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Football League Preview 2023/24 – Championship, League One, League Two Predictions

We are heading closer towards the start of the Football League. The league kicks off on the 4th August, with a Friday night game between Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton.

The two Championship sides will get the season officially underway, with the other teams from the Championship, plus League One and Two, in action on Saturday 5th August.

So with that in mind, we are going to bring you our preview of the three lower divisions of the professional leagues in England.

We will be focusing on the three main issues in each division; promotion, the playoffs and relegation.

And of course we will be giving you our tips for each from each division.

If you want to bet on any of the Championship, League One or League Two selections, then bet365 Sport is your best bet.

The site offers outstanding coverage of the whole Football League for the duration of the season.

So let’s begin our trawl through the divisions with a look at The Championship.

The Championship

Current Bet365 Betting Odds: Outright Winner

Plymouth Argyle, Ipswich Town and Rotherham United earned promotion into the Championship from League One.

Southampton, Leicester City and Leeds United dropped into the Championship from the Premier League.

Top Spot & Promotion Contenders

  • Leicester City – 4/1
  • Leeds United, Southampton – 7/1
  • Middlesbrough – 10/1
  • Norwich City – 16/1
  • Coventry City – 20/1

Playoff Contenders

The playoff contenders consist of all the teams listed above plus:

  • Watford – 16/1
  • Stoke City, Sunderland, West Brom – 20/1
  • Blackburn Rovers – 28/1
  • Swansea City, Bristol City – 33/1

Relegation Candidates

  • Rotherham United, Plymouth – 100/1
  • Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City – 66/1
  • Birmingham City – 50/1
  • Hull City – 33/1

Championship Best Outright Bets 2023/24

The Championship is where we start to see the real divide in English football. Ostensibly between the teams that have a bit of cash, usually because they’ve been in the Premier League of late, and those that haven’t.

Therefore, most of the promotion and playoff contenders listed are teams with recent Premier League experience.

Only Coventry City and Bristol City have not featured in the Premier League at some point in that group.

In the battle against the drop, it is usually amongst the newly promoted teams, plus teams that have a bit less cash. I think Ipswich will be ok, but it could be tough for the two other promoted teams, while Huddersfield, Hull, Cardiff City and Birmingham City could struggle.

Let’s take a look now at who are the bets I’m backing in the Championship this year.

  • To Win Outright – Leeds United – 7/1
  • To be Promoted – Leicester City – 11/8
  • To Finish in Top 6 – Middlesbrough – 6/5, Watford 9/4, Coventry 11/4, West Brom 13/5
  • To be Relegated – Rotherham – 7/4, Huddersfield – 7/2, Hull City – 11/2
  • To Finish Bottom – Hull City – 20/1
  • Top Goalscorer – Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) – 8/1

League One

Leyton Orient, Stevenage, Northampton Town and Carlisle United earned promotion to League One from League Two.

Reading, Blackpool and Wigan Athletic were relegated into League One from the Championship.

Current Bet365 Betting Odds: Outright Winner

Top Spot & Promotion Contenders

  • Derby County – 9/2
  • Bolton Wanderers – 7/1
  • Peterborough Utd, Portsmouth – 10/1
  • Charlton Athletic – 16/1

Playoff Contenders

All the teams outlined above plus:

  • Barnsley – 8/1
  • Reading – 12/1
  • Blackpool – 14/1
  • Oxford United – 16/1
  • Leyton Orient – 50/1

Relegation Candidates

  • Burton Albion – 40/1
  • Fleetwood Town, Wigan Athletic, Cambridge United – 50/1
  • Stevenage Borough – 66/1
  • Carlisle United, Cheltenham Town – 80/1

League One Best Outright Bets 2023/24

Relegated Wigan Athletic will start the season with a -8 points deficit due to going into administration. That is not the ideal situation for the Latics as they head into what could be a tough League One campaign.

Derby County are once again amongst the favourites for promotion, but the Rams won’t have it all their own way. I fancy Bolton, Peterborough, Portsmouth and perhaps Charlton Athletic to give a good account of themselves in the battle at the top.

I also feel that promoted Leyton Orient are good enough to make a strong showing. They look well equipped for a tilt at the playoffs alongside the likes of Blackpool, Reading, Oxford and company.

That points deficit could be tough for Wigan to overcome. I think they plus the likes of Carlisle Utd and Cheltenham will struggle this season.

Here’s my tips for the teams to back for three Outright markets available at bet365.

  • To Win Outright – Portsmouth – 10/1
  • To be Promoted – Portsmouth – 3/1, Bolton Wanderers – 7/4
  • To Finish in Top 6 – Derby County – 4/7, Charlton – 2/1, Reading – 6/4

League Two

Wrexham and Notts County were promoted to League Two from the National League.

MK Dons, Morecambe, Accrington Stanley and Forest Green Rovers were relegated into League Two from League One.

Current Bet365 Betting Odds: Outright Winner

Top Spot & Promotion Contenders

  • Wrexham – 10/3
  • Notts County – 7/1
  • Gillingham – 11/1
  • Salford City, Mansfield – 16/1

Playoff Contenders

  • Stockport County – 13/2
  • MK Dons – 16/1
  • Swindon, Doncaster – 25/1
  • Tranmere – 28/1
  • Forest Green, Walsall – 33/1

Relegation Candidates

  • Accrington Stanley, Sutton Utd – 40/1
  • Morecambe, Barrow, Colchester Utd – 50/1
  • Crawley Town – 66/1
  • Harrogate Town – 100/1

League Two Best Outright Bets 2023/24

The main thing to note about League Two is that it is usually a very even division. Last season, for example, there was just 15 points between relegated Hartlepool and 12th placed Tranmere Rovers.

Meanwhile Mansfield missed out on the playoffs by just one goal.

Promoted Wrexham and Notts County were dominant in the National League last season. Both setting points and goalscoring records and they look well set to make a real challenge for the top in League Two.

Harrogate could find things tough, as could Crawley who have been perennial strugglers the last few seasons.

This is a tough division to call, on any given day any team can beat any other, so here are my tips for the bets to back here.

But notwithstanding that, here’s my tips for the five outright markets in League Two.

  • To Win Outright – Wrexham – 10/3
  • To be Promoted – Wrexham – 5/6, Notts County – 7/4, Gillingham – 11/4
  • To Finish in Top 7 – Stockport – 4/7, Bradford City – Evens, Mansfield – 5/4, Salford City – 6/4
  • To be Relegated – Morecambe – 4/1, Crawley Town – 7/2
  • To Finish Bottom – Crawley Town – 8/1

*All odds shown were correct at the time of writing with bet365 Sport, but may well change in the build up to the start of the season and beyond.

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