Sheffield United made mincemeat of their title rivals in League One last season and another big club in Blackburn Rovers will be aiming to do the same this time around.
The most intriguing market for me in League One this season is top goalscorer which looks wide open – brace yourselves for a big winner!
I wouldn’t usually go for a skinny price for a 46-game season but I cannot see past Blackburn to win League One.
Tony Mowbray got Rovers playing at the back end of their dismal Championship campaign and they almost stayed up. He appears to be preparing for League One life well with some key acquisitions, including Gillingham’s Bradley Dack and the experienced Peter Whittingham.
Wigan (7/1) and Portsmouth (9/1) are expected to be right up there with Pompey aiming for a double promotion. While they lost manager Paul Cook to Wigan, they have added a couple of decent signings in Brett Pitman and Nathan Thompson but I’m not sure they’ll have enough to outdo Rovers.
There is some good value for teams to be promoted in League One and despite their off-field issues, one that immediately screams to me is the 6/1 available on Charlton.
In Karl Robinson they have a manager who has experience of League One promotion with MK Dons and, more importantly, they’ve made some great additions in the shape of Billy Clarke and Mark Marshall from Bradford.
At the other end of the table, Gillingham stayed up by a point last season and have since lost Bradley Dack and Cody McDonald, who scored 18 goals between them. They’ve tried their best to replace them by bringing in Tom Eaves from Yeovil – a striker who hit the back of the net just four times in 40 League Two games. I’m not convinced.
There’s also increasing speculation that their player of the season, Josh Wright, could be tempted elsewhere, so the 7/4 for the Gills to go down seems far too good to miss.
With Eaves well out of the running for top scorer we turn our attentions to Danny Graham, who heads the market at 10s. He hit 12 in 35 games as Blackburn were booted out of the Championship, but I’m seeking a bit more value here.
Ricky Miller (14/1) is an unknown quantity in League One after joining Peterborough from the National League, and he’s banned for the first six games for biting while playing for Dover last season, so he’s being left alone.
My eyes lit up when I spotted Jermaine Beckford on the list at 20s but on closer inspection he hasn’t managed more than 12 goals in a season since his 2009/10 campaign with Leeds, so he’s also no-go.
My main pick is Bradford’s Charlie Wyke (16/1). He was unlucky not to win promotion with the Bantams in the play-off final but got them into the driving seat with seven goals in 16 after arriving from Carlisle in January. With a full season at the club he looks decent value.
For my second pick, I am torn between new Portsmouth signing Pitman – known as Brett Fitman to some, an ex once informed me – and the man with the best chant in football, Will Grigg. Both are best priced 14/1 and both hit minimal goals in the Championship, with just nine between them last season.
However, when Pitman was last in League One he scored 19 in 26 for Bournemouth – a few years before they were splashing out £20 million on Chelsea reserves – while Grigg netted 45 goals in the division from 2014 to 2016. I’m plumping for Pitman to put out Grigg’s fire.
In other markets, I really fancy Oxford United to have a good season and while I think the football traders at Bet365 may need to have a gander on Google Maps to brush up on their geography skills – I’ve picked the Us out on their “Top South East Club” market at 11/4.
Winner – Blackburn 9/2 (Bwin – bet HERE)
Promotion – Charlton 6/1 (BetVictor – bet HERE)
Relegation – Gillingham 7/4 (Boylesports – bet HERE)
Specials – Oxford 11/4 Top South East Club (map-less B365 – bet HERE)
Good luck and follow The Set Odds for more tips!