EFL Championship Season Betting Preview
As July draws to a close, the clock is now really beginning to tick down to the 2023/24 football season. Not long now, until the transfer window news takes a backseat to the action on the pitch. The Premier League gets underway on the 11th of August, but one week before that, the Championship season kicks into gear with a Friday night fixture as newly promoted Sheffield Wednesday plays host to relegated Southampton. Here we look at the season ahead and pick out our best bets in the Championship Winner, Promotion, and Relegation markets.
EFL Championship Winner
Leicester City – 4/1 with Coral
No surprise when looking at the Championship winner market that the three relegated sides sit atop the betting. Leading the way are Leicester City, who completed a spectacular fall from grace when dropping down courtesy of an 18th-placed finish last term. Dean Smith’s failure to keep the Foxes up cost him his job, with the relatively inexperienced former Manchester City assistant, Enzo Maresca, the man tasked with regaining top-flight status at the first time of asking. All change on the playing front too, with big guns, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, and Youri Tielemans the headline names departing for pastures new. However, the side is still peppered with international quality, with Timothy Castagne, Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi all seeming set to stick around. The capture of Conor Coady from Wolves looks like an excellent piece of business, whilst Harry Winks is a high-class midfield operator for this level.
Leeds United – 15/2 with 10Bet
Leeds United’s three-year stay in the top flight also ended last season, as shorn of Bielsa ball, the managerial merry-go-round of Jesse Marsch, Javi Gracia, and Sam Allardyce combined to see the club finish above only Southampton. In comes Daniel Farke, who arrives with an impressive Championship record, having led Norwich City to promotion in 2018/19 and 2020/21. The club have been quiet regarding incoming deals, although, significantly, the much-coveted Jack Harrison, Tyler Adams, and Wilfried Gnonto all remain on the books at Elland Road for now. However, with Rodrigo, Brenden Aaronson, Robin Koch, and Rasmus Kristensen all departing, Farke may need to add to the sole acquisition of Ethan Ampadu from Chelsea.
Southampton – 15/2 with Betfred
Last season saw Southampton pay the price for an overreliance on youth with their transfer strategy. Ralph Hasenhüttl, Nathan Jones, and Rubén Sellés all failed to find the winning formula, leading to another change in the dugout ahead of the current season. Ex-Swansea boss Russell Martin is the man handed the reins, and whilst he seems set to bring an attractive brand of possession-based football to St. Mary’s, his record to date has been one of style over substance. On the plus side, James Ward-Prowse, Kyle Walker-Peters, Carlos Alcaraz and Roméo Lavia all surprisingly remain at the club - although Liverpool are reportedly readying a bid for the latter. It has been more of the same on the transfer front, with untested 19-year-old midfielder Shea Charles coming in for £15m from Manchester City.
Middlesbrough – 10/1 with William Hill
Seemingly going nowhere quickly under Chris Wilder, Middlesbrough were transformed into one of the most upwardly mobile sides in the division under Michael Carrick – threatening to achieve automatic promotion at one stage, only to ultimately lose out in the playoffs. The core of the side has been kept intact over the summer, with the headline acquisition being England Youth international forward Morgan Richards from Manchester City. Last season's second top scorers look set to be an entertaining watch once again, and may not be far away.
- FL Championship Winner Best Bet - Middlesbrough at 10/1 with William Hill
EFL Championship Promotion
Norwich City – 5/1 with BetVictor
Over the past three seasons, four of the nine sides relegated from the Premier League have made an immediate return to the Premiership. Of those who didn’t bounce straight back, a further four won promotion in their second season in the Championship. Bidding to do just that this time around are last season's 13th-placed finishers, Norwich City. There was no immediate turnaround in the club's fortunes following the January appointment of David Wagner, but the German coach at least knows what it takes to succeed at this level, having led Huddersfield Town to promotion back in 2016/17. Experience seems to have been the watchword with the summer transfer business, with Ashley Barnes, Shane Duffy, and Jack Stacey all added to the ranks.
Watford – 11/2 with Spreadex
Another promotion hopeful, and another side with a new manager, although for Watford, that is pretty much par for the course under the Gino Pozzo regime. Rob Edwards, Slaven Bilić, and Chris Wilder all had a crack last term, and next in the firing line is former West Brom boss Valérien Ismaël. An excellent motivator, who led Barnsley to a playoff finish in 2020/21, the French boss would look to have his work cut out for him, with the Hornets losing Joao Pedro and Ismaïla Sarr over the summer. Matheus Martins is an exciting addition on loan from Udinese, but more may be needed if Watford are to close the gap to the top six.
Ipswich Town – 11/2 with Midnite
Sunderland rode their wave of League 1 promotion momentum to register a playoff finish last season, and if a side is to repeat that feat this time around, the market suggests it may well be Ipswich Town. The Tractor Boys have improved massively over the past couple of seasons under the guidance of former Spurs and Manchester United coach Kieran McKenna. Boasting both the stingiest defence and most fearsome attack in League 1 last season, they could go well if prolific frontman Conor Chaplin handles the step up in class.
West Bromwich Albion – 11/2 with bet365
Last season’s ninth-placed finishers West Brom will have high hopes of going at least a few positions better this time around. If they are to achieve that goal, the Baggies must do so with largely the same squad, with a grand total of zero incoming signings so far in the summer transfer window. However, they have an excellent man in the dugout in the shape of Carlos Corberán. Narrowly missing out on promotion with Huddersfield Town in 2021/22, Corberán has worked wonders since taking over with the club sitting second bottom of the table in October. During his 30 Championship games in charge, the side achieved an impressive rate of 1.73 points per game. If extrapolated across a 46-game season, that would equate to 79 points and an almost guaranteed spot in the playoffs.
- FL Championship Promotion Best Bet - West Bromwich Albion at 11/2 with bet365
EFL Championship Relegation
Odds to go down
- Rotherham - 2/1 with BetVictor
- Plymouth Argyle - 2/1 with Betway
- Huddersfield Town - 7/2 with Betway
- Queens Park Rangers - 7/2 with BetVictor
- Cardiff City - 7/2 with BetGoodwin
- Sheffield Wednesday - 4/1 with 10Bet
Rotherham managed to beat the drop on their return to the Championship last season, but are joint favourites with newly promoted Plymouth Argyle to be going down this year. Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City flirted with relegation for much of last season and are predicted to struggle again this term. That assessment looks about right, but we fancy the signings of Aaron Ramsey and Karlan Grant may be enough to keep Cardiff out of trouble.
The value in the relegation market lies with Sheffield Wednesday, who have been brought back down to earth with a bump following those spectacular League 1 Playoff heroics. Having been unable to agree terms on a new deal, manager Darren Moore departs, swiftly being followed by eight members of the squad. New boss Xisco Munoz brings a solid track record but may find himself struggling to right his unsteady ship.
- FL Championship Relegation Best Bet - Sheffield Wednesday at 4/1 with 10Bet
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