The British football Championship is kicking off again this weekend with a busy schedule up until the final playoffs rounds in the spring. All the 24 teams play 46 games with the top two heading straight to the big money Premier League and the next four teams head to playoffs, where the prize is the last remaining place on the top tier.
Last season it was Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham heading back to Premier League, leaving Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Derby stranded in the second level. Accompanied by Premier League relegates Stoke, West Bromwich and Swansea, the last season’s playoff-runner ups are the biggest favourites to win promotion this year with Leeds and Nottingham Forest climbing to top-8 as well. At least according to the odds.
Accuscore’s simulation engine has been whirring night and day for a while and spat out the most likely final results of the regular season, with the top three teams being the most likely promoted and the bottom trio, naturally, relegated. Here’s how the simulations compare to market odds two days before the season kicks off:
Analysis and Picks
As we can see, the top of the table seems very much the same in the simulations as it does according to odds. In Accuscore simulations Middlesbrough takes the top spot over the two recently relegated teams, Stoke and West Brom, while the third one, Swansea takes the place of Nottingham Forest in the top six.
Middlesbrough suffered a massive disappointment last season and couldn’t win the promotion back to the Premier League. They are now well adjusted to Championship football and their team is strong in every area. While Stoke and West Bromwich still have plenty of Premier League quality players, they’ve yet to be tested on the rough’n’tough second tier football.
M’boro gets good odds of almost 10.00 to win and this makes it a good, if a bit long, shot for outright bet
The two teams that stand out from the top six, in a positive way that is, are Derby and Swansea. Both teams are a bit underrated if compared to Accuscore simulations and their promotion chances are slightly higher than the odds indicate. Swansea has suffered some losses, but are also playing with a chip on their shoulder after a good run in the Premiership before the collapse last season. Derby, on the other hand, has already seen the glimpse of the Premier League but have been pushed aside constantly. This time around they have all the tools to maintain their last year’s form and go all the way in the playoffs.
Odds of 4.2 for Swansea and 5.00 for Derby are very attractive as they certainly put up a challenge
AT the bottom of the table, there are a couple of teams falling hard, but the odds are not that enjoyable. Instead of Bolton and Reading, Accuscore simulations doom Blackburn – who go down five spots from 19 to dead last 24 – and Queens Park Rangers to relegation. All of these teams are certain to be battling around the relegation zone, but it’s always a gamble which one will be saved by the skin of their teeth. There’s not a lot of value in the relegation bets, but Accuscore will go for Blackburn and QPR; Rotherham is bad, but their odds have dropped so low it’s not a viable option this time.
QPR gets relegated with odds of 4.5 and Blackburn follow suit with 5.0. Both are playable
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