Seagulls’ weekend odd - Middlesbrough

The international break won’t have been well received by all club managers, but the extra week should mean Gus Poyet will have Brighton talisman Craig Mackail-Smith back to the fray at Middlesbrough this weekend.

The next four games could be pivotal for the Seagulls’ season given they play sides all currently in the top half of the division including a fascinating trip to the King Power Stadium next Tuesday to meet inform Leicester City.

The early even money has been for Albion, who are now a shade of odds on at 5/6 with the draw 27/10 and Borough 15/4; the visitors will be without leading marksman Lukas Jutkiewicz, and with Marvin Emnes struggling to recapture last terms form, it’s easy to see why punters have latched on to the Seagulls.

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Mackail-Smith has been installed the warm favourite at 4/1 to open the scoring and is 5/4 to net on his return. Brighton still remain handily placed in fifth position and title odds of 12/1 could look value if they still find themselves in the playoff zone come the end of November.

BetVictor are a top price 4/1 on promotion and the 11/8 to finish in the top six and secure a playoff berth at worst is again the best price you will find anywhere.

The Championship top goalscorer market is fascinating - Burnley’s Charlie Austin is currently clear at the top with twelve goals but he is rumoured to be attracting attention from several Premier League clubs including Newcastle and has been strongly touted to make a move during the January transfer window.

Austin is available at 7/4, but if he goes in the new year the market is wide open. Mackail-Smith is only two behind Leeds’ Luciano Becchio in second so 16/1 might be worth taking before the weekend as he looks to make inroads into the leading contenders.

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