Betting preview and best bets for the EFL Championship 2018-19

English Championship 2018/19 Betting Preview

People often say that the Premier League is the best league in the world, but there are plenty who will also tell you that the Championship is the most exciting. Twenty-four teams and forty-six games a season means that the games come thick and fast, and on any given match day anybody can beat just anybody else.

Although Wolves finished nine points clear at the top of the Championship in 2017-18, winning automatic promotion, the second automatic place went down to the last day, with Fulham’s loss away at Birmingham City seeing Cardiff City go up in second. However, Fulham were able to atone for their surprise loss at St Andrew’s by coming through the play-offs to earn promotion to the Premier League, beating Derby 2-1 over two legs and then triumphing over Aston Villa 1-0 in the play-off final at Wembley.

Coming back down to the Championship from the Premier League in 2018-19 are Swansea City, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion. They will no doubt quickly discover, as do all sides who get relegated, that getting out of the Championship and back into the top tier is far from easy — just ask Sunderland, who went straight down into League 1 last year, along with Barnsley and Burton Albion. Their places were taken by Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers and Rotherham United, who come up from League 1.

Even though it’s the second tier of English football, there is still plenty of money sloshing around in the Championship, with substantial amounts being paid for transfers (although they can’t, of course, match the astronomical amounts paid in the Premier League).

For instance, new boys Swansea City have paid £2 million for centre forward Joel Asoro from Sunderland; Stoke City shelled out £10 million for Tom Ince from Huddersfield Town, £6.35 million for Nigerian midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo from Feirense, and £5 million for Irishman James McClean from West Brom; the Baggies then paid out £6.5 million for Man United ‘keeper Sam Johnstone and £4 million on Kyle Bartley from Swansea City.

Other big deals that have gone down during the summer transfer window include the moves of Aden Flint (Bristol City) and Paddy McNair (Sunderland) to Middlesbrough for £7 million and £5 million respectively; while Nottingham Forest have clinched the biggest deal of the summer so far, paying £13.2 million for João Carvalho from Benfica.

  • PlayBetway Betway review Betway At Betway, you can bet on all the major football leagues from Europe and around the world, as well as a host of lesser known international leagues. Whether it’s the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A or the Bundesliga, you get a huge range of pre-game and in-play markets on every match.
  • Play32Red 32Red review 32Red Whether it’s the Premier League, the Championship, the Scottish Premiership or any of the major European leagues, you can get a range of markets on every match around the country and beyond. Bet on full time scores, over/under total goals, as well as the number of corners or cards awarded in a match. You can also bet double chance, which means you can punt on both teams to win, or one team to win with the draw all in the one bet.
  • PlayBetfair Betfair review Betfair Betfair has extensive markets on all the major football leagues both in Europe and beyond. You can bet pre-match or live and in-play on the Premier League and the other big 4 leagues, and there are final score, half time/full time scores, first scorer, and many other markets on every game.
  • PlayPaddy Power Paddy Power review Paddy Power Every major European and international football league is covered at PaddyPower, so you can bet in-play or pre-match on the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A, as well as the Australian A-League and MLS in the US. You get a huge range of markets on every match, like over/under goals, both teams to score, first goalscorer and handicap betting.
  • Play888Sport 888Sport review 888Sport There’s huge football coverage at 888, and you get a range of markets on all Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga matches, as well as other leagues from around the world. On every match, you can bet on full time scores, both teams to score, the total goals scored, as well as double chance bets i.e., you can bet on both teams to win, or one team to win and the draw.
  • PlayCoral Coral review Coral Not only do you get markets on all matches in the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga, but every round of games gives you a huge range of specials and enhanced multiples. You also get specials on markets like who will be promoted and relegated, the next manager to lose their job, and which club big-name players will end up at during the next transfer window.
  • PlayWilliam Hill William Hill review William Hill As well outright match results bets on all major European and international leagues and competitions like the Premier League and Champions’ League, you get a huge range of betting options on every match. Bet over/under on goals scored and who will win each half, as well as first scorer, the number of corners, or a match result with a particular player to score.

Betting Predictions/Tips

Teams to be promoted

Two of the three favourites for promotion back to the Premier League are two of the relegated sides from last campaign — Stoke City at 11-2 and West Bromwich Albion at 8-1 (at William Hill and Ladbrokes). The third relegated team, Swansea City, have drifted quickly to 14-1 (at Unibet), a long way behind Middlesbrough at 9-1 and Nottingham Forest at 10-1. In terms of a value bet, Derby County, beaten in last year’s play-offs and now under the management of Frank Lampard, might worth looking at with a price of 14-1.

Teams to be relegated

The favourites for relegation from the Championship are Rotherham United, one of the three teams to come up from League 1, who are priced at 5-4 with William Hill to drop straight back down. However, the bookies think the other two promoted sides, Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic, are good chances to stay up — you can get 6-1 and 9-1 respectively on their being relegated. Other sides in the bookies’ sights for a slide down to League 1 include Bolton Wanderers at 6-4, Ipswich Town at 7-2, or you can 5-1 on Reading being relegated at the end of the season.

Playoff places

Love them or loathe them, there is no doubt that the play-offs have added great drama and tension to the Championship. Stoke City are favourites to be in the play-offs at the end of the season at 11-5 with Ladbrokes, Middlesbrough are 9-4 at Coral, or you can get 5-2 on West Brom with SkyBet. Others in the bookies’ reckoning are Swansea City at 11-4, Leeds United and Nottingham Forest at 3-1, and Aston Villa at 7-2.

Top scorer

Stoke City loanee Benik Afobe is the current bookies’ favourite to be the top goalscorer in the Championship at 9-1 with Coral (although he’s as short as 7-1 with other sports books). You can get a best price of 14-1 on Forest’s Lewis Grabban, or Leeds’ new signing from Derby Matej Vydra netting the most goals with SkyBet.

The Relegation Treble

Picking the three sides to be relegated is always a good bet as you can get some excellent value in this market. Bolton/Ipswich/Rotherham are currently the favoured three to go down at 33-1 at SkyBet, or you can get 40-1 on Hull/Bolton/Rotherham being the sides who are relegated.