The new English Football League Championship begins on August 2 with a match between newly-promoted Luton and Middlesbrough. The wealthiest second football tier on the planet and the second most-watched non-top division in the world attracts a lot of interest. Also, it is one of the most unpredictable leagues for betting.
Last year, Norwich City, Sheffield United, and Aston Villa earned promotion to the Premier League. Luton Town, Barnsley, and Charlton Athletic joined the circus after being promoted from League One. Cardiff, Fulham, and Huddersfield relegated from the EPL. Rotherham United, Bolton Wanderers, and Ipswich Town dropped down to League One.
EFL Championship – Winning Outright and Top 6 Finish Betting Preview and Odds
Like it was the case in 2018-19, Leeds United are the biggest favorites to win the Championship after failing to earn promotion last season. Although they were at the top of the table for a big part of the campaign, Marcelo Bielsa’s side was suffered elimination in the playoffs semi-finals. The Whites will try to secure direct promotion in 2019-20 despite not spending a single pound so far this summer. They sold teenager winger Jack Clarke to Tottenham Hotspur, but got him on loan for the rest of the season. Leeds United brought Hélder Costa on loan from Wolves and lost defender Pontus Jansson to Brentford. Leeds United are 6.00 (+500) to win EFL Championship while they are 1.62 (-162) to make it to Top 6 teams in the league.
Aleksandar Mitrovic to Top the League in Scoring
Fulham returned to the Championship after spending only one season in top flight. Even though they had a good team, on paper, they ended the previous Premier League season in disappointing 19th place. Jean Michaël Seri left to Galatasaray and André Zambo Anguissa to Villarreal, both on loan. The Cottagers snapped a couple of players on loan as right-winger Anthony Knockaert from Brighton and Ivan Cavaleiro from Wolves joined the team. Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic scored 11 Premier League goals in 2018-19, and he is the biggest contender to win Top Goalscorer award. Various bookmakers are giving 7.00 (+600) odds on the Serbian international to top the goal-scoring chart. On the other hand, Fulham are 8.00 (+700) to win the Championship. If you’re not sure they can win the league, betting on them to secure Top 6 finish at 1.83 (-120) odds is a good option.
Another team also returned to EFL Championship following just one season in the elite – Cardiff City. The Bluebirds are 11.00 (+1000) to win the league. Will Vaulks from Rotheram and Aden Flint from Middlesbrough are new arrivals. On the other hand, Cardiff earned almost £10 million on sales of Kenneth Zohore and Bruno Ecuele Manga. Neil Warnock’s team will face a hard task to get back to the EPL given the fierce competition. However, they have a solid chance to make Top 6, so consider betting on them at 2.20 (+120) odds.
West Bromwich Albion are also at 11.00 (+1000) to win the EFL Championship. Still, the Baggies will have to do it without Salomón Rondón, Craig Dawson, and Jay Rodríguez who all left. West Brom brought forward Kenneth Zohore from Cardiff City and Filip Krovinovic came on loan from Benfica. Romaine Sawyers joined from Brentford. New manager Slaven Bilić will try to get West Brom back to the Premier League after the city rivals Aston Villa eliminated them in the playoffs semi-finals last year. They are 2.20 (+120) to remain in Top 6.
These four teams are the strongest candidates to reach the Top 6 and make the playoffs. Brentford, Stoke City, Derby County, Middlesbrough, and Huddersfield Town are also in the mix. Brentford are 3.00 (+200) to end the campaign among the best six teams in the league while their top scorer Neal Maupay. Maupay, who bagged 25 goals in 2018-19 and finished behind Teemu Pukki on Top Goal-Scorers chart, is 13.00 (+1200) to top the league in scoring this time around.
EFL Championship – Relegation Bettting Preview and Odds
Charlton Athletic defeated Sunderland in League One playoffs final to earn promotion to Championship. However, they are the biggest candidates to relegate at 3.25 (+225). Joe Aribo and Igor Vetokele left to Rangers and Westerlo, respectively, while forward Chuks Aneke joined from MK Dons. Lee Bowyer likely has the weakest team in the league, and it will be hard to keep them in Championship. Still, there are also other teams that should be worried about relegation.
Barnsley were League One vice-champions in 2018-19, but they are also labeled as one of the sides that will fight for relegation this year. Various oddsmakers offering 3.25 (+225) odds on the Reds to return to the third tier. Barnsley sold a couple of centre-backs Liam Lindsay and Ethan Pinnock. They added Danish defender Mads Juel Andersen and young winger Luke Thomas.
Charlie Adam Joined the Royals
Reading managed to get experienced midfielder Charlie Adam on a free transfer as he left Stoke City after seven seasons. Adam’s experience will be much-needed in the upcoming campaign. Defender Matt Miazga came from Chelsea on loan. Manager Jose Gomes has some good individuals in the squad such as defenders Liam Moore and Chris Gunter, and midfielder John Swift. Striker Sam Baldock scored just five goals in 2018-19, and is expected to produce better displays this season. The Royals are 4.20 (+320) to relegate to League One.
Millwall ended the previous campaign with four points above the relegation zone, but another relegation battle is on for them. Even though they have a solid chance to avoid it once again, if you think the Lions will go down this time around, you can bet on them at 4.50 (+350). It seems like Neil Harris doesn’t have a squad depth to make it through a tiring, long season.
Queens Park Rangers, Wigan Athletic, Luton Town, and Birmingham City are all at 4.50 (+350) to relegate to League One as well. Birmingham City sold forward Che Adams to Southampton and right-winger Jota to Aston Villa. Adams scored 22 Championship goals last season and he will be surely missed this year. The Blues did get inspiring midfielder Ivan Sunjic from Dinamo Zagreb and bought Dan Crowley from Willem II. Being without a striker of Adams’ quality could be an issue in 2019-20, though.
QPR are facing similar troubles after selling the best player they had in the past few years – Luke Freeman. He moved to Sheffield United. Midfielder Jordan Cousins and right-back Darnell Furlong went to Stoke City and West Brom, respectively, so it’s going to be a long campaign for the Hoops.
The Betting Verdict
The EFL Championship is one of the most unpredictable league competitions on the planet. Anything could happen in the next ten months. Our tip is to go with your favorites while the odds are higher, but you can also wait for a few rounds to make your betting decision. Check out our other betting previews and tips here.