The Coca Cola Championship is a very popular medium with football punters. While the Premier League tends to revolve around the “Big 4″ sides, the Championship tends to be far more competitive, with far more potential challengers for honours. The following seeks to highlight the various markets and Championship odds available, along with providing some pointers to likely contenders for the 2008-09 season. You can get a Free £10 bet on the Coca-Cola Championship when you join Blue Square.
Odds to win the Championship (Best odds shown)
This market is self-explanatory, requiring the selected side to top the Championship at the end of the season in order to collect. Odds to win the Championship are offered for all teams in the division, throughout the season, fluctuating with the fortunes of each team. Punters love playing the odds to win the Championship, as it offers a season-long interest. With just over a third (16 games) of the 2008-09 season played, Wolves top the table with 37 points, with Reading on 31, Birmingham 30 and Sheffield United on 28. The next six sides are only separated by 2 points, highlighting the competitive nature of the division. The odds to win the Championship reflect this situation, with Wolves and Reading as joint-favourites and Birmingham just behind. Recently relegated Reading have gone “goal crazy” in the first part of the season, scoring 36 times. Unbeaten at home, an improvement in the Royals’ away form must see them go very close to justifying their odds to win the Championship.
Championship Promotion Odds
Championship odds are offered on a team gaining promotion to the Premiership. This can be achieved by finishing in the top two automatic promotion places, or by winning the playoffs involving the 3rd to 6th placed teams. Prices will be considerably shorter than odds to win the Championship. For example, the above top three sides in the win market trade at odds-on in the promotion market.
Championship Relegation Odds
Bookmakers offer Coca Cola Championship odds on teams being relegated to League One, i.e. finishing in the bottom three places in the Championship. For mid-table teams, the price for their relegation is often very similar to the odds to win the Championship. Promoted Doncaster are becoming detached at the foot of the table, and are worthy favourites for the drop, along with Nottingham Forest. Three points separate the next 5 sides at the foot of the table.
Championship Top Goalscorer Odds
Numerous bookmakers offer Coca Cola Championship odds on the 2008/09 season’s leading goalscorer. Reading’s free-scoring Irish striker, Kevin Doyle, is a warm favourite in the Coca Cola Championship odds on the leading goalscorer, with 13 goals in 16 games. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake of Wolves is a clear second best with 10.
Championship Match Odds
Betting on the results of individual matches, on a week-by-week basis, is by far the most popular betting option with football punters. Most layers have “fixed odds” coupons for all matches, offering Championship odds for a home win, away win and draw. However, other betting options exist for match results, such as “Asian” handicaps and “Draw, No Bet.” The latter option offers Championship odds for a home and away win, with stakes returned if the match is drawn.
There is an absolutely vast range of other markets associated with each game, involving such as first / last goalscorer, correct score, half-time / full-time result, corners, bookings and total goals to name but a few. It is recommended that punters investigate individual bookmakers’ sites for the available markets and Championship odds on offer.