Football League Playoffs Betting


Football League Playoffs Betting

This coming weekend represents one of the biggest on the football calendar. The final day of the Premier League on Sunday will attract plenty of attention – particularly for those of an Everton, Leicester City or Leeds United persuasion. But, elsewhere, all eyes will be on Wembley Stadium for three of the most significant fixtures of the season as the Football League playoffs draw to a dramatic conclusion.

Following a 46-game campaign – 48 counting the two-legged semi-finals – it all comes down to one match for the six sides involved. Here we take a look ahead to the three climactic fixtures and pick out our best betting options.

Championship Playoff Final: Coventry City vs Luton Town – Saturday 27th May 4:45pm

First up, the biggest one of them all, with the Championship Playoff Final regularly labelled as the richest game in football – such is the gulf in expected income between the Premier League and Championship.

Finishing 3rd and 5th respectively, Luton Town and Coventry then both overcame North East clubs in the semi-finals – Luton overturning a first-leg deficit to see off Sunderland, and Coventry keeping back-to-back clean sheets to squeeze past Middlesbrough. There aren’t too many clues to be gained from the regular season fixtures between these two, with both games ending in a draw – 1-1 in Coventry, and 2-2 at Kenilworth Road.

Both sides also ended the campaign in impressive style. Luton were unbeaten in 14 prior to that 2-1 loss in the first leg against Sunderland, whilst Coventry bring a nine-match unbeaten run into this game. Throw in the fact that each side has also kept a clean sheet in five of their past ten fixtures, and it becomes even tougher to split these two on paper. Even deciding who may be more likely to nick the decisive goal is tough, with Coventry having scored 58 Championship goals, and Luton 57.

With a tight, defensive battle looking to be in store, it may make sense to turn to the bookings markets for the best bet in the match. The price to catch the eye is the 5/4 available with William Hill for over 45 bookings points (10 points for a yellow, 25 points for a red) with William Hill.

  • Best Bet - Over 45 Booking Points @ 5/4 with William Hill

League 1 Playoff Final: Barnsley vs Sheffield Wednesday - Monday 29th May 3pm

Having ended the campaign with a bumper tally of 96 points, third-placed Sheffield Wednesday were pretty unfortunate not to gain automatic promotion. Strong favourites to go up when the playoffs began, the Owls looked to have blown it when stuffed 4-0 in the first leg at Peterborough. Then came that remarkable night at Hillsborough. Levelling the tie on aggregate in the 7th minute of added-on time, they again came from behind in extra time, before finally breaking Posh's hearts on penalties. Riding a wave of momentum on the back of that, they start clear favourites for this one.

However, in Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday are meeting a side who have given them serious problems this season. The Tykes may have finished 10 points adrift in the final table, but Michael Duff’s men took all six points from their meetings with Wednesday – winning 2-0 at Hillsborough and 4-2 at Oakwell.

In contrast to the Championship Final, this has all the makings of a Bank Holiday Monday sizzler, with both sides averaging close to 1.75 goals per game this season and preferring to play on the front foot. With the two previous games between the sides producing an average of four goals, we like the look of over 3.5 goals at 5/2.

  • Best Bet - Over 3.5 Goals @ 5/2 with William Hill

League 2 Playoff Final: Carlisle United vs Stockport County – Sunday 28th May 1:30pm

Sandwiched in between the above two fixtures, and preceding the closing Premier League action, is what looks set to be a closely fought encounter between The Cumbrians and The Hatters. Finishing fourth and third respectively in the league, separated by just three points, there was very little between these sides in the regular season. There are, however, a couple of factors which sway us towards Dave Challinor’s men.

Firstly, Stockport held the edge in the league meetings between the sides – winning 2-0 at Edgeley Park, and picking up a point in a 2-2 draw at Brunton Park. Secondly, Stockport have simply been the far more consistent side of late – losing only one of 15 headed into this, whereas Carlisle have lost four of their last eleven.

Whilst we expect Stockport to get the job done, it likely won't be easy facing a side who have conceded more than once in only 2 of their past 15 games. The recommendation is to back the Tie on the Carlisle +1 Handicap, which effectively equates to backing Stockport to win the game by exactly one goal.

  • Best Bet - Tie on the Carlisle +1 Handicap @ 29/10 with William Hill

A £10 Treble on the above three selections returns £307.12 at William Hill.

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