About the EFL Championship
The Championship, as it’s commonly known, is the second highest level of professional football in England and sits just below the English Premier League (EPL). It’s a league renowned for its competitiveness and unpredictable nature with teams towards the bottom frequently upsetting the higher placed sides.
Across a marathon 46 game campaign, the 24 teams within the division play each other home and away, starting in August and concluding in May. The team to finish top are promoted to the Premier League as Champions, as do the side to finish second (runners-up).
Attendance figures from the 2016/17 season confirm the Championship as the third most watched league in Europe, ahead of La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1
The four clubs who finish between third and sixth place compete for the remaining promotion slot via a play-off system. Here, the two teams to come through their semi-final compete in a final renowned as the ‘richest game in football’, with the winning team guaranteed to earn well in excess of £150 million and, of course, a much-coveted place in the Premier League.
Conversely, the teams to finish between 22nd and 24th are relegated to League One, the third tier of the English football pyramid.
The popularity of England’s second tier is beyond question with attendance figures from the 2016/17 season confirming the Championship as the third most watched league in Europe, ahead of La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1 and only behind the Bundesliga, and of course the English Premier League.
It plays host to some of England’s biggest clubs of whom possess a rich fan base and coveted history, but have more often than not, encountered financial difficulties as a result of relegation from the EPL and struggled to return – former European Cup winners Leeds United and Nottingham Forest being prime examples.
The appeal of the division reaches audiences far and wide, with Championship fixtures regularly featured within the Saturday bundle offered by Stryktipset in Sweden, an accumulator-based game which sees players predict the outcome of 13 pre-selected matches.
Barrie McKay of Nottingham Forest celebrates the seasons first goal against Milwall
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The Championship is one of the best supported leagues in Europe and it's no wonder why. Packed with goals and tense matches throughout the season it captures thousands of football fans attention season after season.
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Betting on The Championship
Even though The Championship is a second-tier league, the competition receives an enormous amount of coverage domestically and across Europe, with so much on the line for the clubs involved.
Soaring interest generated in part to its link with the Premier League, has seen the division become an intriguing watch for football supporters and betting fans who will stake money across various markets ranging from the likely team to finish as Champions and win automatic promotion, to, the four sides who’ll compete in the play-offs and the three clubs to fall through the Championship trap door.
There’s even the chance to predict the highest placed team of a certain region of the country; Yorkshire, for instance, is well represented with Leeds United, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City and Middlesbrough. Here, you may decide to ‘invest’ your money by considering endless pre-season scenarios with the longevity of the season in mind.
Often, the odds available fluctuate based on what is directly happening in the match.
Each individual game will have up toward and sometimes over 100 various pre-match markets readily available to lay money on, the primary and more favoured options centering on the match result, correct score and first goalscorer.
However, the selections are endless and also tend to include Under/Over a certain amount of goals, both teams to score, number of corners taken and booking points accumulated.
The now widely used in-play market provides the bettor with the chance to win money in an instant, by staking money on what’s likely to happen next, be it a goal, a sending off or even a corner.
Often, the odds available fluctuate based on what is directly happening in the match. For example, a player to have already scored 2 goals will be offered at a shorter price to go and claim a hat-trick based on his goalscoring exploits so far.
Any potential winnings are able to be swiftly cashed out with the funds appearing in your online betting purse quicker than you can say ‘show me the money’.
Betting on how the match will end – The traditional way
More often than not, calling the final outcome of a match is the main port-of-call for the majority of punters with an interest in The Championship.
For betting on the most common Full-Time Result (1X2), you simply lay your money on either a home win (1), a draw (X) or an away win (2), giving you a 33.3% chance of success. A correct prediction from the three possible outcomes yields a win based on the odds given when you placed your bet.
But with Championship matches often unpredictable right up to the final whistle, the Draw No Bet (DNB) market provides punters with the safety net of seeing their full stake returned in the event of a draw.
So, if you back a team to win but feel there could be a reasonable chance of a draw occurring, the DNB option sees both eventualities covered. Naturally, with an increased chance of winning, the odds will be lower than if you backed a team to win outright.