It’s back! The English Football League returns this weekend with a full card of fixtures, and we can’t wait for the third tier of English football to kick into gear.
From Sunderland to Accrington, Barnsley to Wycombe, there’s football for all tastes in League One, and it will be interesting to see how another intriguing campaign pans out.
Here’s our look at the League One outright betting, with tips from top to bottom:
The bookmakers are looking to Sunderland to put their recent misery behind them and clinch the League One title, but you’d have to say there are so many unknowns about the Black Cats – not least inexperienced manager Jack Ross – that expecting instant success is a tall order.
We’re certainly more sold on the claims of Barnsley (8/1) and Charlton (12/1) respectively. The Tykes have got goals in them in Tom Bradshaw and Kieffer Moore, and so far they have managed to cling on to the likes of Liam Lindsay, Brad Potts and more. With Billy Beane on the board they will shop smart, and they do look a decent bet for a high finish.
Charlton’s form under Lee Bowyer was nothing short of mesmeric in the second half of last season, and the Addicks have been canny in the window by bringing in the experienced Darren Pratley and Lyle Taylor, who notched 14 times for Wimbledon last term.
You can Dutch these two teams and almost certainly get a good run for your money in the market.
The top three highest scoring teams all got promoted last season from League One; a handy guide as to how to bet here.
Again, it’s Barnsley (11/4) and Charlton (9/2) who appeal in the market, and for a longer play how about Burton Albion?
Nigel Clough has enjoyed success in League One with the Brewers, while Liam Boyce is back after breaking his leg last term. He will be aided by Lucas Akins and new man David Templeton, and at 8/1 they are surely worth a flutter.
Top/Bottom Half Finish
Even more bizarrely still, you can get 11/10 on Burton to finish in the top half of the table, and that has to the best bet available in League One this term.
Another side to consider here is Plymouth, who ended last season with a formline of W15 D6 L5. They are also 11/10 for a top-12 finish.
There are two teams we believe that the bookmakers have oversold, and so we’re taking Peterborough (13/8) and Luton (7/4) to finish in the bottom half.
The Posh have had a nightmare summer. They’ve sold 27-goal leading scorer Jack Marriott and lost regular first teamers Gwion Edwards, Steven Taylor, Jack Baldwin, Michael Doughty, Andy Hughes and Danny Lloyd; that’s 45 of their 68 goals scored from last season!
And we fully expect Luton to stay up, but quotes placing them as the fifth best side in the division from the bookies are just hokum. Jorge Grant and Sonny Bradley are excellent signings, but a mid-table finish is surely their expectation.
There’s no heroics here: we’re tipping Wycombe (11/8) and Accrington (5/2) to return from whence they came.
The Chairboys haven’t done much to freshen up their ageing squad, and indeed they have lost last season’s ever-present keeper Scott Brown. Wycombe shipped 60 goals in League Two, and that does not bode well for a step up in class.
Accrington, meanwhile, have been too inactive in the transfer market, failing to make key reinforcements, and first-choice keeper Adam Chapman has left for pastures new.
Three of the top four in the goalscoring standings last season – Jack Marriott, Bradley Dack and Will Grigg – have all now advanced to the Championship, one way or another.
Brett Pitman is tempting then – he notched 24 for Portsmouth last season, but our fancy is Dutching the Barnsley pair of Tom Bradshaw and Kieffer Moore.
Bradshaw averaged 17 goals a season in a poor Walsall side, and he will benefit from playing up front alongside man mountain Moore, who bludgeoned 13 goals in barely half-a-season on loan at Rotherham last season.