The three teams that were relegated from the Premier League last season are dominating the Championship betting ahead of the 2023/24 campaign and Leeds looks like the best pick to win.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks we can see that there is a clear favorite with bettors ahead of the new Championship season. Leciester City is rated as the favorite at around +500 while fellow relegated teams Leeds and Southampton are close behind in the betting. Middlesbrough, West Brom, Norwich, Ipswich and Watford are all prominent in the chasing pack.
MTS Championship Betting Briefing
Every soccer club aspires to compete at the highest level in their country, but in England the contest is stronger than most. The Championship season is always hotly contested because many second-tier clubs have a long history in the top flight or have recently played there. It is also the richest second-tier league in the world, with promotion to the Premier League valued at almost £200 million.
There are a few factors to keep in mind while betting on the Championship, most importantly the fact that winning the league and getting promoted are two independent futures markets. The top two finishing teams are automatically promoted, and the third through sixth-placed teams participate in a playoff round to determine the winner.
The other thing to keep in mind is that relegated Premier League teams receive “parachute payments” to help them deal with their Premier League level commitments in the interim and to acknowledge the pay difference between the two divisions, which obviously offers relegated teams a big advantage.
MTS Championship Favorites
Relegation came as a shock for Leicester City last season, after many years of success in the top flight, including that famous Premier League win, an FA Cup, and a spell in the Champions League. It is clear that the club is not planning a long rebuild and is going for broke this season.
Enzo Maresca has been given the task of guiding Leicester back to the top and there have been eye-catching signings in the shape of Harry Winks and Conor Coady, along with Callum Doyle, who was extremely effective for Blackburn last season. On the other hand, some key players have left, particularly James Maddison, and there are obvious doubts over Maresca’s credentials in what is a notoriously tough league to win.
Another of the three relegated teams, Southampton, is likely to produce some attractive football under new boss Russell Martin, but the squad he has inherited looks unbalanced and Martin’s track record indicates that his teams are good to watch but often fall short.
So, of the three favorites in the Championship Futures betting, Leeds United looks like the best option. After a disastrous 2022/23 campaign, Leeds opted to go in a different direction, and Daniel Farke has excellent Championship credentials, having twice got Norwich City promoted to the top flight. And despite the turbulence of the last few months, there is plenty of talent in the Leeds squad, so banking on Farke to get the best out of the players at his disposal looks a sensible pick.
MTS Championship Contenders
Although relegated Premier League teams often do well in the Championship, the competition is hot and the top half of the futures betting market is packed with battle-hardened contenders.
Most interesting of these contenders is Middlesbrough. Last season, Boro were in turmoil through the fall, as Chris Wilder was sacked following a poor start, but under former Manchester United star Michael Carrick, the team has developed into an attractive and dangerous unit. It improved rapidly throughout the campaign and after missing out on promotion through the playoffs, has been strengthened with the arrival of several promising players. Boro looks like a good pick to win.
Norwich City is in the category of clubs that regularly bounce between the top two divisions and this year is likely to mount a strong challenge under David Wagner, whose Championship credentials are beyond dispute. Yet, while the squad has plenty of talent, it finished in mid-table last season, so the necessary level of improvement may prove to be too much of a challenge.
West Bromwich Albion was once in that category, but looks like a Championship team these days and the squad looks distinctly underpowered compared to some of its rivals. Carlos Corberan is an excellent coach, but not a miracle worker and if he were to be signed up by a Premier League team then Albion’s slim chances would become virtually non-existent. Watford has a strong squad, but the chaos at the club means any spell of success is often short-lived.
So, the other team worth adding to your Championship futures betting portfolio is Sunderland. Tony Mowbray’s work at the club has been remarkable and with a number of new additions this summer, the Black Cats can improve on last season’s top-six finish and compete for the title.