Salford, but it should be a great battle between them and Orient.

National League North - Hard to call but I will side with Chorley

National League South - Torquay

Bostik Premier - Dorking

Southern League Premier Central - Kettering

Southern League Premier South - Weymouth although Taunton will push them close.

Northern Premier - Farsley

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Sorry for disturbing this topic, but couldnt find a better place to ask one question which is kinda antepost related :)

So basically my friend recently asked me to put a bet for Salford City to play in Premier league in next 5 years. While i find that very hard in such a short period (they can slip just two times in next five years), it made me think actually which teams could pull a Huddersfield :D  So, if you have any idea or even bets yourself, i would be very grateful to know why do you think those teams will progress in next few years. I mean, Salford definitely sound interesting, but ownership of ex Man United players dont means a lot in terms of financial stability i guess :)  I will summon Darran as i am sure that he is most knowledgeable about this subject, but feel free to leave your comment and thanks for cooperation :)

@Darran

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Your friend will almost certainly get a bad value bet if he places it. I too think it highly unlikely to happen, but I would be pretty certain the price offered will be a fair bit under the true price. I'm sure Salford will climb the leagues soon enough, but the step up to League 2 even seems fairly wide at the moment given how promoted sides tend to not get a 2nd promotion now. They are far from certain to even go up this season at the moment.

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On 09/12/2018 at 5:27 PM, Darran said:

So I thought I would give an ante-post update given we are pretty much at the halfway stage of the season looking at how the bets are going and what I think will happen in the leagues come Aprll.

 

National League

Barnet 1pt e/w @ 14/1 with Bet365/Ladbrokes/Coral/Paddy Power/Betway/BetVictor

AFC Fylde 1pt e/w @ 16/1 with Paddy Power

Ebbsfleet 0.5pts e/w @ 25/1 with William Hill

Braintree to be relegated 2pts @ 7/4 with 188bet/BetVictor

Braintree to finish bottom 1pt @ 13/2 with Skybet

I was close to putting Leyton Orient up, but went with Ebbsfleet instead and obviously that was a big mistake, but then I had no idea of the off the field issues at the Kent side which only came to light in recent weeks. To be fair to Gary Hill he has improved them since he came in and they are on the edge of the play-offs, but they won't be finishing in the first 3. Neither will Barnet who have had a bad time of things injury wise. I think they will improve in the 2nd half of the season, but I'm not sure it will be enough to make the play-offs. Fylde are still in contention to finish in the top 3, but losing to Dover on Saturday wasn't great when they could have made 3 points on the top 2. As for those top 2 although both lost on Saturday I still think the title will go to either Leyton Orient or Salford. For me both look to have that little bit more class than anyone else in the division. Salford are slight favourites and that is probably right although I wouldn't want to back either. Harrogate are in 3rd and although I thought they would do OK, I certainly didn't have them in the title hunt. They don't seem to be showing signs of a drop off in form and they should reach the play-offs. Wrexham should as well although they need to get the right manager in. If they do they are the team most likely to push the other two although I can only see them finishing 3rd at best. Solihull have been a big surprise. I knew they wouldn't go down, but to be in 5th at this stage is amazing. They look a good side and unless they get an injury crisis I can't see them not finishing in the play-off positions. 

At the other end of the table Braintree have been every bit as bad as I thought they would be. They already look like they will be going down and they are bottom by 5 points so there is a decent chance of the 13/2 on them to finish bottom coming in as well. Some of the other teams around them look capable of improving although I think Maidenhead will go down. Bromley, Aldershot and Halifax look possible relegation contenders. Aldershot will be relaying on their home form to stay up because their away form is awful. Bromley have added players last week, but they really need to improve fast. Halifax are really struggling to win games especially away from home and their fans will be looking over their shoulders.

National League South

Billericay 1.5pts e/w at 10/1 with BetVictor (already advised)

Concord Rangers 0.5pts e/w @ 25/1 with William Hill & BetVictor (already advised)

Welling 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365

Well it was all going so well with Billericay looking hard to beat and then players have started to leave. Quite how fare it will go I am not sure, but Bet365 have pushed them out to 6/1 with seems a massive over reaction to me. The only player so far I am unhappy about leaving is Jake Robinson and even with a £10k budget that will still put them in a strong position. I do find it hard to see them winning the league now though, but they should certainly remain competitive. I also think they will be better off without Tamplin involved. I don't think the players respected it him at all and the win over Eastbourne on Saturday showed they are still more than capable of holding their own. I think Torquay will win the league though and they have been really impressive since Gary Johnson took over as manager. It is their's to lose now for me. I didn't fancy Woking at all for the title, but with the Cup run they may have money to spend so I am not so against them as I was. My other two tips in Welling and Concord are 4th and 5th so are giving us a great run for our money and I will be disappointed if at least one of my 3 bets don't hit the frame.

National League North

Southport 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Bet365/Betfred

Boston United 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with William Hill

Alfreton 0.5pts @ 25/1 with Betway

A bit of a disaster for the 2nd year running in this league although at least Boston have some sort of chance of getting involved. Southport are now showing why I put them up, but its about 3 months too late sadly and Alfreton after a good start have been hopeless for weeks. I was close to putting Chorley up as a bet and they started the season very strongly. They have had a bit of a wobble in recent weeks though, but in an open division they still have a chance. Bradford are currently top which is a big surprise for me. My gut is they won't stay there, but have a good chance of being in the play-offs again. I backed Spennymoor at a huge price last year and didn't touch them this time around, but they are certainly bang in contention. Chester, Altrincham and Kidderminster would be the other possible winners for me. After Saturday's win Kiddie may have gotten over their downturn in form and they would seem to be the ones that are over priced to me.

Bostik Premier

Kingstonian 1pt e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365

Margate 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Betway

Enfield 0.5pts e/w @ 40/1 with Bet365

Dorking 0.5pts e/w @ 33/1 with Bet365

I said in the preview the bookies had made a complete mess with pricing this league up and so it has turned out.AFC Hornchurch were the favourites and they sit in 16th place with just 19 points and 2nd in Whitehawk are currently bottom having won just twice all season! My main bet Kingstonian started badly and it is a shame because they have got themselves in contention in recent weeks and I still wouldn't be ruling them out of getting into the 3. Dorking are currently top and it would be great to nail a 33/1 chance. They have cash to spend so I am hopeful they can do it. Enfield are in contention as well and giving us a good run for our money. Funnily enough Margate are the only ones who probably won't be involved as they have looked a mid-table side so far. Worthing were 40/1 and are now favourites and given they have at least 3 games in had over the teams around them it is easy to see why. It will be interesting to see if they can carry on in the same form over the rest of the season. There are a handful of other teams in contention, but Haringey could be the most dangerous. They have been in good form since their FA Cup run came to an end and if that continues they could play a part.

Evo-Stik League Central Premier

Kettering 1pt @ 6/1 with Betway

Kings Lynn 1pt @ 13/2 with Betway

Leiston 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1 with Betway

Rushall Olympic 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365

This league already looks a two horse race with Kettering and Stourbridge. I would be disappointed if Kettering didn't win it from here to be honest. Kings Lynn's slow start has cost them but they should get in the play-offs. Tamworth were the favourites for this division but they have struggled a bit and at best are outside shots at a play-off place.

Evo-Stik League Southern Premier

Weymouth 2pts @ 13/2 with Bet365

Salisbury 0.5pts @ 7/1 with Bet365/Betway

Taunton 0.5pts e/w @ 18/1 with Bet365

I would be amazed if I don't have the winner of this league as Taunton are top with Weymouth in 2nd and Salisbury in 3rd. The Met Police have games in hand and have only lost 2 games, but it is hard to seem them staying with the other 3 over a whole season. Gosport were in single figures and they have done badly as I though they would.

Evo-Stik League Northern Premier

South Shields 2pts @ 3/1 with Bet365/Betway

Basford 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Bet365

Gainsborough Trinity 0.5pts @ 7/1 with Bet365

South Shields' away form has been pretty shocking at it might stop them from winning the league, but if they can improve it over the 2nd half of the season then they have a chance. Farsely are best positioned and they are the right favourites for me at the moment. Warrington are going well again and should go close. Nantwich and Scarborough are 1st and 2nd, but they have played more games then everyone else which isn't going to help their cause. Gainsborough and Basford are in with a chance as well so all is not lost on either of those two.

This are my ideas of the winners of the leagues now.

National League - Just siding with Salford, but it should be a great battle between them and Orient.

National League North - Hard to call but I will side with Chorley

National League South - Torquay

Bostik Premier - Dorking

Southern League Premier Central - Kettering

Southern League Premier South - Weymouth although Taunton will push them close.

Northern Premier - Farsley

Jumping on my "Torquay to win the league" bandwagon are you now!:cheers

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6 hours ago, Tiffy said:

Jumping on my "Torquay to win the league" bandwagon are you now!:cheers

I wrote that nearly 2 months ago! Just shows how things can change. I couldn’t have backed Torquay when you did as I thought they wouldn’t be able to catch Billericay. It has become a 2 horse race and one that Torquay should win.

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National League

Barnet 1pt e/w @ 14/1 with Bet365/Ladbrokes/Coral/Paddy Power/Betway/BetVictor LOST

AFC Fylde 1pt e/w @ 16/1 with Paddy Power LOST

Ebbsfleet 0.5pts e/w @ 25/1 with William Hill LOST

Braintree to be relegated 2pts @ 7/4 with 188bet/BetVictor WON

Braintree to finish bottom 1pt @ 13/2 with Skybet LOST

 

National League South

Billericay 1.5pts e/w at 10/1 with BetVictor (already advised) LOST

Concord Rangers 0.5pts e/w @ 25/1 with William Hill & BetVictor (already advised) LOST

Welling 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365 PLACED

 

National League North

Southport 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Bet365/Betfred LOST

Boston United 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with William Hill LOST

Alfreton 0.5pts @ 25/1 with Betway LOST

 

Bostik Premier

Kingstonian 1pt e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365 LOST

Margate 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Betway LOST

Enfield 0.5pts e/w @ 40/1 with Bet365 LOST

Dorking 0.5pts e/w @ 33/1 with Bet365 WON

 

Evo-Stik League Central Premier

Kettering 1pt @ 6/1 with Betway WON

Kings Lynn 1pt @ 13/2 with Betway LOST

Leiston 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1 with Betway LOST

Rushall Olympic 0.5pts e/w @ 20/1 with Bet365 LOST

 

Evo-Stik League Southern Premier

Weymouth 2pts @ 13/2 with Bet365 WON

Salisbury 0.5pts @ 7/1 with Bet365/Betway LOST

Taunton 0.5pts e/w @ 18/1 with Bet365 PLACED

 

Evo-Stik League Northern Premier

South Shields 2pts @ 3/1 with Bet365/Betway LOST

Basford 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with Bet365 LOST

Gainsborough Trinity 0.5pts @ 7/1 with Bet365 LOST

Staked 35pts

Won 54.42pts

Profit 19.68pts

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