English Championship also referred to as English Football League is the second-highest tier in England after the EPL (English Premier League). A new season is off where 24 teams will contest for the EFL title. Last year saw Norwich win the title after a spirited show in the second half of the season.
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- Best Championship Betting Sites: Welcome Offers & Betting Links
- The Championship Bet Types and Markets
- The Championship Betting Tips
- What is the EFL Championship?
- Best Championship Bookmakers Summary
Best Championship Betting Sites: Top Bets for 2019-2020
With 94 points, the Canaries were able to clinch the title which also earned them a direct promotion to the EPL. Sheffield United came second with 89 points with Chris Wilder boys also securing a direct promotion to the EPL. Leeds came in the third position with Marcelo Bielsa’s men finishing with 83 points but did not win the playoffs after they lost to Frank Lampard’s Derby County on an aggregate score of 3-4.
EFL sets its playoffs between the 3rd position and 6th position where one team will be promoted to the EPL. Aston Villa was the lucky recipient with the team closing in as the last entrant in the EPL. On the other side, the relegated teams from EPL (Fulham, Cardiff, and Huddersfield) were dropped to the EFL. The bottom 3 teams in the last season (Rotherham, Bolton, and Ipswich Town) were relegated to League One with Luton, Barnsley, and Charlton all securing promotion to the Championship
With the new season just in the early stages, many questions linger on what to expect of this season. Is it the season Leeds United get back to the premier league after a 16-year absence? Will Cardiff and Fulham power up again? Who will get a direct promotion? Who will get to the playoff stages? Who will be relegated?
The championship is back with fans thrilled about nine-months of entertainment, emotions, competitions, and excitement. The bookies predict that the 2019/2020 season is more open than ever before.
Championship Title Favorite: Leeds or Fulham?
The bookies have gone with Leeds as the favorite to win the title at odds of (6.00, Sky Bet). Leeds will rue the last season lost opportunity when they had taken the first position over the Easter period. The next games saw their form slump and ended up in playoffs position. Marcelo Bielsa is a proven coach and good news to the Leeds fans will be the extension of his contract at the Elland Road making the bookies predict that this will finally be their year. Recent additions of the in-form Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah (on-loan) is going to boost their front line with the team also securing other loan deals.
Fulham has been tipped to take the second position at 9.00 and are expected to have their premier league return after a frustrating 2018/2019 season. It will be the first full season for Scott Parker and with additions of Harry Arter from Bournemouth, Anthony Knockaert from Brighton, among others, there is a quality blend with the likes of Mitrovic firing.
The bookies oversee a tough race in the playoffs position with Cardiff, West Bromwich, Stoke City and Derby City all poised to get involved in the mix. Sky Bet, however, tips West Bromwich at position three at odds of 8/1, while Neil Warnock’s Cardiff taking position four at 13.00, Stoke have been tipped at the fifth position with the Potters put at odds of 13.00 and finally, Philip Cocu’s Derby County are tipped to close the coveted spots at 15.00.
However, teams have been tipped to cause some serious headache for the spots. They include Swansea City, Bristol City, and Nottingham Forest.
At the bottom
On the flip side, the race to survive the ax is another one to look up to with every team giving the best shot to remain in the division. Reading has flirted with relegation for some past seasons and this could be the year they go down. Millwall is another potential candidate for the ax judging from the recent departures experienced. The promoted pair of Charlton and Barnsley are other potential teams with Birmingham and QPR also not safe. Chances of relegation are as follows;
- Charlton – 30%
- Barnsley – 34%
- Birmingham – 26.7%
- Reading – 24%
- QPR – 23.1%
- Millwall – 23.1%
The Championship Bet Types and Markets
Bettors will find dozens of bet types available on the Championship. Three of the most popular bet types are the match result bet, goals over/under, or both teams to score. However, there are many more bet types available online. Some major sportsbooks even offer punters the chance to build their own bets. It is a unique way for bettors to create the ultimate accumulator online.
Sportsbooks offer odds at the start of each season on all 24 teams to win the league. Punters can find odds for their favourite team weighed against the club’s actual chances of winning the competition. Sportsbooks update the odds during the season and punters can still wager on outright winners well into the competitions. Odds will reflect how a team is performing.
Betting on the outright winner at the start of the season is a lot of fun. Bettors place a wager and then watch the action unfold for 46 matches. It can be a thrill when a football fan’s bet turns out to be a winner. Especially, if it is the team they support. Sports gamblers will find excellent odds at the start of each season. The unpredictability of the Championship means a bettor could wager on the league’s winner even if it is a longshot.
One of the best tools a bettor can use is Oddschecker. The website compares the odds offered by major sportsbooks. Gamblers can find the best value available and bet with that particular website.
A tip for betting on a Championship outright winner is to let the Championship season begin before placing the wager. Bettors can see how the team they want to bet on performs. If they do poorly to open the season, the odds with grow longer, which could make for great value. Hopefully, once the wager is placed, the club will improve and win promotion thus winning the gambler the bet.
The Championship Outright Winner Odds* 2018-19
West Brom Albion – 9/4
Fresh off of their relegation from the Premier League, West Brom Albion is attempting a top-flight comeback. The Baggies were bad last season in the Premier League and finished dead last. Improvement has been made this term already and the side is finding the Championship to be more its level.
Leeds United – 11/2
The early pacesetters have dipped in form, but are still a favorite to win promotion. Marcelo Bielsa's style of play took the Championship by storm early, but injuries have hurt Leeds lately. Bielsa’s last three coaching positions have ended badly. Leeds supporters hope the manager can finally lead them back to the Premier League.
Middlesbrough – 11/2
Middlesbrough were so close yet so far last season. Beaten in the playoffs, Middlesbrough were nearly back in the Premier League. Relegated at the end of the 2016-17 season, Middlesbrough have one of the best squads in terms of quality. If the team does not achieve promotion, it could be broken up as Premier League parachute payments dry up.
Sheffield United – 11/2
Free-flowing Sheffield United score goals with the best of them. Unfortunately, the Blades do not keep them out very well. It was an Achilles’ heel last term and it could come back to bite them once more. For now, they are great value and could finally end their exile in the lower leagues.
Brentford – 7/1
Brentford are one of those clubs to get off to a poor start, but still, be considered a title-winner by sportsbooks. The Bees have plenty of value after beginning with just four wins. Can Brentford end the season as winners? Brentford hasn’t played in the top-flight since the 1940s.
Other interesting odds
Betting on the outright winner can be difficult due to the nature of the Championship. Due to the unpredictability, fans may wager on promotion odds instead. The popular market keeps punters excited until the final game of the season. If their team finishes in the play-off places, there is still the chance to win the bet.
The playoffs and the build-up to get there is exciting. Teams will do whatever they can to achieve promotion to the richest football league in the world. Betting on promotion is popular and major sportsbooks update their odds throughout the season accordingly. Sportsbooks not only offer promotion winner odds, but there are markets for top 2 finishers and top 6 finishers.
Just like promotion odds and outright winner betting, sportsbooks give punters the chance to wager on relegation. The fight for survival in the Championship is intense as teams attempt to stave off the drop to the third-tier. When Championship sides get mired in a relegation scrap, it can see them stuck at the bottom of the table for much of the season.
Often, the teams recently promoted from League One are given the shortest odds. It is expected that these clubs will return to League One due to a lack of talent. Interestingly, some newly relegated teams from the Premier League get relegated in their first season in the Championship. Sunderland was relegated from the Premier League in 2016-17 and suffered a second straight relegation a season later. The club paid for years of mismanagement by the board and managers hired to correct the ship.
The race for the golden boot is another favorite betting market. It is the chance for punters to wager on the league’s top scorer and to sit back and watch him tally goal after goal. The last 14 seasons have seen the Championship’s top scorer plunder 20 or more goals. However, there is a caveat to the top scorer betting. Punters shouldn’t expect the top scorer to propel his team to the Championship title. It isn’t often the two items are connected.
The Championship Betting Tips
Everyone who bets on the Championship wants to win. However, many bettors believe they can simply look at the league table before making a quick betting selection. Bettors that win consistently base their betting on research, stats, and analysis. Bettors who win do their homework and spend hours compiling information.
Bettors should be specialists in the Championship. They should know the ins and outs of the league table and form table. By looking at teams in-depth, bettors can make educated decision when placing their bets.
Head to head stats, goals scored and conceded, and form over the last six games are fundamental areas punters should be familiar with. Goals for and against are vital stats to know if a bettor wants to specialise in goals over/under or both teams to score markets.
All major sportsbooks offer Championship betting odds. It is one of the most popular football leagues in the world and most watched. Online sports bettors can find a wealth of opportunities to bet on in the Championship. Many sportsbooks offer promos and bonuses throughout the year on Championship matches. Online customers can expect the playoffs to yield several promos in May.
Finally, shopping around enables football fans to find the best odds. Using an odds comparison website, punters can see the different odds offered by bookies. This enables customers to find value in the market they wish to bet on
The Championship is a unique football league. It is a marathon 46-game season that sees teams battle it out for Premier League riches. Its uncertainties make it a great competition to watch. Bettors don’t have to be uncertain about their Championship betting, however. Using betting tools and research, online customers can win when betting on the Championship all year long.
What is the EFL Championship?
The EFL Championship is the second-tier of English football. The league is a cut-throat combination of guts and guile. Twenty-four teams start out the Championship season all with their sights set on Premier League promotion. Winning promotion to the top-flight offers clubs vast riches beyond their wildest dreams. However, relegation from the Championship to League One is one of the most surreal, god-awful experiences a football team can have.
Betting on the Championship takes more than just research and analysis. Bettors need a little luck when placing wagers on the second-tier. The football isn’t always pretty and teams are much more even when it comes to talent and finances than in the Premier League. It isn’t uncommon to see favourites lose matches. The Championship is difficult to predict and even professional bettors have their issues picking winners week in, week out.
Despite the Championship’s unpredictability, it is still a great football league to wager on. In fact, some punters enjoy the challenge of betting on the Championship more than the straightforward Premier League.
The Championship kicks off in early August and runs until May. It features 24 teams fighting to reach the Premier League. The 46-game season is a marathon and a losing streak doesn’t necessarily mean clubs are out of the running for promotion.
Two teams are automatically promoted to the Premier League. Meanwhile, the teams which finish in third place through sixth place qualify for the promotion playoffs. The four teams play knockout cup style football until one team is left. The promotion playoff final has been called the most lucrative football match in the world and clubs can be made by achieving promotion.
Due to clubs aiming for the Championship’s top six, teams can make a second half of the season run and still obtain promotion. In 2017-18, Fulham were as low as 19th after four games before finding themselves 12th on New Year’s Day. The club’s second half turnaround enabled Fulham to make the playoffs where they earned Premier League promotion. A lot can happen in the Championship.
The Championship Playoffs
The Championship playoffs see four teams qualify. The teams in third through sixth place following the league’s marathon 46-game season qualify for the postseason. Often times, the team with the best form going into the playoffs earns promotion to the Premier League.
The team which finishes third plays the sixth-place finisher in a two-legged, home and away series. Fourth place meets fifth place in a two-legged series as well. Scores are kept on aggregate and the teams that win face off in a winner takes all match at Wembley Stadium. The winner of the playoff final earns promotion to the top-flight while the loser must face another season in the depths of Championship Hell.
The Championship Relegation
While teams have their eyes on reaching the top six, they are all avoiding the bottom three. Finishing in the relegation spots means being demoted to the third-tier of English football. It is a place some Premier League teams have found themselves in after sliding down the slippery slope of failure. Not long ago, reigning Premier League champions Manchester City were stuck in League One. Wolverhampton Wanderers were in the division just a few short years ago as well.
While the bottom three head to League One, they are replaced by the top two sides in the third-tier. A playoff is played in League One just like in the Championship. The winner of the playoff final is promoted to the Championship.
*Odds are correct at time of publishing
Best Championship Bookmakers Summary
- William Hill
- Paddy Power
Last update : December 2019