Friday, 30 November, kick-off 19:55 Live on BBC Two
I backed Blackpool in midweek on the basis of their superb record defensively, so it was somewhat disappointing they shipped two goals in a defeat at Doncaster. It was a frustrating night in so many ways. Manager Terry McPhillips changed the team and left out in-form Joe Dodoo, and he admitted his mistake as the Seasiders missed several clear-cut opportunities.
The focus switches to the FA Cup, and one step away from a potential money-spinneragainst the big sides, so there is no reason why McPhillips should field a weakened team.
Solihull are interesting opponents. Managed by Tim Flowers these days, they reached the fifth tier for the first time in their history in 2016, and I get the impression they are punching above their weight in the National League. They currently lie in sixth position and are clearly far from no-hopers here at a price of 3.30.
The visitors are fairly chalked up at 1.82, which is just about acceptable, especially as the Tangerines have been a decent cup team this term in beating Barnsley, Doncaster and QPR in the EFL. They played well at Arsenal too. But on this game, it could be a low-scoring affair.
Blackpool keep clean sheets (although not on Tuesday), and their defensive record in League One has been exemplary in shipping just eight goals on the road all season. I highlighted their shutout record for Tuesday's match, and ten out of 19 is a fine return.
Not to be outdone, Solihull head into Friday night with five successive clean sheets. That makes 12 for the season, and they held big-spending Salford at the weekend 0-0. Under 1.5is a tricky bet which is often my undoing as I get sucked into the bigger price, so let's play 2.5 here.
Shay stalemate the likeliest outcome
FC Halifax Town v AFC Wimbledon
Saturday, 1 December, kick-off 12:30 Live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K
Another National League v League One match-up here, but the prices are slightly different from Friday's game between Solihull and Blackpool. If you fancy the hosts here, they are 4.80, whilst an away victory at 1.72 is on offer. The latter doesn't excite me at all considering the Londoners only came through their first round match with Haringey Borough 0-1. It took a 90th minute goal too. Although the Dons did have 20 shots in that game.
Soon after that victory, Neal Ardley departed as manager, and since then Wimbledon have received 80 applications for the job. I remember the days covering the Dons at Selhurst as a junior reporter. I used to really enjoy the Egil Olsen press conferences!
Interim boss Simon Bassey nearly gained a fine point on Tuesday at Peterborough, but they were undone by a Marcus Maddison special. I get the feeling that is the way Bassey will go here; hang in, keep it tight, and keep the crowd quiet, to ride the storm in the first 20 minutes.
They only registered one shot on goal on Tuesday.
Halifax were recently hammered 4-0 by Ebbsfleet, which is not an ideal preparation for this. The performance was described as inept, and they will need to get back to their defensive best which was displayed in the two FA Cup first round matches with Morecambe. Both were Under 2.5 Goals, with a 0-0 and 1-0.
That's the way I am heading again for this game which could be low on quality and a bit of a scrap.
Barton's men should overcome Monday's opponents
Guiseley AFC v Fleetwood Town
Monday 3 December, kick-off 20:00 Live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K
This is perhaps the highest profile match of the TV games with League One teams, and the focus will centre around Joey Barton heading to Guiseley.
At first glance, a match against a Conference North club should be straightforward. The price of an away victory tells us as much at 1.52, but looking at that division, there are plenty of ex-Football League sides there. With Darlington, Kidderminster, Boston, Hereford, York and Stockport, it looks a pretty difficult league to get out of!
This is a tricky tie. Fleetwood are fairly handy at home, but I am not sure I want to back them at 1/2. Of course they should win, and Barton will be drilling his players on the perils of a cup upset, and his team will have to get over their inconsistent form. Recent figures of WLDLWLW, means we never quite know what we are going to get. So the outright is a no-no, but we should look to back the visitors in the handicap if they hit their straps.
I backed them against Walsall in the Sky TV game recently. It finished 0-0, and I was quite surprised how low the quality was in the game. Especially in the final third.
The hosts beat Cambridge United 4-3 in the previous round, whilst Fleetwood were convincing 1-4 winners at Alfreton at the same stage. If the away team get it right, they should win comfortably, so the -1 Fleetwood bet is the one bet.
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.85 Solihull v Blackpool
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.85 Halifax v AFC Wimbledon