England Championship predictions and odds

Although most punters often stick to top-flight national leagues and competitions, EFL Championship betting remains as popular as ever. It’s likely the biggest second-tier league in the world if we’re talking about football betting, and is more than worth your attention.

To that end, Betting Fellow is here with the best EFL Championship betting tips out there. We’ll also take a look at the state of the league going into the 2020/21 season – the favourites, top players, and most exciting showdowns we’ll be seeing over the next year or so.

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History and General Information

The full name of this competition is the English Football League Championship. Now, to those familiar with the history of England’s league system, its relationship to the Premier League will be familiar. However, we’ll go over because it may be confusing to beginners.

The main ancestor of today’s championship is the English Football League second division. The Football League was founded in 1888 to create a unified national league. The Football Association Cup existed before that, but the tournament format it has was an issue for many clubs. Namely, if a team was knocked out early, they would be left with no matches for the remainder of the season.

A round-robin competition was needed, but the EFL wasn’t the only fish in the pond. The Football Alliance was a rival league which existed for a few years towards the end of the 19th century. The short-lived competition consisted of 14 teams which weren’t part of the Football League. In 1892 the Alliance was merged with the main league, finally creating a central authority for English football.

However, the EFL already had the same number of clubs. Because of the competition’s round-robin format, it would be extremely difficult to organize enough matches to allow each team to play every other team twice. As such, the Second Division was formed to accommodate most of the Football Alliance’s member clubs. Notably, a few clubs still ended up in the First Division, replacing a few former First Division teams.

The system of relegation and promotion was immediately implemented as well and remains largely in place to this day. As time went on, more divisions were added – like the Third and Fourth – because of football’s rapidly growing popularity and the increasing number of clubs who wished to join the English Football League.

As the ‘70s and ‘80s came round, football in the country was at an all-time low. Despite notable successes in international competitions and massive fanbases, even England’s greatest clubs were financially weak and unstable. Those same clubs argued for a bigger cut of the profits due to bringing in more spectators, but these complaints ultimately fell on deaf ears.

All of this came to a head in 1992. In the ongoing fight to acquire better profits and TV broadcast rights, all First Division clubs simultaneously left the English Football League on February 20. This was a seminal moment in football history, and it also defined how the English football system would work. The Premier League was formed, replacing the EFL First Division as the top flight of English football. Though it is technically a separate entity, pretty much the entire format remained intact, including the system of promotion and relegation.

As a result, every team in the EFL was bumped up one league higher – at least in the name. The former Second Division became the First Division, even though it represented the second flight of football on a national level. If you feel this sounds a bit strange, you’re probably right.

That’s why the Football League was rebranded in the 21st century. In 2004, the Football League First Division was renamed to the Football League Championship, while the Third and Fourth divisions were rebranded as League One and League Two. Also, the organization was rebranded as the English Football League in 2014 (though we referred to it as such throughout this text to avoid confusion.)

The Premier League split did greatly impact some aspects of the Football League. For starters, its member clubs reported financial issues caused by reduced viewership because the country’s most popular clubs left. Today, however, those issues were smoothed out if the numbers are to be believed. Despite not being a top-flight league, the English Championship maintains an enormous following. Reportedly, it records higher attendance than ever France’s Ligue 1 or Italy’s Serie A, which are both members of the European Big 5.


The Championship’s format shouldn’t be unfamiliar to anyone who’s ever seen a football league, except with 4 more clubs than what you might be used to. The 24 constituent teams of the Championship play against one another twice throughout a season, typically lasting from August to May of the following year. As always, one match is played home and one is played away, and points are awarded in the usual style of 3/1/0.

Despite being called the Championship, the winners of this league are not named champions. Instead, the two best-placed teams go on to the Premier League. Additionally, Championship play-offs are held to determine which team will take the third promotion spot.

Championship play-offs take the form of a mini knockout tournament. The third-placed team plays against the sixth-placed team twice, while the fourth-placed team plays against the fifth. The winners of these outings face off in single-match Championship finals, the winner of which earns a trophy and a promotion to the Premier League.

Conversely, the three bottom-placed teams are relegated to League One. League One has a similar structure to determine who gets a promotion to the Championship.

EFL Championship Title Challengers

Understanding how the teams compare to each other is arguably the most important thing you need for betting on Championship matches. Since the best clubs rarely stay in this league for long complicates things a little, though. Historically, the teams that were recently relegated have the best chances of making it back to the Premier League and vice-versa.

As such, we might want to refer to EFL Championship betting odds to get a starting picture. Since promotion is the ultimate goal of most Championship teams, we’ll take a look at how the world’s top online bookmakers have priced the Outright to Be Promoted market.

Leading the listings is Fulham FC, the safest bet for a Premier League promotion at odds of 1.70. Further down are West Brom with 2.2 and Bournemouth at 3.5. Stoke are just under with 4.00, followed by a surprising price for the Queens Park Rangers at 5.5.

Finally, two more teams are worth discussing but are all over the place in terms of the odds – Sheffield and Cardiff. Depending on the bookmaker, Sheffield outright betting odds range anywhere from 5.5 and 9.0. Cardiff are more stable but still debatable at 5.2 to 6.5.

Fulham FC

The days of the Cottagers being considered a Premier League mainstay are long behind us at this point. They’ve been yo-yo-ing in and out of the Championship ever since their downfall following 2013/14.

With an uninspiringly poor run in last season’s Premier League, fans are hoping the newly-appointed Marco Silva will bring more aggression to their plays. Moreover, most pundits and Championship betting predictions view their lineup as more than ready to head toe-to-toe with the top flight. It’s a hardened, veteran lineup just waiting for the right chance to bring the Whites back to their glory days.

Aleksandar Mitrovic is undoubtedly the highlight of the current roster as an extremely accomplished striker. This year, the Fulham front will also be bolstered by Liverpool’s winger Harry Wilson who was freshly signed.

Paulo Gazzaniga will also provide Silva with some options in terms of goalkeepers. Other key members include defensive midfielder André Zambo Anguissa and centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo.

West Bromwich Albion

West Brom are also here after a staggeringly poor performance in the Top Flight. However, they’ve been able to reach the promotion play-offs every time they had the chance for decades. The rest of the time they spend in the Premier League. This all puts them in a decent position to bounce back up the English league system. The biggest obstacle on that path is a relative lack of funding compared to some other top EFL Championship teams.

Despite this, they’ve managed to keep a hold over several key players over the summer. The most notable exception is right-winger Matheus Pereira, though Ahmed Hegazy and Rekeem Harper are sure to be missed as well.

Grady Diangana was a record-breaking signing for West Brom, but so far the young winger has failed to meet the high expectations. Fans are hoping he’ll be back to his best form under the new leadership of Valérien Ismaël.

In addition to being a seasoned Championship veteran, he brought Alex Mowatt over from Barnsley. His trademark 3-4-3 system is sure to make use of the solid lineup of backs and midfielders that Albion can currently boast.

AFC Bournemouth

It’s been a rocky few years for the Cherries, but their supporters are hoping Scott Parker’s arrival from Fulham will be enough to get them back on their feet. They missed out on promotion last season, but only by a thread and the year was rife with internal struggles and changes in management.

That said, the transfer window so far has been a mixed bag for them. On one hand, Emiliano Marcondes was a great deal, but they lost key members of the roster like Diego Rico. Crystal Palace’s former centre-back Gary Cahill is another boon to the lineup, but Parker also had to let go of Arnaut Dajuma. Being one of the most prolific wingers of England’s second flight, Dajuma leaving was a real blow that shook the confidence of a lot of fans.

Although the overall window was a relative loss for Bournemouth, though, the odds paint them as one of the favourites.

Parker is definitely the sort of coach who can get a team to the Premier League. The question, however, is whether his new ideas and energy will be enough to overcome the heavy blows the lineup took.

EFL Championship Relegation Favourites

Three teams will also be relegated to League One, as always. Knowing the underdogs also has benefits for Championship betting, so let’s take a close look at some of them.

Derby County F.C.

With a gut-wrenching price of just 1.80 for English Championship relegation, Derby are in a very sorry state. They ended the previous season as 21st, way under historically weaker and poorer clubs. To make matters worse, the lineup is in an even worse state in 2021/22 with Scott Malone, Martyn Waghorn, and Jack Marriott all off to greener pastures. Avoiding relegation is the sum of the Rams’ ambitions this season, and even that seems too ambitious to ask for.

Blackpool FC

Blackpool’s climb up from League Two has been slow and arduous, and it’s hard to consider them ready for the Championship yet. Head manager Neil Critchley did a brilliant job whipping them up into something competitive, but the 2.5 odds for relegation are mercilessly accurate in describing how likely they are to stick around. Their biggest issue at the moment is the complete lack of any sort of front line, and the summer transfer period did little to fix that issue.

Peterborough United

Historically speaking, Peterborough never fared too well in the Championship and rarely stuck around too long. Moreover, the Posh are somewhat ironically the worst-funded team of the league, which rarely bodes well. While their supporters were given a newfound hope with the return of Darren Ferguson, their chances of staying in the Championship are simply not great. Most bookmakers online tend to agree with that sentiment, with a Championship relegation bet sitting at odds of 3.25.

EFL Championship Top Players

Though world-class players don’t tend to stay in the Championship for long, there are still some outstanding examples of why this league is enjoyed by so many fans.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

With 38 goals over a career 57 Championship games, this is one of the most prolific strikers currently in the Championship. The Fulham lineup is full of talented individuals, so the fact that Mitrovic sticks out is a feat in and of itself. He is widely considered a striker on par with his Premier League peers. Between Marco Silva’s more aggressive coaching style and his years of experience in England’s second flight, a lot is expected of him in the coming year.

Grady Diangana

The priciest signing in West Brom’s history, Diangana is an energetic right-winger with a great sense for the game. He has been known to play anywhere on the forward line but first earned renown as part of West Ham’s starting 11. When in peak form, Diangana is an almost unstoppable dribbler who has been compared to Ronaldinho.

Sander Berge

Despite many rumours about possible transfers to the Premier League, Sheffield’s star midfielder decided to stay with the squad. He’s a defensive force to be reckoned with despite his relative inexperience in the Championship and has been noted as one of the most highly-valued players in the league. Like Diangana, he was his current team’s record signing when he first joined up in 2020.

EFL Championship Rising Stars

Watching young players come into their own is one of the joys of the Championship. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Rhian Brewster

Earning renown as the striker for England’s under-21 national team, Brewster was awarded the Golden Boot award at the U-17 world cup back in 2017. He has been on the radar of several major teams in the Premier League but is currently playing as Sheffield United’s centre-forward. While that may seem like a step down from his previous stint in Liverpool, he will finally get his chance to shine as a member of a team’s starting 11. Brewster sealed a permanent deal from Anfield this summer after failing to impress Jurgen Klopp in his last season's loan spell with the Blades.

Han-Noah Massengo

This French native entered the history books 3 years ago by becoming the first player born in the 21st century to play in the Champions League. He did so in a crushing defeat for Brugge but is widely considered one of the most promising young midfielders in European football. He is currently a member of Bristol’s starting 11 but is already being scouted by teams like Juventus and Arsenal.

EFL Championship Derby Matches

M1 Derby

Though the noted showdown between Luton Town and Watford is long past its prime, it’s a storied rivalry going back more than a century. The relations between these two teams and their fans were very fiery in the 80s while both of them were in the top-flight. The teams’ fall from relevance eventually resulted in calmer showdowns, though it is still well known among football fans.

East Midlands Derby

It would be a misstep not to mention a rivalry involving Derby County, and the one with Nottingham Forest is perhaps the most notable. This is likely the fiercest rivalry outside the Premier League and dates back more than a century (though the clubs were admittedly more successful at the time.)

EFL Championship Best Stadiums


With a capacity of just under 40,000, Sheffield’s home turf is the biggest venue in the Championship. Being one of the oldest football clubs in the world, Sheffield boast a very old and storied stadium. That said, one of those stories is the infamous Hillsborough disaster, which marked football history and changed the standards for stadiums forever. Currently, there are plans to further increase the capacity to 45,000.

Riverside Stadium

Built in 1996, Middlesbrough’s home ground is an impressive all-seater stadium with a capacity of just over 34,000. It was constructed to replace the Boro’s previous stadium after the Hillsborough disaster, which sadly means that it can’t hope to match the history and charm of some other Championship teams’ stadiums. Still, it boasts modern facilities and regularly houses fierce showdowns.