Coca Cola Championship Online Betting


The Championship is the highest division of The Football League and second-highest division overall in the English football league "pyramid" after the Premiership. The Championship was introduced for the 2004/2005 season, having been previously known as the Football League First Division.

Championship Betting Markets


The Championship is second only to the Premier League in terms of the quantity of bets placed. All online layers offer a wide range of Championship betting options, including weekly fixtures, outright title winners, promotion and relegation amongst others.

Match Betting


Championship betting on individual matches is probably the most popular market with punters, particularly for televised games. Generally, this takes the form of "fixed odds" betting, with prices offered for the home win, away win and draw in 90 minutes play. However, given the popularity of Championship betting, the layers have introduced a multitude of betting markets on individual games. These include such as "Asian Handicaps" and "Draw, No Bet", which although offering shorter Championship betting odds, remove the draw from the punting equation, making each match a two-horse race. Other Championship betting markets involve correct scores, first / last goalscorers, corners, bookings and a wide range of others. Punters are advised to consult individual bookmakers' sites for the full range of markets offered.

Outright Winner


Since its inception in 2004-05, Sunderland have twice won the Championship, in 2004-05 and 2006-07. The other successful sides have been Reading (2005-06) and West Bromwich Albion (2007-08). With the top sides being promoted to the Premier League, the Championship has a different winner every season. The 24-team league is particularly competitive, with the financial benefits of top-flight football awaiting the winners. Find the winner in the Championship betting, or even compiling a shortlist is a tricky task for punters. However, in compiling a shortlist of prospective winners, it may be worth considering:

1. Teams relegated from the Premier League.
2. Teams that have spent extensively on new signings in the close season.
3. Teams that have performed well in the previous season.

Top Goalscorer


The Championship betting on the top scorer is a minefield for punters, especially in the early stages of the season, with so many prospective candidates. Punters are advised to wait until the later stages of the season, when the number of prospective winners is down to a manageable number. Prices offered will be substantially reduced, by chances of success greatly increased.

Promotion


The two teams finishing in the top two Championship positions are automatically promoted to the Premier League. The teams finishing in positions 3 to 6 take part in the playoffs, on a 3rd v 6th and 4th v 5th basis in the semi-finals. The semi-final winners progress to the Wembley final, with the winners gaining promotion to the Premiership.The three promoted teams are replaced by bottom three teams in the Premier League. Along with the Championship winners (see above), the promoted sides have been Wigan Athletic and West Ham United (2004-05), Sheffield United and Watford (2005-06), Birmingham City and Derby County (2006-07), along with Stoke City and Hull City in 2007-08. In such a competitive division, there are any number of possible promotion contenders, especially early in the season. Punters are advised to treat a venture into the Championship betting promotion market as a "fun" bet, keeping stakes small and, as ever, seeking value.

Playoff Winners


With Premier League sponsorship and increased TV revenue at stake, the playoffs are invariably hard-fought encounters. When the 3rd to 6th placed teams are known at the end of the season, the majority of layers offer match and outright Championship betting on the playoffs. The team finishing third in the league has a good record in the playoffs, with Watford, Derby and Hull City all winning the playoff final having finished in this position. The exception was West Ham United, playoff final winners in 2004-05 having finished 6th in the league. On this basis, there has been much debate amongst fans as to whether the playoffs should be replaced by a straightforward "3 up, 3 down" system, which may be fairer to the 3rd placed team. However, they remain for the time being and punters wishing to get involved in this Championship betting market would to well to give close scrutiny to the team finishing 3rd.

Relegation


The three teams filling the bottom 3 positions are replaced by the top two sides in League One, along with the winners of the League One Playoffs. Teams in the bottom half of the table are, almost by definition, inconsistent. As a result, such sides can often produce a mid-season "hot streak" taking them clear of the drop zone. Contrastingly, lesser sides can endure long losing runs which may take them from safety into a relegation "dogfight." Punters on the Championship betting relegation market would do well to consider these points, as relegation contenders are often offered at ridiculously short prices.

To Finish Bottom


Similar principles apply to the Championship betting market on the team to finish bottom of the league. A circumspect approach is advised, avoiding very short prices and keeping stakes low.

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