Championship Betting Tips
Find our free predictions for betting on the English Football Championship 2019/20, as well as tips and forecasts for each upcoming matchday. Full information for your sports bets.
English Championship Presentation - Football
The English Football Championship, also known as the Sky Bet Championship for commercial reasons, is the second highest division of the English Football League (EFL). Renamed during the 2004/05 season, the Championship was previously known as the Football League First Division (1992-2004) and before that as Division Two (1892-1992). 24 teams battle it out each season to achieve promotion to the Premier League and to avoid relegation to League One. The two teams that finish at the top of the table at the end of the season are rewarded with automatic promotion to the top tier of English football, while the four teams that finish between third and sixth place enter the Championship Playoffs - with the winner of the Playoffs Final claiming the final promotion spot. The competition during the Playoffs is intense and heated, especially considering the monetary implications associated with promotion - for this very reason, the Playoff Final at Wembley is considered to be ‘the richest game in the world’, with Play-Off winners Aston Villa set to earn an extra £170 million pounds over the next three seasons. On a global scale, the Championship is the wealthiest football division outside of top-flight leagues, and is the 7th richest division in Europe. With an average attendance of 20,000 per match, the Championship comes in runner-up as the most-watched secondary league in the world.
English Championship expert predictions
The Championship is considered to be a fan-favourite thanks to its entertainment value - even in the case of goalless draws! In the 557 games that were played last season, 1,487 goals were scored - which averages out at 2.67 goals per game. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that the Sky Bet Championship is one of the most competitive Leagues in the world, and will often see high-scoring fixtures.
And what about the home advantage in the EFL Championship? While teams do generally have a slight advantage at home, the similar levels of quality amongst each team can leave this aspect somewhat clouded. Last season, 44% of matches ended with victory for the hosts, compared to 29% favouring the visitors, and 27% ending on a level score. While draws are a common result in the Championship, only 7% of games ended in a goalless draw, which should be enough for you to expect goals in a Championship game!
As we’ve already touched on, the Championship sees no shortage of goals, with one scored every 33.7 minutes in the 2018/19 season. Both teams scored in more than half of all matches last season (54%), with a 1-1 draw being the most common scoreline (12.2% of matches). The trend of over 2.5 goals being scored in the Championship continued last season, increasing by 3% from the 2017/18 season to be validated in half of all matches played. The various goal markets offered by online bookmakers on the Championship can be very lucrative, so keep an eye on these options for the upcoming season.
The breath-taking pace of the Championship makes for exciting viewing for neutrals - the last 15 minutes of Championship matches in particular should be followed given goal patterns. 24% of all goals last season were scored during the 75’-90’ interval, with a further 19% of goals scored in the previous 15 minute interval (60’-75’). That’s almost half of all goals scored in the final half hour of Championship games - no wonder this second-tier English football division is such a spectacle for football lovers.
How to predict Championship matches
The Championship is considered to be quite an unpredictable league, which makes it even more exciting for football fans and sports betting fans alike. With this in mind, there are a number of parameters that you should consider before betting on games of this English football league.
League positioning is key to predicting Championship outcomes, particularly when it comes to the Play-Off race. Some teams thrive under the pressure - such as last season’s champions Norwich - while some teams crumble towards the end of the season - as was the case with Leeds in the 2018/19 season, who dropped to third place to miss out on automatic promotion and were beaten in the Playoff Semi-Finals by Derby.
The form of a team - and it’s key players can also be one of the biggest indicators of the outcome of a match. Teams that have won their previous matches, or whose key players are in the middle of a scoring streak should perform better than a team that is going through a rough patch, or whose star player is suffering from a performance slump. Analysing the previous performances of the team as a whole and the best players on each team is a crucial step in creating your Championship football predictions.
As well as the form and fitness of each side, the context and stakes of the fixture must also be considered before betting. With 46 match days ahead of each side in the regular season, a Championship manager will need to keep his squad fresh over the course of the long season. When you also consider a team’s participation in domestic cups (such as the FA Cup), the motivation a side has going into a fixture needs to be analysed. For example, a mid-table Championship team that has qualified for the final stages of the FA Cup will likely prioritise their upcoming Cup games over their league fixtures. On the other hand, a team that is fighting it out for a Playoffs spot at the end of the season will be much more motivated to win their upcoming fixtures. Food for thought.
Finally, we would advise that you to always compare odds amongst the various online betting sites before placing your Championship bets. For the same bet on the same match, different bookmakers on the market can offer different odds values - so why would you want to miss out on some extra gains, even if it is just a small amount. Make sure that you register with all of the best bookmakers on the market, to be sure that you can always place your bets on the highest odds.
How to predict the Championship table
In general, the interest of the Championship is not the winners, but which teams secure the lucrative promotion spots at the top of the table. With last year’s winners no longer part of the roster, all eyes will be on the three relegated teams entering the 2019/20 season - Cardiff City, Fulham and Huddersfield Town will all be aiming for a swift return to the EPL. However, only 9 of the last 33 teams to be relegated to the Championship have bounced back to the PL in their first attempt, while only four of these teams have achieved automatic promotion. This makes the competition much more interesting for prediction the three teams to be promoted - bear in mind that the early favourites to achieve promotion are Leeds (5/2), Fulham (5/2), Cardiff (3/1) and Stoke (7/2).
Betting tips on the English Championship top Scorer
Another popular betting market on the EFL Championship is the top goalscorer - with plenty of options available for bettors to choose from. Last season it was Norwich’s Teemu Pukki, who netted 29 goals over the course of the season. Aston Villa’s Tammy Abraham took the second-place spot with 26 goals - and as both players have moved on to the Premier League this season’s market is open to plenty of new faces.
When choosing a player to back in this category, it is important to consider the team and the context in which the forward is playing in before making your final pick. If a side is playing with a lone striker, he will have a greater chance of getting on the scoresheet than a substitute that comes on for the last 20 minutes of the game. The instincts of the team manager will also be key to this prediction - a forward that play for a team whose coaches favour offensive tactics is more likely to be in the race for the golden boot than one who plays for a team that shuts up shop after going 1-0 ahead.
English Championship 2019/20: our free betting tips
Norwich City were crowned Champions of the 2018/19 EFL Championship, having finished five-points ahead of second-place Sheffield United in the final season table. Both sides secured automatic promotion to the Premier League for the 2019/20 season, and will be joined by Aston Villa - who were the winners of the Championship Playoffs. Rotherham United, Bolton Wanderers and Ipswich Town finished bottom of the table, and were relegated to League One at the end of the season. Taking their place next season will be Luton Town, Barnsley and Charlton Athletic - all of whom received promotion from League One.