Betting on the Championship allows you to dial up the excitement you experience when watching the action unfold in the second tier of English football. Promotion to the Premier League is worth an estimated £170 million, so Championship clubs battle tooth and nail in an effort to reach the Promised Land.
The season is a real slog. Each team plays 46 games over the course of the campaign, and fixture congestion invariably causes inconsistent results. It can therefore be challenging to bet on the Championship, but it also means you can regularly find great odds with the best bookmakers.
This guide helps you maximise your chances of earning a profit when betting on the Championship. We will highlight the sites that offer the best Championship betting odds, provide tips on how to bet on this division, and shine a light on the exciting betting markets that are available to you.
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All the leading bookmakers offer Championship promotion odds. Their odds compilers will assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of each team in the division at the start of the campaign. They will then name a favourite to secure promotion.
The odds on each team grow progressively longer until you reach the rank outsider. In the 2020/21 season, that team was Wycombe, who were installed as huge underdogs in the race to clinch promotion.
You can find great value when browsing the Championship promotion odds. The market includes a mix of teams that were just relegated from the Premier League, sides that narrowly missed out on promotion last term and a few sleeping giants of English football.
The teams that were just relegated often suffer an exodus of star players, and it is intriguing to predict how they will cope. It is also interesting to examine how those teams that faltered in last season’s Championship play-offs will bounce back. Leeds fell apart in the 2018-19 playoffs, but then finished top of the table the following season, so some teams react well to the challenge.
The Championship promotion odds continue to change over the course of the season. If a team goes on a great run, the odds on them securing promotion will shorten. If a team goes through a poor patch of form, or suffers an injury to a key player, you can expect the Championship promotion odds on them to grow longer.
You can seize upon changes in the odds over the course of the season by backing multiple teams to secure promotion. This is known as hedging your bets.
The Championship promotion odds are really exciting, because they give you three avenues of success. You would be disappointed if you bet on a team to win the Championship, only to see them soar to the top of the table, secure promotion, take a foot off the pedal in the final few matches and finish second. Betting on Championship promotion odds as opposed to winner odds covers you in case of this eventuality.
Our expert reviewers go into painstaking detail when assessing the quality of the sites that offer Championship betting odds. They judge these sites on several key criteria:
We only recommend sites that perform well in each of these categories, as that gives you the best chance of earning a profit.
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The Covid-19 pandemic wrought havoc on the Championship season in March 2020. Play was halted, the Championship odds 2019-20 were suspended and many fans feared the season would be abandoned entirely.
However, the season resumed when Brentford beat Fulham 2-0 at Craven Cottage on June 20, following a three-month hiatus. The season finished several months later than scheduled, with Leeds and West Brom securing automatic promotion. Fulham gained sweet revenge by beating Brentford in the playoff final to return to the top flight, while Charlton, Wigan and Hull were relegated.
The new season began on September 12, 2020, less than six weeks after that playoff final between Brentford and Fulham took place. The 2020/21 campaign is scheduled to end in May 2021, meaning 46 rounds of fixtures must be condensed into a significantly shorter period of time than players are accustomed to.
The upshot is that the 2020/21 season features 13 midweek match rounds. Players did not get a proper rest in the summer, and many of them will be exhausted by the congested schedule.
It might therefore play into the hands of the teams with the largest, youngest and fittest squads. That is something to bear in mind when checking out the EFL Championship odds.
Another impact is the lack of fans inside stadiums. Home advantage has pretty much vanished for Championship teams. We crunched the numbers and found that in the first 10 rounds of fixtures in the 2020/21 Championship season, home teams picked up 166 points, while away teams earned 163 points. You would typically expect many more points to be accrued at home, but that is not the case right now, so you should never write off the away team when looking at the Sky Bet Championship odds.
A lack of fans also has a tendency to lead to chaotic defending. Players feel less pressure and they have proven to be more error-prone. This has been seen in several leagues, not just the Championship, but it is well worth bearing in mind when betting on Championship goals markets.
There are a number of Championship betting tips that you should take to boost your chances of success when betting on this division:
Choose a reputable site that offers a compelling welcome bonus and great odds across the board. Practice sensible bankroll management. Set aside a sum of money that you can afford to lose in a worst case scenario. You might then decide to start off by betting 1% of your bankroll per game, and you can then increase it progressively if you are winning, or think about reducing it if you go through a bad patch.
Conduct thorough research. Check out each team’s home and away records, how often both teams to score pays off when they play, the average number of goals they score per game, how often they are leading at half-time, and so on. This can really help you spot patterns and find great value on Championship betting odds.
Look at the head-to-head records between each team. If one team regularly trounces a particular opponent, it might be wise to back that team. However, you should also avoid reading too much into it if one team has changed drastically since the last meeting between them.
Make sure you arm yourself with up-to-date injury information. If a team is missing their goalkeeper, a defensive lynchpin, a playmaker or a star striker, results can go south.
Do not be afraid to bet against the Championship favourites. It is a long old season, shock results occur on a regular basis, and teams that finish in the top two regularly lose 10 or more games over the course of the campaign. You can find great value betting against Championship favourites.
Read expert Championship betting tips delivered by our team of writers. These free Championship betting tips can provide a great deal of valuable insight for bettors.
Consider the full range of betting options available to you. You do not have to stick to the winners market. There are dozens of goals markets, handicaps to offer more value and options like double chance and draw no bet to provide greater security.
Monitor the changing Championship promotion odds, winner odds, Championship top scorer odds and so on throughout the season. If you pay close enough attention to these long-term betting markets, you can end up covering every potential outcome and securing a profit regardless of the result.
Always shop around for your Championship betting odds. Regularly finding above average Sky Bet Championship odds can make the difference between generating a profit or a loss for the season.
You should involve assessing the quality of the three teams that have been relegated to the Championship. Some teams spend big in an effort to stay in the Premier League, and then implode when they are relegated, as they cannot support the wage bill and a mass exodus ensues. Other teams are more cautious, which promotes squad stability and allows them to regularly yo-yo between the Premier League and Championship.
Norwich are the ultimate yo-yo team. They have been promoted and relegated more than any other club since the Premier League began, followed by West Brom. They never spend heavily when they are promoted, and they retain the bulk of their squad upon relegation. The Canaries won the Championship in 2019, and they are joint favourites to be top of the pile again in May 2021.
Watford were forced to sell some key players, but they could still call upon a number of stars that flourished in the top flight, such as Ismaila Sarr, Ben Foster and Etienne Capoue. They could simply be too strong for their rivals in the second tier.
Then you can analyse how strong the teams that narrowly missed out last term are. Brentford are the obvious choice, after they finished third and went to the playoff finals last term, but they lost key players Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma in the summer.
Once you have identified the team you think will win the Championship, find the reputable site offering the best Championship betting odds and free bets. Remember you can go each way, earning a quarter of the odds if they finish second or third. It means that if you find a team with higher odds than 4/1, you will generate a profit even if they finish second or third.
Odds compilers can spend hours analysing data before releasing pre-match Championship betting odds, giving them an advantage over most punters. However, when the action starts, they are in the same boat as you, reacting to developments in real time. It means you can seize upon great in-play betting odds by paying close attention to the action.
The odds will change rapidly, so you need to find a site that allows you to place bets quickly, before they move. You can bet on many of the traditional pre-game markets, like the result, the correct score, total goals and so on. You can also find live Championship betting odds on markets like who will score the next goal, whether there will be a throw-in during the next minute or whether there will be a corner in the next five minutes.
Try to quickly identify strengths and weaknesses in each team. Is the right-back lacking fitness? Is one striker looking really dynamic? Seize upon these observations and capitalise upon momentum swings in the game to boost your chances of success.
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This is an exciting market, because it does not require you to choose which team will win the division or be promoted. You simply focus on the striker that will bag the most goals in a particular campaign.
Aleksandr Mitrovic topped the scoring charts in the 2019-20 season after enjoying a prolific spell for Fulham. However, most Golden Boot winners are not former Premier League stars, with Teemu Pukki, Matej Vydra, Chris Wood, Andre Gray and Daryl Murphy earning the honour during the previous five seasons.
The top scorer is usually the focal point in attack for an ambitious side that likes to throw caution to the wind and has the quality to challenge at the top end of the table. They are invariably strong in the air, as headed goals are a regular feature in the Championship.
You can assess the quality of all the forwards in the teams most likely to challenge for Championship glory, and then choose your preferred option. Find the site offering the best Championship top scorer odds and place your bets. Remember that only the regular season counts, so it is not worth thinking about Championship play-off odds.
It can be brutal if the player you back in the Championship top scorer odds suffers an injury. You might therefore consider going each-way on your bet, or betting on a few different players to secure the Golden Boot.
You have hundreds of Championship betting markets at your disposal, so we have picked out a few that might serve you well in this competitive division:
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|2019/20||Leeds United||West Brom||Fulham|
|2018/19||Norwich City||Sheffield United||Aston Villa|
The Championship season finished in May each year. By that point, each team will have played 46 games. The season ends with the play-offs, whereby the teams that finish third, fourth, fifth and sixth lock horns to secure the final promotion berth.
The Championship play-off final has been earmarked for the Spring Bank Holiday weekend of May 29-31, 2021. The season began later than usual due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so a lot of fixtures must be crammed in before the end of May.
A legit Championship betting site should be licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. It should have a large and loyal customer base, and a long history of paying out in full and on time. A legit site should also have the liquidity to cover all winnings.
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