We have already previewed the new Sky Bet League 1 season and had a bet on the outright market and now it is time to have a look and a punt on the promotion and relegation markets where in this division there looks to be some decent value to be had to give us an extra interest over the next nine months or so.
Unlike last year when we were betting on four promotion places we should remember that there are just three in this division. That still means that a team can finish sixth and go up though and that will help with regards to the value.
As with last season in League Two there are a couple of sides who I like to get promoted this season but they are pretty short and I’m just not keen on tying up funds on short prices for nine months. I think Sunderland and Portsmouth could be ones for the accumulators but I’ll focus on one who is more in tune with a price I like.
Southend United haven’t done a lot of business in the close season but the players they have picked up will compliment a squad which is not lacking in household names with the likes of Anton Ferdinand, Michael Kightly, Michael Turner and Simon Cox. That is a pretty decent spine and with exciting talents like Dru Yearwood backing them up I think they will be competitive.
The Shrimpers finished last season really well and if they kick on from that I think a play-off place is very much in their grasp. A slow start cost them last season but if they get off on an even ground this term they might surprise and go all the way back to the Championship.
This is the easiest of all four leagues to bet on the relegation market. I say that because there are four places which is 17% of the division that will be relegated. That means that value in the market is often difficult to find but that is balanced out by the number of potential winners.
Two of the promoted sides are the favourites to go straight back down in the form of Wycombe Wanderers and Accrington Stanley. I actually think the latter will be fine but then I’ve not underestimated them like most others in recent times. I also think Walsall are in real trouble this season but at 2/1 the price is nothing. I will take a chance on a couple at bigger prices though.
Shrewsbury Town had a wonderful season last time out when they were threatening automatic promotion only to lose in the play-off final and it is that sort of heartbreak that can often lead to a hangover and a struggle the following season. Paul Hurst has upped sticks for Ipswich so John Askey will take charge but while he’s done a wonderful job at Macclesfield he lacks experience at this level and with the likes of Ben Godfrey, Carlton Morris and Alex Rodman all leaving and Jon Nolan and Toto Nsiala handing in transfer requests there is a huge amount of talent departed too. There is a rebuild job on the hands at the New Meadow but I expect this season to be the norm for Shrewsbury rather than the anomaly of last season. That means a relegation fight for me.
Coventry City should have enough to stay up but Marc McNulty is a massive loss to them. He was pivotal in most things they did last season and while they have signed to replace him I’m not convinced they’ve done the best job of it. This is a young Coventry side and if they get off to a slow start getting themselves going might not be easy. You can never truly write off financial issues at the Ricoh Arena either so while I think Coventry could well survive there is enough in their 7/1 price to pay to make sure.
Back Southend United to get promoted for a 1/10 stake at 9.00 with Ladbrokes
Back Shrewsbury Town to get relegated for a 1/10 stake at 7.00 with Unibet
Back them here:
Back Coventry City to get relegated for a 1/10 stake at 8.00 with William Hill