Betting on the EFL Championship
Aptly dubbed as one of the toughest leagues to predict, the EFL Championship provides a stern test for your average punters, experienced bettors and bookmakers. Unlike top division football, the reigning Champions are promoted to the Premier League along with second place and the winner of the Play-Offs. This leaves a massive gap at the top of the table for those trying to guess who will win it next year, a gap that needs filling by the bookies.
Now factor in the teams dropping down into the Championship from the top division, the riches they bestow, the star names (providing they can keep hold of them), the daunting top-flight stadiums, and you have a recipe for chaos. If you thought that was hard enough, let’s not forget the losers of the Play-Offs, who must have had a decent side to get there.
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Oh! Then there are the teams promoted from League 1, who has been known in the past to continue their winning trends into the new season. If you’re not already quaking in your boots after reading the above, you may just have what it takes to have a punt on the EFL Championship.
Introducing The EFL Championship
The EFL Championship is the top division of the English Football League and second-highest in the English League system. Formerly known as the Football League First Division, the EFL made the switch at the beginning of the 2004/05 season, rebranding the league as the EFL Championship.
It is the most cash-rich second division in the entire world and seventh wealthiest league in all of Europe. An average of 20.489 fans watched their teams play week in, week out during the 2017/18 season, the highest across the continent for second division football.
Twenty-four teams battle it out each season in a bid for the title and promotion to England’s elite division. The team who finishes top is crowned Champions and earns their place in the Premier League, along with the runners-up who earn themselves an automatic promotion. The three teams that finish at the bottom are relegated to the EFL League One.
The Play-Offs and The Richest Game in Football
The Play-Offs is a knockout competition that takes place at the end of the season and offers the winners a route into the Premier League. The four teams who finish third place to sixth place start with a two-legged tie, both home and away, against one opponent. The winners from each semi-final then play in the Championship Play-Off final.
The final has been dubbed as ‘The Richest Game in Football’. You may find that hard to believe, but simple maths can explain why reaching the Play-Off final is the best (and worst) experience in a football clubs history.
Aston Villa and Fulham competed in the 2018 Play-Off final; a match reported to be worth up to £160M to the lucky winner. By comparison, Real Madrid, for their efforts in the Champions League final, took home just €15.5M for their day’s work. Even adding that to their total Champions League earnings (€86.5M) doesn’t get close to the sums of the Play-Off final.
EFL Championship Outright Betting
Now you know how it works, let’s cover some of the markets available for betting on the EFL Championship. There’s your league winner, top goal scorer and relegation markets that you’ll find available in any other league. What’s great about this league, however, is that the format allows for a variety of intriguing markets.
To Be Promoted – This is a great market to bet on as your selection could finish sixth and still get promoted via the Play-Offs.
Automatic Promotion – This market requires your selection to finish first or second. There is slightly less value in this market compared to ‘League Winner’, but you have the security, just in case your selection falls short and finishes second.
To Make The Play-Offs – An interesting one, as you would need your selection to do well, but not too well, to avoid finishing in the top two. You will get better value than the ‘To Be Promoted’ market, but it’s a bit trickier, as your selection will need to finish third, fourth, fifth or sixth.
To Win The Play-Offs – Probably the hardest market to predict in the entire league. You need to be sure enough in your selection that they will be able to do well over the season without actually going on to win it, meanwhile, confident that they can navigate a nervy Play-Off campaign and come through on top. However, with the extreme difficulty rating, comes the highest rewards and best value.
Top Six Finish – Another great market when betting on the EFL Championship. Remember, this is not like betting on the Premier League where a handful of teams occupy the top spots year in year out. The talent in this league runs deep and matches come thick and fast. A good run during a busy period can skyrocket a team into the upper echelons of the league in just a couple of weeks.
So, that’s the easy bit done, we’ve covered the basics of the league and introduced a few new markets for you to bet on. Now comes the hard part. For all the latest odds and the right to say “I conquered the EFL Championship”, head on over to Rizk Sportsbook.