Championship preview: The best and worst bets for promotion
The Championship season is almost upon us and some good and bad value can be found in the Championship betting markets.
West Ham – 4/1 to win Championship
The fact that West Ham are set to keep hold of Robert Green, Scott Parker and Carlton Cole make them a great price to be crowned champions this season.
A central midfield partnership of Parker and Kevin Nolan would not look out of place in the Premier League top eight, while Mark Noble, Jack Collison and new recruit Matt Taylor will also add some spark to the midfield.
Cardiff – 5/1 for promotion
Although it’s Leicester that are largely expected to go up automatically with West Ham, it may be Cardiff that are the better value to finish in the top two.
Leicester arguably have the strongest defence in the division, but all teams may struggle to outscore a Cardiff team that have Robert Earnshaw and Kenny Miller in attack.
Cardiff have virtually thrown away automatic promotion in the last two seasons, but under new manager Malky Mackay, this could be their year.
Nottingham Forest – 4/1 for promotion
A summer of heavy spending should ensure that Leicester definitely make the play-offs, but it may be best to expect Nottingham Forest are the third team promoted.
Steve McClaren will have lots to prove at Forest, but has maintained most of the squad that Billy Davies reached the play-offs with last season, while adding the Premier League experience of George Boateng and Jonathan Greening.
Middlesbrough – 4/1 to be promoted
Middlesbrough have been highly fancied for promotion in the last two seasons and have been well outside of the play-offs in each.
There is little to suggest that things will be different this season, despite Tony Mowbray being ready for his first full campaign as manager.
Southampton – 9/2 for promotion
Southampton have largely the same squad that could only finish second in League One last season, but Rickie Lambert is unlikely to be as effective.
So even if they keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, mid-table looks their best ambition.
Brighton – 5/1 for promotion
Brighton won League One last season and summer signing Craig Mackail-Smith will certainly score goals in the Championship.
However, they have lost the influential Elliot Bennett and although they may feature in the promotion race, they should not be ahead of Leeds and Blackpool in the Championship betting for promotion.