The League One Winners, Promotion and Relegation markets are as tight as ever and oddschecker is providing a clearer insight on who should be backed.
After a chaotic 2020-2021 season in League One in which Hull, Peterborough and Blackpool all got promoted, we’re primed for another iteration this time around.
League One Winners Odds:
The League One winner market is incredibly open this year, with Sunderland the current favourites at 7/1.
The Black Cats have been in the division for too long considering the size of the club, but I don’t fancy their chances of outright winning the division. They have lost key striker Charlie Wyke to Wigan during the transfer window, and it will be hard to replace the 31 goals he scored last season.
Ipswich are second-favourites the win the division at 9/1 and have are currently in the process of making some very strong acquisitions. George Edmundson has arrived at Portman Road from Rangers and Barnsley’s Connor Chaplin too. The quality of both players is a massive statement of intent from The Tractor Boys, and with Paul Cook as manager I can see the club pushing this year, making 9/1 look like decent value.
League One Promotion Odds:
Like in the Championship, there are two automatic places available and another place via the dreaded play-offs to decide who goes up.
Much like the winners market, the bookies are finding it hard to call and you can understand why: there are so many strong sides to pick from.
I don’t fancy the current market leaders Sunderland at 3/1 to get anywhere near promotion this year. They have a good manager in Lee Johnson, but I worry about the number of goals they will score and it’s fair to say their record in the play-offs in recent years isn’t sparkling.
If you don’t fancy Ipswich at 9/1 to win the division but find themselves getting promoted another way, you can back them at 5/2.
I think it’ll be tough to ignore the likes of Portsmouth at 4/1, Charlton 4/1 and Rotherham at 9/2 in this market, as well.
Out of the aforementioned three teams, Portsmouth have had the strongest window thus far, securing the likes of Shaun Williams, Clark Robertson, Kieron Freeman and Ryan Tunnicliffe – adding some Championship quality to their defence, whilst still keeping the bulk of their attacking talent. This will also be the first season that the Cowley brothers have taken full charge of pre-season and I fancy their chances to get promoted.
I would also take a punt on Charlton making a push for promotion. Considering the departure of their long-serving manager Lee Bowyer during the middle of last season for Nigel Adkins, they transitioned well under new management and like Portsmouth were so close to grabbing a top six finish. You would like to think Adkins having a full season in charge will only boost their promotions chances and at 4/1 worth a go.
League One Relegation Odds:
Morecambe are currently favourites to be relegated back to League Two at the best price of 6/5. I think this is fair assessment of Morecambe’s chances of survival and it would be considered a miracle if they did.
Not only do they possess one of the smallest budgets in the division but also their star performer of last season Carlos Mendes Gomes has departed for Luton. Gomes accounted for 15 goals and three assists last season and was an important part of the Shrimps’ attack, so he’ll be tough to replace.
Cheltenham are currently 7/4 in the relegation market. Michael Duff can be proud of his achievement of getting Cheltenham to League One, but it’ll be a better achievement if he is able to keep them there. Like Morecambe, a small budget and lack of reinforcements so far has me worried for Duff’s team.
AFC Wimbledon always remind me of Wigan during their Premier League spell: consistently flirting with relegation but always doing enough to survive. However, I think this could be time that AFC Wimbledon taste the drop at 11/4.
They have a squad size of 31 and unlike the other two teams mentioned, that feels very bloated and many of their new signings feel like squad players rather than first team challengers. Mark Robinson’s has also lost Joe Pigott to Ipswich, and much like Gomes for Morecambe, he scored 20 goals last season and assisted five times, so he also feels like a big loss.