Beginner’s Guide to Championship Football Betting
With so many top leagues around the world, each featuring the best teams in the country, it’s no surprise that football’s second tier leagues are often overlooked. England seems to have bucked the trend, however, as the English Championship has earned it’s reputation as one of the most entertaining leagues in world football.
While the quality of football might not compare to the elite competitions in Europe, teams in the Championship are no joke – just ask the newly relegated ex-Premier League teams, who often struggle to find success in this highly competitive league.
The battle for promotion at the top of the table, the fight for survival at the other end, and their unpredictable nature make the Championship an excellent option for punters. With many games so tightly contested and upsets across the fixture list every week, picking the right bookie could land you a huge payout! With so many to choose from, it can be a daunting task, so we’ve done the legwork for you – our impartial reviews and beginner’s guide to Championship football betting are sure to help find the right bookie for you!
What, Where and When?
The Championship season runs annually from August to May. The league comprises 24 teams, each from England or Wales. Each team plays twice against their competitors in the league, once at home and once away.
Who to Back?
Unlike the Premier League, there’s no perennial top-four finishers in the Championship – the best clubs earn a promotion each year. As a result, picking a winning bet on the Championship can be a tough task. Going with your gut instincts can get you a few lucky wins, but the best bets are those made based on pre-match research. Reviewing recent form, head-to-head stats and league table standings can go a long way in helping you pick a winning bet.
It’s important to do your own research – recent form, head-to-head stats and team news are all key to your decision. Of course, if you need a push in the right direction, you can always use betting tips to inform your decisions.
You can use betting odds indicate the likelihood of an event and the return you’d get if you did make a wager on the result. Use our odds converter to convert fractional, decimal and American odds instantly.
While the Premier League might have the Championship beat for quality, the second tier can hang with the big boys when it comes to market depth. The best bookies offer over 100 betting options, including the most popular markets such as match result, over 2.5 goals and both teams to score. You’ll also find combination markets like both teams to score and match result, which can often result in huge payouts.
Each Way Betting Calculator
A football betting market is a place where players can bet on a variety of match outcomes and events that may take place during said match.
The English Football Championship is one of the best leagues in the world for betting markets, and Championship betting sites offer an array of possible bets, including:
The easiest form of Championship betting, here you’re simply betting on the result of a match. You’ve got three options here, one of the two teams to win, or a draw. If you’re just getting started with football betting, this is a good place to start.
Both Teams to Score
A relatively recent addition to footballing betting sites that rapidly gained traction, both teams to Score (BTTS) is available at most, if not all good bookmakers.
The concept is simple, you’re betting on both teams to score in a match. Most will make this bet based on recent form, although high stakes or a passion-driven derby may make goals from both sides more likely.
Result and Both Teams to Score
Combining two of the above, here you’re picking your winner – or a draw – and betting that both teams will score on the way to that result.
Here you’re betting above or below a number set by a football betting site. For example, Norwich is playing Blackburn, and the Over/Under is 2.5. If you’re betting over, there must be three or more goals scored between the two teams. If you’re betting under, you win if there are two goals or fewer.
A bet to make at the beginning of the season if you’re confident in your predictive abilities, here you’re betting on the team you think will win the league this year. This bet can be made later too, but the Championship odds aren’t as tempting towards the end of the season when there’s more data to work from and the final table has started to take shape.
You’re betting on a team to be promoted from the Championship to the Premiership here. Three teams will accomplish the feat, the two top teams and the winner of the playoff final – successfully predict one and you win!
At the other end of the Championship table, the bottom three teams will be dropping down a division. Successfully predict one – or more – of the three teams that will be relegated come the end of the current season and you’ll win the bet.
Not all teams automatically gain promotion, the teams finishing between 3rd and 6th go through a playoff for a last attempt at rising to the Premier League. The team that wins the playoffs will get promoted, and bookies will therefore pay promotion bets made on that team. However, you’re not betting on a playoff final winner here, simply that a specific team will qualify for the playoffs.
What is Matched Betting?
A dying art, and one that bookmakers aren’t particularly fond of, matched betting involves betting on all possible outcomes.
For example, take a Nottingham Forest vs Bristol City match, you could bet on Forest to win, and Forest not to win (not to win is important, if you bet on both Forest and City to win, you could still lose in case of a draw).
This is a long-winded process involving free bets and it doesn’t work like it once did, as some intrepid journalists have gone out of their way to prove.
Accumulator bets – or ‘accas’ to their friends – combine multiple wagers into one single bet at football betting sites. A high-risk, high-reward strategy, the odds are much higher than the sum of their parts as all bets must be successful.
Not to be confused with a same game multiple bet, which is a selection of bets on the same match, accas involve bets on numerous different results. For example, you may be betting on six different teams to win six different games (a six-fold accumulator).
The reason many punters prefer accas is simply due to the high returns that are possible. Let’s take our six-fold accumulator above and say each of those six bets is a 2-1 on a match-winner. Individually place bets on these results, and there’s a tidy win to pick up from six 2-1 wins, but combine them in an accumulator, and the odds on your betslip rise to a mammoth 728-1.
Accumulators generally can’t be spread across different sports, but you can normally bet on multiple leagues at once. However, many football betting sites will give you incentives to stay in one league, so betting on one football league alone could be advantageous.
The high-risk nature of accas can be off-putting to all but the hardcore bettor, and for that reason, many bookmakers advertise accumulator insurance as a promotional offer. Acca insurance gives a little bit of a safety net, usually reserved for accumulators in which players win all but one bet. At this point, instead of losing everything, the player is given a consolation prize.
These prizes can sometimes be cash but are more often given as free bets or bonus funds to spend on future bets at the Championship betting site.
In-Play Betting and Cashing Out
In-play betting options are offered by the majority of online football betting sites, usually alongside live streaming services so you can watch the match play out straight from the site.
In-play betting involves making bets on things that you believe will happen in a match as they happen. For example, if a team is 3-2 down with 20 minutes left, you may choose to bet on that team to equalise, or even pull ahead before the final whistle.
In-play betting also gives you the chance to change bets. For example, maybe the team you wagered to win is 3-0 down within the first 15 minutes. Or maybe your selection for the top scorer to get the first goal flopped when he went off with an injury straight after kick-off.
In days of yore, you’d be miserably watching the match play out knowing you had no chance of your initial bets paying off. Nowadays, in-play betting (also known as Live Betting) allows you to balance your bet book with a selection of small bets during the match.
Types of In-Play Bets
One of the biggest perks of live betting is being able to make wagers that would be impossible before the game. For example, instead of betting on the first player or team to score, you can bet on the next to score. There are also bets to be made on more frequent events, such as the next dead ball situation or the time the next player will be booked – or even who that player will be.
Cashing Out Early
Another major perk of in-play betting is the ability to cash-out early. This option allows players to decrease the risk, while also decreasing the winnings from a bet. This can be important for players who may have had an unlucky day with some of their bets and want that safety net of knowing something is coming in.
Let’s take an example of why you might cash-out early. The top team in the Championship that’s battling for the title is taking on the bottom team, which is already relegated. On paper, this is a sure-fire win for the division leader, but in a moment of risk-loving madness, you bet on the other team, and they go 2-1 up at the 82-minute mark. Your £10 bet is now on for you to win £140, but you’re terrified the better team will equalise.
Instead of sweating out those last several minutes plus injury time, the betting site offers you a cash-out value of £90. You take those winnings and breathe a sigh of relief when the ball hits the back of your team’s net four times in the last eight minutes. Naturally, this can go the other way, and the underdog might survive the onslaught and secure the win, meaning you’ve lost out on the bigger payout.
Ready to Bet on the Championship?
Now that you’re up to speed on the Championship, how it works, what you can bet on, and how you can bet, you’re ready to get started with a top betting site. We’ve scoured the web to find the UK’s best bookies for Championship betting, and our lists and reviews make it easy to compare the top sites. Browse betting sites, sign up to claim your optional welcome bonus, and place your bets on one of the country’s most unpredictable leagues!
Your Questions Answered
Championship games often provide more than enough goalmouth action to make in-play betting an excellent option for punters, so you’ll be glad to know that virtually every top bookie offer in-play betting for the Championship, both on desktop and mobile.
This varies by sportsbook, so choose wisely. You can expect to find at least 80 betting options at the best bookies in the UK.
Some bookies will allow you to bet on the Championship winner each way. This means that if your pick comes second or third, you will still win, just at a fraction of the odds given (usually 1/4).
There are a few ways to ensure a football betting site is legitimate. You want to make sure the site carries a license from a trusted regulator such as the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), and this will be stated on both the bookmaker’s site and the UKGC site.
Also, rest assured that if we recommend a Championship betting site, it’s because we’ve gone through all the necessary steps to guarantee it’s 100% legit.
Most Championship betting sites state that a welcome bonus can only be used on single bets, not accumulators, but that isn’t always the case. Some welcome bonuses can be used on accas, but you will usually have to roll the bonus amount over a few times on separate accumulators, so this can end up being an expensive option.
For the most part, it’s best to stick to single bets with welcome bonuses or any other bonus funds. Check out Betfair, which offers a £20 risk free bet for new customers.
Yes, most online football betting sites will allow you to bet on different leagues in an accumulator. However, they are likely to prefer you to stick to one football league, and many bookmakers will even offer a little incentive for you to keep all your acca bets within the Championship, for example.
It is also worth noting that, while crossing leagues is okay, it is rare that a site will allow you to cross different sports on a single accumulator.