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Crawley v MK Dons: Prediction, Tips and Odds

Crawley Town have defied pre-season expectations to reach the League Two play-offs but they face a tough test when they host fourth-placed MK Dons on Tuesday evening.

Crawley v MK Dons

Crawley v MK Dons betting tips and predictions

MK Dons to win - 29/20

Crawley have made a mockery of their pre-season odds, which had them among the favourites for relegation after they finished 22nd in League Two last term, but they face a tough draw in their play-off semi-final against MK Dons.

The Dons finished eight points behind the top three teams in the EFL's fourth tier, but they were still at least seven points ahead of all of their play-off rivals and deserve to be the narrowest of favourites for this away leg.

Crawley have won promotion from this division once before after reaching the Football League for the first time in 2011, but they went up automatically when finishing third in their debut season and so this will be their first ever EFL play-off game.

Manager Scott Lindsey has done a fantastic job with the Red Devils since joining in January 2023 and they climbed the table in the second half of this season thanks to an excellent run of eight wins in 11 matches in February and March.

The West Sussex side have struggled against the top teams in the division, though, losing eight of their 12 matches against the six sides who finished above them, although they split their meetings with the Dons.

Crawley won 2-1 at this venue - which has been sold out for Tuesday's game - in August, but the Buckinghamshire outfit had their revenge in the most recent meeting, winning 2-0 in Milton Keynes in December.

Dons manager Mike Williamson has his team in good shape and they have lost only three of their last 11 games, but when it goes wrong it can do so in spectacular fashion and their last two losses were 5-0 to champions Stockport and 4-1 at home to third-placed Mansfield.

Crawley won 2-0 against struggling Grimsby on the final day of the regular season to secure their play-off place, but that was their first success in five games after two defeats and two draws.

It's hard to fancy the home side for this tougher test after that run and the Dons have a decent chance of returning home with a lead.

Over 3.5 goals - 6/5

Crawley have been an entertaining team to watch all season, always looking capable of scoring but often needing to keep thrusting forward due to their untrustworthy defence leaving them in sticky positions.

Both teams have scored in five of their last six games and they have netted in 10 of their last 12 matches, including the last four fixtures which they either drew or lost.

MK Dons' recent games have brought an explosion of goals. There have been 43 scored in total in just their last eight matches with seven of them producing at least four goals.

They finished the campaign with a mixed bag of a 4-1 defeat, a 5-3 victory and a 4-4 draw and there is no reason to expect the net-bulging fun to stop just because this is a play-off game.

Crawley will know their best shot of taking down the Dons is to beat them in front of a noisy sell-out crowd at home in the first leg and the visitors are more than capable of punishing them if it turns into a back-and-forth affair.

Both teams scored in eight of MK Dons's nine away victories in the regular season and over 3.5 goals looks worth backing as the League Two play-offs open on Tuesday.

Max Dean anytime goalscorer - 13/8

With the prospect of a high-scoring game at Broadfield Stadium, an anytime goalscorer bet appeals as there should be several chances to win.

Four players are joint-favourites at 11/2 in the first goalscorer market - Crawley's Danilo Orsi and Klaidi Lolos, plus Max Dean and Ellis Harrison for the Dons - and Dean looks the most reliable option of the quartet.

The MK Dons striker has scored six times in his last six appearances as his team have gone on a goal spree, netting a double at home to Walsall and also scoring against Notts County, Forest Green, Mansfield and Harrogate.

Three of those games were on the road so Dean, who has 18 goals in 32 games in all competitions this season, has demonstrated he can perform in a hostile atmosphere.

Read more football betting tips and predictions on site

Crawley v MK Dons odds

Crawley - 6/4
Draw -
14/5
MK Dons -
29/20

View the full market and more odds for Crawley v MK Dons on site.

Read Crawley v MK Dons how to watch, TV channel, head-to-head stats, team news and more on site.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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