As we start to reach the business end of the football season, it seems as good a time as any to take stock of the current League One landscape and go over Betfred’s outright betting markets heading into the home stretch.
From outright winners to relegation candidates, this is the state of play in the English third-tier.
Sheff Wed: 2/9
Sheffield Wednesday have been superb this season and look good value to be playing Championship football again next term. The Owls’ lead at the top of the League One table has narrowed - they’re only a point above second-placed Plymouth Argyle and three above Ipswich Town in third - but they do have two games in hand over both.
Plymouth can’t be ruled out despite their long odds though. The Pilgrims have a pretty favourable run between now and the end of the season and of their last nine league fixtures they only face one current top half side (Shrewsbury Town).
Ipswich’s form has been sublime in recent weeks, winning their last six and keeping seven clean sheets in a row, a club record, but it might be a little too late for the Tractor Boys to win the league outright at this point. The same can be said for Barnsley.
Sheff Wed: 1/25
With Wednesday looking like a shoo-in for one of the automatic spots, most likely finishing as the champions, that leaves an enthralling three-way battle for second place and something of a battle royale for the four play-off spots.
Plymouth are currently in pole position for second and with their aforementioned remaining fixtures, Ipswich and fourth-placed Barnsley simply have to hope they keep on winning and Plymouth, who’ve rarely put a foot wrong all season, slip up.
Regardless of who makes the automatic spots, whether it’s Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth, Ipswich or Barnsley, whoever misses out will find themselves in the midst of probably the biggest set of League One play-off ties ever. Five of the current top six have played Premier League football this century, with Derby County and Bolton Wanderers, fifth and sixth respectively, also both in for a shout at Wembley glory.
Peterborough United and Wycombe Wanderers are currently four points off the top six but do have a game in hand over Bolton and neither can be ruled out just yet.
MK Dons: 11/8
Oxford Utd: 4/1
Basement club Forest Green are 13 points away from safety and are all but gone, but that still leaves three more teams staring down the barrel of relegation. Cambridge United’s League One tenure looks more than likely to come to an end. The Us are six points off MK Dons in 20th and have won just once in 2023.
Morecambe are a little better off and are just two points away from getting out of the dropzone, however their form has left a lot to be desired in recent weeks with no wins in their last five.
Of the current teams in the relegation places, Accrington Stanley look the most likely to survive. They’re just a point below MK Dons and have a game in hand over all the teams around them.
As for MK Dons themselves, they might have found form at just the right time, having won their last two, against Morecambe and Accrington, and lifted themselves away from the bottom four, while Oxford United, two points above the drop and winless since January, need to desperately get back to winning ways.
Jonson Clarke-Harris: 1/6
Colby Bishop: 10/1
David McGoldrick: 20/1
Conor Chaplin: 28/1
Dion Charles: 33/1
Aaron Collins: 33/1
Alfie May: 66/1
Ryan Hardie: 150/1
Michael Smith: 150/1
Josh Windass: 200/1
League One top-scorer looks destined to be going the way of Peterborough United’s Jonson Clarke-Harris, who has bagged 22 goals for the Posh this season, four more than second-placed Colby Bishop. Bishop could be one to keep an eye on though, especially at 10/1. The 26-year-old has scored six goals in his last six for the resurgent Portsmouth.
Veteran Derby County forward David McGoldrick has turned back the clock this season, scoring 16 goals in the Rams’ bid to return to the second-tier. Catching up with the younger legs of Clarke-Harris and Bishop might prove tough at this point of the campaign though.
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change