If the job of picking a Championship winner wasn’t already a tough one before the season, then the opening round of fixtures has only made it harder.
As a consequence, however, punters will find plenty of value when it comes to Championship betting, both in terms of individual matches and where teams will finish come the end of the season.
This weekend no fewer than four solid home favourites fell to defeat on their own patch.
Middlesbrough began the season as market leaders to secure promotion to the Premier League as champions, but their odds have already lengthened to 8/1 after they slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Ipswich.
Elsewhere, Derby overcame odds of 11/4 to claim victory at Leeds and David James’ first game in goal for Bristol City was a losing one as they were beaten 3-0 by Millwall.
Meanwhile, perhaps the biggest surprise came at the Madjeski Stadium as Reading were upset 2-1 by many people’s relegation bankers Scunthorpe.
QPR have now taken over as favourites to win the Championship at 7/1 after their 4-0 drubbing of Barnsley, while they have joined Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest at 9/4 to simply gain promotion to the Premier League.
The trickiness in working out which three teams will secure promotion is further highlighted by the fact that ten Championship sides are 5/1 or shorter to go up, while another four are valued at 6/1.
Some decent value can also be found in uncovering the prospective champions with 20 of the 24 teams in double figures, with Hull at 12/1 and Sheffield United at 16/1 among them.
Scunthorpe still find themselves as relegation favourites at evens despite having already picked up three points, while Watford and Crystal Palace are also among the smallest-priced in this market even though they won their opening fixtures.
Burnley got their Championship season off to a winning start and are 11/4 to make an immediate return to the Premier League.