The new season of the English Football League Championship is less than a week away, giving outright betting punters just a few days to place their bets. Here, we look at a couple of different outright betting markets and give our tips on what we think will happen.
Outright Winners (Each-Way – 1/4 the odds for 1,2,3)
Middlesbrough are rightly the favourites in this market. Coral have them priced at 6/1, with quarter the odds for top three in the each-way market. They have a new manager, have spent a lot of money, and should be there or thereabouts come next May.
Aston Villa are the second favourites in this market, at 13/2, but we don’t think they will do as well as these odds suggest. They have strengthened at the back, but that isn’t where their problems were last season. If they can improve their ‘Goals For’ statistics, they will push for promotion, but it’ll be another disappointing season if they don’t.
Fulham (8/1) and Norwich City (9/1) come next in the betting and should be in with a good chance if they can improve defensively. They were level with Newcastle United on goals scored last season, netting 85, and both sides are still as strong going forward.
Other options in the title race are Sheffield Wednesday (9/1), Wolves (10/1), Derby County (12/1), and the relegated pair of Sunderland (12/1) and Hull City (14/1). Last season’s Play Off finalists Reading are also priced at 14/1.
Top Tip – Middlesbrough to Win the Championship (6/1 with Coral)
Top Six Finish
This is slightly different to backing an outright winner, as punters can back a longer odds chance if they think they can finish in a play-off place. Huddersfield Town proved anything can happen last season, so it can pay to back an outsider in this market.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much value to be found in backing a side to finish in the top six. So, we again are just looking at making a profit. With this is mind we have chosen two teams we are completely confident will give us a winning bet.
Top Tips – Middlesbrough to Finish in Top Six (4/5 with Coral)
Fulham to Finish in Top Six (11/10 with Coral)
Top Goalscorer (Each-Way – 1/4 the odds for 1,2,3,4)
Chris Wood of Leeds United topped the goal scoring charts last season, with twenty-seven, and is priced at 8/1 to be top scorer again this season. Those odds are worth ignoring, in our opinion, as he isn’t certain of staying in the Championship. He has been tipped for a move to the Premier League, which will mean you’ll waste your money by backing him if he does move.
Britt Assombalonga is joint favourite with Wood, at 8/1, after moving to title favourites Middlesbrough. He scored 14 at Nottingham Forest last season, and will probably score more this term. Backing him each-way is the most we would recommend.
Jonathan Kodjia is 9/1 after scoring 19 last term, which is also the same amount he netted in the season before. Scott Hogan is priced at 10/1, and should improve on his tally of 15 from last season. Jordan Rhodes is back in the Championship and should give a good account of himself, at 9/1, whilst Yann Kermogant looks a brilliant each-way bet at 25/1. He netted 19 for Reading last term and cannot be ruled out.
An outside bet we love the look of is James Vaughan. He netted 24 goals for League One Bury last season, saving them for relegation, and has now signed for Sunderland. He has struggled for goals at this level in the past but he has the potential to be a star player at the Stadium of Light. Priced at 33/1, he is worth an each-way punt.
Top Tip – James Vaughan (33/1 with Coral) E/W
Any Team Over 100 Points
Coral have several special bets available for the upcoming Championship season and we have picked out one we think has a good chance of coming in. It’s priced at 5/1 for any team to finish with 100+ points at the end of the 2017/18 Championship season. Leicester were the last team to achieve this in 2013/14, with Newcastle before that in 2009/10, and reading in 2005/06.
You can see there are three seasons in between Reading and Newcastle (06/07, 07/08, and 08/09. There are also three between Newcastle and Leicester (10/11, 11/12, and 12/13). There have been three seasons (14/15, 15/16, and 16/17) since Leicester, so will happen again this season if following the same pattern.
In the season handicap market, every team is priced at 18/1 with Coral and have a different handicap. Middlesbrough start on scratch, Aston Villa have +2, etc. A fantastic looking bet in this market is Reading. Despite the fact they struggled for a few years, they were back challenging at the top end of the table last season. They eventually finished third, nine points off the top of the table.
Most of the squad remains the same from the one that got to the Play-Off final, and they should be challenging for a top-six finish again. In the handicap market, they are given a +14 start with quarter the odds for 1,2,3,4 if betting each way. This means Reading can finish 13 points behind fourth position and still win an each-way bet in this market, at odds of 4.5/1 or 9/2 to be more precise.