Championship play-offs: What are my team's chances?

Championship play-offs: What are my team's chances?

We break down the chances of each team based on their league position.

Four teams are on the cusp of reaching the Premier League, and at Oddschecker we’ve crunched the numbers to find out the percentages of each team celebrating at Wembley later this month, based on their finishing positions. 

An often stated ‘opinion’ is that the team finishing in third never end up getting promoted but as you’ll see below, that’s not really the case…

Reaching The Final

In theory, the best side in the play-offs are the side that finishes third, so surely they reach the final the most, right?

Correct. All in all, 65% of teams in third beat their semi-final opponents, compared to 50% of teams in fourth, the same amount of teams in fifth and just 35% of teams in sixth. 


The teams finishing third and fourth are runners-up 31% of the time, compared to 19% of teams finishing fifth and sixth. The higher number of the former positions can be attributed to the fact that they make the final more often (or equal to) their lower counterparts, indicating that home advantage is crucial in the semi-finals.


Nine teams finishing third have been promoted (35% of sides), more than any other position. Surprisingly, fifth place teams have the next best record at 31%, with 19% of fifth placed teams going up, and just 15% of sides in sixth place.

Latest promotion odds:

The odds this season correlate perfectly with the above: Leeds (3rd) are 2/1 favourites, with Aston Villa (5th) 21/10. West Brom (4th) are 4/1 with Derby (6th) 9/2 outsiders.

Interestingly, Derby were in the same position last season (5/1 in 2018) and fell at the first hurdle. With three post-season failures in the last 12 years, can it be fourth time lucky? 

League positions and promotions
  3rd 4th 5th 6th
Key: BOLD = promoted; ITALICS = runner-up* Reading actually finished 2nd, Bolton 3rd, Wolves 4th and Tranmere 5th
1992-93 Portsmouth Tranmere Swindon Leicester
1993-94 Millwall Leicester Tranmere Derby
1994-95* Reading Bolton Wolves Tranmere
1995-96 C Palace Stoke Leicester Charlton
1996-97 Wolves Ipswich Sheff Utd C Palace
1997-98 Sunderland Charlton Ipswich Sheff Utd
1998-99 Ipswich Birmingham Watford Bolton
1999-2000 Ipswich Barnsley Birmingham Bolton
2000-01 Bolton Preston Birmingham West Brom
2001-02 Wolves Millwall Birmingham Norwich
2002-03 Sheff Utd Reading Wolves Nott'm Forest
2003-04 Sunderland West Ham Ipswich C Palace
2004-05 Ipswich Derby Preston West Ham
2005-06 Watford Preston Leeds C Palace
2006-07 Derby West Brom Wolves Southampton
2007-08 Hull Bristol City C Palace Watford
2008-09 Sheff Utd Reading Burnley Preston
2009-10 Nott'm Forest Cardiff Leicester Blackpool
2010-11 Swansea Cardiff Reading Nott'm Forest
2011-12 West Ham Birmingham Blackpool Cardiff
2012-13 Watford Brighton C Palace Leicester
2013-14  Derby QPR Wigan Brighton
2014-15 Norwich Boro Brentford Ipswich
2015-16 Brighton Hull Derby Sheff Weds
2016-17 Reading Sheff Weds Huddersfield Fulham
2018-19 Fulham Aston Villa Middlesbrough Derby
Reach Final? 65% 50% 50% 35%
Promotion? 35% 19% 31%