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The Championship lottery - and a 20/1 ticket...

Wednesday 9th September 2020

In Across the Leagues today:

  • New season picks…
  • Championship 2020/21…
  • Taylor joins Forest…

The Championship lottery – and a 20/1 ticket…

We’ve made one foray into the Championship markets already. With QPR’s summer signing Lyndon Dykes earmarked as a 100/1 Each Way contender in the 2020/21 Top Goalscorer betting.

Dykes opened his International account for Scotland earlier this week. He’ll be hoping to do the same on his league debut for QPR against Nottingham Forest this weekend.

That opening day Championship fixture at Loftus Road will be of interest to us for more than one reason. Because we’re also adding a Forest player to our ante post portfolio today.

First up though, a word on the other Outright markets in that division…

The Championship = wide open…

The Championship has long had an ‘anyone can beat anyone’ feel to it. And the upcoming campaign looks as wide open as ever…

  • In the To Make the Playoffs (Top 6 Finish) market, 21 of the 24 Championship sides are priced at single-figure odds, 9/1 or shorter
  • While 50% of the 24-club field are in that same single-figure price range to finish in the bottom three and be Relegated

Take Luton, for example, who avoided relegation right at the death last season…

Bet365 and Boylesports have the Hatters at 6/1 for a Top 6 Finish in 2020/21. Other firms are less keen, with Luton 10/1 in that market.

While in the Relegation betting, Luton are between 3/1 and 4/1 in general, in with the favourites to go down. So, what’ll it be?

No guarantees for the Premier League dropouts…

How about the chances of the three clubs that have dropped down from the Premier League?

Almost by default, with top-flight players still in the squad, and parachute payments in the pocket. Each season, these relegated sides are priced as the favourites to bounce straight back up to the Premier League.

It doesn’t always happen that way…

In fact, in the last five seasons, out of the 15 teams that have been relegated from the Premier League, only four have managed to win promotion straight back up from the Championship at the first attempt:

2018/19
Relegated from Premier League:
Cardiff, Fulham, Huddersfield
Promoted in 2019/20: Fulham

2017/18
Relegated from Premier League:
Swansea, Stoke, West Brom
Promoted in 2018/19: none

2016/17
Relegated from Premier League:
Hull, Middlesbrough, Sunderland
Promoted in 2017/18: none

2015/16
Relegated from Premier League:
Newcastle, Norwich, Aston Villa
Promoted in 2016/17: Newcastle

2014/15
Relegated from Premier League:
Hull, Burnley, QPR
Promoted in 2015/16: Hull, Burnley

This season, the three clubs looking to beat that less than encouraging trend are Norwich (6/1 favourites for the title), Watford (7/1), and Bournemouth (12/1). They occupy three of the top four spots in the Championship Outright Winner market. Along with Brentford, who were beaten in last season’s Championship playoff final.

Knocking on the door…

After those title favourites, there are a stack of teams knocking on the door.

Preston, for example, are 25/1 to be champions, and 8/1 at best to get promoted, and around 3/1 for a Top 6 Finish. Under the same manager, Alex Neil, for the past three seasons, North End have finished: 9th, 14th, 7th. An extra leap of progress will be needed to break into the Top 6, and then the Top 2 for automatic promotion.

Nottingham Forest are on the edge of things, too – and looking to get in the thick of it. Their last-four-seasons form reads: 7th, 9th, 17th, 21st. That’s a year on year improvement. Which is pretty good going, considering Forest have had seven different managers in that four-season period.

The bookies make Forest 14/1 at best for the title, 4/1 for promotion, and 2/1 to come in the Top 6 and make the playoffs.

While those markets look a little tight on value and high on uncertainty, the Forest angle crops up in my Top Goalscorer research…

Taylor moves to Forest…

Last season, Lewis Grabban finished 3rd in the Championship scorer chart, with 20 goals for Forest. The 32-year-old, currently at his 12th career club, is priced between 12/1 and 16/1 in the new 2020/21 market.

But he’s got a new strike partner/ rival that will be after the lion’s share of the goals this time…

Lyle Taylor was overpriced for Charlton last season; backed at 50/1, I couldn’t argue with his goals per game ratio. Lyle bagged 11 in 22 games. A one-in-two strike-rate is impressive.

The problem was game time. He got injured on International duty for Montserrat. Then, when play resumed in England after lockdown, Taylor made the controversial decision to sit out the remainder of Charlton’s games, aiming to preserve his fitness in order to secure a summer transfer…

So it was, and Taylor moved to Forest on a free transfer in August. After 11 goals in 22 games at this level for Charlton last season, and 25 in 45 appearances in all competitions in 2018/19, Lyle knows where the goal is.

He’s got a touch of class in his finishing, too. As showcased by his attention-grabbing penalty taking technique. Watch one of Taylor’s strolling ‘run-ups’ here.

Grabban takes pens, too. It will be interesting to see who grabs the ball for Forest spot kicks as the season unfolds.

Following on from a promising showing in this division last season, and now playing for a team touted to challenge for promotion rather than battle relegation (as was the case with Charlton, who ultimately went down). Taylor at 20/1 is going in our Each Way book for the Championship.

Today’s pick

Championship 2020/21

Top Goalscorer:

  • Lyle Taylor @ 20/1 Each Way with Bet365, Skybet, Betway, 18/1 NetBet, 10Bet, 16/1 Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Betfred, Ladbrokes, Coral

Each Way terms: 1/4 odds 1-4 places.

I’ll be back tomorrow, as we continue to get ready for the Premier League & Football League kick-off this weekend.

Enjoy the football…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Oliver Upstone

Across the Leagues