Championship Betting Tips
Discover our detailed betting tips & predictions for the next matches in the 2018/19 English Championship football.
English Championship Presentation - Football
The English Football League Championship, often referred to as the Championship or Sky Bet Championship for commercial reasons, is the second-highest division in the English football league system. It was in 2004-05 that the current name was taken up, as the series was earlier known as the Football League First Division (1992-2004) and before that as Division Two (1892-1992). 24 teams will fight for the chance to get promoted to the Premier League and avoid being relegated to League One. The top two teams get automatic promotion while the next four get involved in the playoffs for the final promotion spot. The interest in the playoffs is unprecedented, considering the monetary implications involved with promotion. For this very reason, the Championship play-off final played at Wembley is considered the wealthiest game in football. Last year alone, it was expected that the play-off winners Fulham were richer by £170.3 million after winning this match. The Championship is the wealthiest non- top-flight football division in the world and is the 7th richest division in Europe. With an average attendance of more than 20, 000 the Championship is the second most-watched secondary league in the world.
English Championship expert predictions
English Championship brings a lot of entertainment and is often considered to be an exciting league even when a goalless draw is played out. The 557 matches last season saw 1414 goals scored making it one of the most competitive leagues around, in Europe. In 25% of the matches – one out of every four – there have been over 3.5 goals which could be a good pick for bettors looking for heavy returns.
How about home advantage in the Championship? The teams are stacked so close together that it is clouded in this aspect. Last season saw 43% of matches ending in favour of the hosts, while 30% of the times the away sides have picked up a win and 27% matches witnessed a draw. That is a large enough percentage to be swayed into looking for the away side picking up points. In only 9% of the matches (50 times) was there a 0-0 score line and that should be enough for you to expect goals in a Championship match!
Be it the competitive nature of the league or the financial implications involved in the promotion, the English Championship has often seen a lot of goal-mouth action. Last season witnessed an average of 2.54 goals per match with a goal every 35.4 minutes in the 557 matches that were played. There has been a consistent trend of “Over 2.5 goals” in the Championship with 276 out of these 557 matches witnessing “Both the teams score” (BTTS). So, keep an eye on both these lucrative picks and if you keep picking these options, in the long run, your bets will eventually win.
The breath-taking pace of the Championship matches makes it an interesting viewing for all the neutrals. The last 15 minutes of a match should be keenly followed for goal patterns. In the 2017/18 season alone, 312 goals were scored in the last 15 minutes of the match (including stoppage time). That comes to around 22% of the total goals scored in the entire season. Furthermore, 55% of the total goals were scored in the second half of the matches last season. That tells us why the English Championship is an interesting spectacle for football lovers!
The interest in the Championship is not on the winners, but about who attains the lucrative promotion to the Premier League. With last year’s winners not part of the roster this season, all eyes will be on the three relegated teams of 2016/17 season. Stoke City, Swansea City, and West Bromwich Albion will be targeting a swift return to the Premier League. However, only 9 of the 30 clubs relegated from the Premier League over the last decade have bounced back at the first time of asking. Only 4 of them have qualified automatically, which makes it interesting if you are looking at backing one of these three teams. However, it must be pointed out that Stoke and West Brom are deemed top tips for the title and it would be wise to keep an eye out for them!
How to predict English Championship matches
According to some of the latest statistics, the English Championship is rated to be at 59% risk which makes it “somewhat unpredictable”, compared to 72% risk ratio of the English Premier League making it “very unpredictable”. That makes a lot of matches in the Championship a lot more interesting and enticing for the bettors. What should, then, be the parameters to be taken into account while looking at placing a bet? First of all, keep an eye on the run of the sides and their position in the play-off race. For example, last season saw Derby County pick up form late in the season and get ahead in the race for top-six. In that scenario, picking Derby County to do well would be the perfect choice for bettors.
Another key factor that should drive your decisions in picking up bets will be the form and performance of key players. In the 2017/18 season, Derby County’s Matej Vydra had 21 goals and 4 assists, translating into a goal every 134 minutes. Lewis Grabban of Sunderland & Aston Villa had a goal every 126 minutes and these two were the two most clinical players of the league. It is not an exaggeration to say that Derby’s run of form late in the season was in direct relation to how well Vydra has kept up his form. Imagine a scenario where he lost his scoring shoes or was suspended for a key game! Keep an eye out for the top players of each side and make sure their fitness is a factor in determining your picks. Avoid betting on a side if their top player or players are out of contention.
To go with the form and fitness of the key players, it is also vital to look at the context of the game before taking a decision on your picks. With a long season ahead – 46 regular season matches apart from the play-off games – it is imperative for the manager to keep his squad fresh. A side that is out of contention for play-offs could decide to build for the next season or test out their academy players. In addition, the progress of the Championship sides in cup competitions should be part of your discussion criteria. A good run in the prestigious FA Cup could be a bigger priority for a side that is stuck in the mid-table of the Championship points tally. In that case, their weekly match in the Championship could become inconsequential for them, opening up avenues of backing the other side to win.
It is also important to look at various sports betting sites and compare the odds before finalising your bets. Why do you want to do that? For the same bet, different bookmakers may offer different odds. Once you have decided which pick to go with (after going ahead with the logic behind that pick), have a look at all the bookmakers to pick the one with the best available odds. This gives you a chance to maximize your potential earnings. For example, on a victory for Queens Park Rangers over Preston North End, Bet365 could offer odds of 5/2 as against 1/1 by William Hill. As long as you look at the various sites and pick the maximum available odds, your earnings in the long run could be multiplied!
How to predict English Championship table
It is important to note that picking a winner from a match is not the only way of getting yourselves involved in a Championship match. The bookmakers will keenly offer other interesting picks like “Both Teams to Score”, “Over 2.5 goals”, “Under 2.5 goals”, and “Goalscorer predictions” to name a few. If you are looking at getting involved further, there would be odds offered on who will finish among the play-off places or get relegated from the Championship to League One. As a bettor, be sure to keep your options open and look at all the options!
Betting tips on the English Championship top Scorer
Another fascinating option available for the bettors is to pick the top scorer of the season. With the Championship boasting of strong names like Rondon Salomon, Benik Afobe, Jay Rodrigue, Matej Vydra and Wilfried Bony – to name a few – there will be a lot of options for the bettors to pick up a top goal scorer. It is important to note that a talented player plying his trade for a relegation threatened side will have lesser chances of becoming a top scorer than another playing for the league leaders.
While choosing a player in this category, it is important to look at the side and the context of the striker before going for your pick. For example, if a side plays with a lone striker then he has a greater chance of being on the scoresheet than another who often comes as a substitute later in the match or another striker who plays in a two-striker formation. It is also vital to understand the instincts of the team coaches – an aggressive manager will make sure that his strikers get most of the ball from his creative outlets, while a defensive manager will be looking to shut shop when the score is 1-0 than go for a 2-0 with another goal.
English Championship 2018/19: our free betting tips
Now that we have set the ground rules, let’s dig into what excites you the most – the big favourites of the 2018/19 edition of the English Championship. Despite the poor record of the relegated sides getting promoted at the first available option, the trio of Swansea City, Stoke City, and West Bromwich Albion will be top of the pile when it comes to backing the sides for winning the Championship title.
Stoke are offered odds of 6/4 (Bet365) to get promoted this season, while West Brom at 5/2, Middlesbrough at 11/4, and Nottingham Forest at 10/3 are the next picks. In the title winner market, Stoke City is once again the favourite at odds of 5/1 with West Brom at 15/2 and Middlesbrough at 8/1 following very closely.
Who will win the English Championship 2018/19?
- Stoke City – 5/1
- West Brom – 15/2
- Middlesbrough – 8/1
- Nottingham Forest – 10/1
- Leeds United – 11/1
- Swansea City – 12/1
- Aston Villa – 12/1
- Derby County – 12/1
- Brentford – 16/1
- Norwich City – 22/1
- Sheffield United – 28/1
- Sheffield Wednesday – 33/1
- Preston North End – 33/1
- Bristol City – 40/1
- QPR – 40/1
- Wigan Athletic – 40/1
- Birmingham – 50/1
- Blackburn – 50/1
- Millwall – 50/1
- Reading – 50/1
- Ipswich Town – 66/1
- Hull City – 66/1
- Rotherham United – 200/1
- Bolton Wanderers – 200/1