Betting: West Ham vs. Millwall

MILLWALL will find backers few-and-far-between this weekend, as they go into their game at West Ham as massive outsiders.

Derby games are notoriously unpredictable, but the NewsAtDen team have poured over the bookmakers' offerings for tomorrow's game to try and find you some value.

Match Betting

The Lions, whose mini-revival ended with a disappointing defeat to Watford in midweek, are as far out as 6/1 with Victor Chandler to earn all three points at in east London tomorrow.

West Ham are best-priced at 8/13 with Betfred, while the draw can be found at 3/1 with Victor Chandler.

We aren't about to suggest Millwall are on course for a rare away victory – they have won just twice on the road all season – but all signs point to a tight encounter.

History may have little say in tomorrow's meeting, though it's worth noting that it is almost 21 years since West Ham recorded a league win over the Lions, while Millwall have never managed a Football League success at Upton Park.

The Championship leaders, like their visitors, go into Saturday's match on the back of a midweek loss, having been thrashed 5-1 at Ipswich. They have only lost consecutive games once this season.

Nevertheless, Millwall will be boosted by the likely availability of new signing Andy Keogh, while captain Paul Robinson could return after a three-game injury absence.

The Hammers' home record somewhat belies their table-topping position, and is actually the fifth-best in the Championship. Other than the 4-0 defeat of Blackpool in October, victories have tended to be narrow and unconvincing.

Sam Allardyce's side have won their last three games at Upton Park but, despite having brought in extra firepower in the shape of Nicky Maynard, Ricardo Vaz Te and Ravel Morrison in midweek, we think a fourth is beyond them.

We go with a draw as the best bet, though optimistic Lions fans might well be tempted by a double chance punt on Millwall or draw at 7/5 with bwin.

Goals and results

The Lions' struggles in front of goal have been no more noticeable than in their games on the road.

They have found the net just ten times in 13 away matches, though six of those goals have come in their only successes at Leicester in October and Barnsley last month.

However, they generally do not concede many on the road either, letting in an average of 1.46 per game – a better record than many of their higher-placed rivals.

The Hammers, meanwhile, manage only 1.69 goals per home fixture – lending weight to our argument that a tight encounter is on the cards.

The season's first meeting between these two sides was a low-scoring affair, as the teams played out a 0-0 draw at the Den in September.

If you fancy another stalemate, that's 11/1 with Skybet, while a one-all draw is 7/1 with Victor Chandler. A one-nil Lions win at 14/1 with Bet365 could be a good choice for the optimists.

We think a punt on under 2.5 goals at 19/20 with Bet365 is also worth a look.

First half/second half

West Ham have the best first-half record in the Championship, and have only been losing at the interval in four of their 28 games this season.

However, their performances after half-time have been less impressive, leaving them with the 14th-best second-half record in the division.

Of the eleven games they have been level in at the break, the Hammers have gone on to win just four, while losing four and taking a point from three. But, when winning at the break, they have gone on to draw twice in 13 games, losing none.

Millwall's aim might well be to get to half time on equal terms, then, though their own second-period form is pretty poor.

We think Betfred's price of 11/2 for draw/draw could be a good way to go, while Ladbrokes' 14/1 for draw/Millwall is an interesting proposition.

Player markets

With both Allardyce and opposing manager Kenny Jackett likely to make changes to their sides following midweek defeats, it is worth waiting to see the team line-ups before speculating on which players will have an impact on this fixture.

Bet365's 15/4 for Keogh to mark his debut with a goal looks tempting given Millwall are crying out for forward firepower, while top goalscorer Darius Henderson is 12/5 with Skybet to score at any time.

If you fancy Millwall to score the first goal of the game, Henderson at 8/1 with BlueSquare could be worth a look.

Former Bristol City man Maynard scored three goals in the two games he has played against Millwall this season, so it's no surprise that he is the game's first-goalscorer favourite.

Paddy Power go 9/2 that Maynard will kick off life as a Hammer with the first goal of the game, while he's 13/10 with the same bookmaker to score at any time.

Allardyce may well resist putting his new man straight into the starting line-up, though, so perhaps Paddy Power's price of 9/2 for Maynard to score the game's last goal is a good one. Keogh is 12/1 with Bet365 to mark his debut with the last strike of the afternoon.

Our recommendations:

– Draw (3/1 with Victor Chandler)
– Millwall-draw double chance (7/5 – bwin)
– 1-1 draw (7/1 with Victor Chandler)
– Under 2.5 goals (19/20 with Bet365)
– HT draw/ FT draw (11/2 with Betfred)
– Andy Keogh anytime goalscorer (15/4 with Bet365)
– Nicky Maynard last goalscorer (9/2 with Paddy Power)

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