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In what is the hugely popular and continuously growing world of online betting, in the UK, one sport dominates. Football reigns supreme and it is of course the biggest competitions that draw the biggest betting crowds. Naturally, both the Champions League and Premier League are massively popular with punters, though that’s not to say that other divisions are forgotten about, far from it. For example, the Championship – England’s second tier of professional football – isn’t far behind the biggest competitions in terms of online betting popularity, so we bring you the top ten Championship betting sites.

Having a punt on the Championship is something that most football punters in the UK are accustomed to. Given the popularity of the league, lots of bookmakers cover it. Choosing one can be a tough task, especially for the newcomer. Below you can see our top ten.

Our Recommended Sportsbook for the Championship

£20 Risk Free Bet

  • Pay out early if team goes 2-0 up
  • 'Power Prices' on Championship matches
  • Great selection of markets
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9.7
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£20 Risk Free Bet

  • Exchange offers better Championship odds
  • Plenty of markets on offer
  • £25 free bet on same-game multis
9.6

Bet £10, Get £40 In Free Bets

  • Official Racing Post stats and verdicts for Championship matches
  • Asian handicap betting
  • Excellent 'Double Delight/Hat-trick Heaven' promo
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9.6
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£30 in free bets

  • Innovative 5-a-side betting feature
  • Great Championship stats page
  • Selection of markets
9.5

Bet £10 get £30

  • Great for outright betting
  • Enhanced Championship odds
  • In-play bet boosts
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9.4
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Bet £10 get £30

  • Championship Asian handicap markets
  • Great Championship stats
  • Variety of markets
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9.3
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Get £20 when you bet £5

  • Plenty of markets available
  • Championship stats
  • Free to play cash prize games
9.2

Money back up to £40

  • Championship stats
  • Asian handicap betting
  • Lots of markets on offer
9.2

How we rank Championship betting sites

  • Safety – In our minds, safe betting is paramount. As a result, we only recommend Championship betting sites that are tried and tested. They must have a track record of using the latest encryption technology to protect customers, while they must be known to act fairly when it comes to both deposits and withdrawals.
  • Markets – Championship betting sites need to offer punters a wide range of betting markets, or at least they need to if they’re to be recommended by us. Make no mistake about it, each site on our top ten ticks this box.
  • Promotions – Bonuses are essential in today’s ever-changing world of online betting. Quite simply, a Championship betting site that offers great bonuses and promotions is likely to do better than one that doesn’t. As a result, only sites that perform well in this area feature in our top ten.
  • Odds – Offering plenty of markets is one thing but offering consistently good odds is something else altogether. Not only do sites need to fit the bill in terms of markets, but they must offer good Championship betting odds.
  • Features – Given the competitive nature of the industry, innovative features are how sites can distance themselves from the crowd. Championship betting sites with useful features such as cash-out, stats, great content and live streaming will rank highly.
  • Usability – Safety aside, usability is arguably as important as anything else when it comes to ranking Championship betting sites. A site can offer everything under the sun in terms of odds, markets, bonuses, but if it is a site that is difficult to use then punters will be turned off. Only sites that are easy-to-navigate and designed with the user in mind feature in this list.

Popular Championship betting markets

Win/Draw/Win

‘Win/Draw/Win’ is one of the oldest and one of the most common football betting markets. As one would expect, this market allows punters to bet on either a home win, an away victory, or a draw.

Both Teams to Score

Unlike the above, ‘Both Teams to Score’ betting doesn’t involve the result. This market allows punters to bet on whether both teams will find the net during the match. If ‘BTTS – YES’ is chosen, both teams need to score at least once for the bet to be paid out as a winner. If ‘BTTS – NO’ is taken, then at least one of the teams must fail to score.

Under/Over

Popular with Championship bettors, ‘Over/Under’, is all about goals. It’s a case of opting for either more, or less than a certain number of goals, the most popular being over or under 2.5. If going for over, then three or more goals must be scored. Similarly, under requires less than three goals.

League Winner

Punters can also bet on which team will win the league. In general, most bets in this area are placed either before the season starts or during the early weeks, though players can still select the league winner right up until the last game of the season.

Double Chance

This is where bettors can bet on two of three outcomes. For example, both a home win and a draw. In other words, if Nottingham Forest are playing Reading and you choose to take ‘Reading/Draw Double Chance’, you’d be paid out as a winner in the event of a draw or a Reading win. A Forest win would result in a loss.

Draw No Bet

‘Draw No Bet’ also allows bettors to cover two parts of a three-way market, though not quite to the same extent. Essentially, ‘Draw No Bet’ means to bet on a team to win with the insurance of a refund in the event of a draw.

First Scorer

A player-focused market, ‘First Scorer’ is where punters select a player to score the first goal of the match. Only goals scored in 90 minutes (plus injury time) count.

Anytime Scorer

Another player-focused market, ‘Anytime Scorer’ allows punters to bet on a player to score at any time during the match. In knockout/cup matches, only regular time (+injury time) counts. Goals scored in extra-time do not count.

Automatic Promotion

In the Championship, teams are fighting for promotion to the Premier League. This market allows punters to bet on a team to win automatic promotion by finishing in one of the first two places.

To make the play-offs

There are three promotion places available, two go up automatically for finishing 1st and 2nd, while the third promotion place is decided by the winner of the play-offs. Teams finishing 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th battle it out to pave a way out of the division. Usually done at the start of the campaign, punters can bet on a team to make the play-offs.

To be Relegated

In the Championship, three teams go down at the end of each season. ‘To be Relegated’ allows punters to bet on a team to finish in the bottom three. It’s often a bet that is placed early on in the season, though the market remains available until the final day.

How to succeed at Championship betting

In general, Championship football betting is a bit of a fun. For instance, an accumulator on a Saturday afternoon can make checking the scores more exciting, while a few bets when watching a televised game with friends is another way to add extra enjoyment. On the other hand, there are people out there who take Championship betting far more seriously. If aiming to make a long-term profit from betting on England’s second division is your goal, then there are a few things to consider first.

EFL betting tips

  • Information. Using information is vital. There’s no shortage of information that is relevant to the Championship punter, so harness this info, factor it into betting decisions. Whether it be underlying numbers, market info, team news, or stats and trends, there’s plenty to get stuck into. Amongst a sea of opinions, there are also some experts, many of whom provide Championship betting tips. Such people can be learnt from.
  • Team news. Team news is crucial when it comes to Championship betting. When weighing up Championship betting odds, team news must be considered. For example, you notice the Championship betting odds ahead of a big match and, based on what you know already, feel that one price is too big. However, you’ve failed to see that the team with an attractive-looking price-tag is missing two key players, which has already been factored into the odds. Keeping abreast of team news will mean that you may even know that a hugely influential player is set to miss a match that is still five days away. Such news hasn’t yet been factored into the price, which may allow you to strike early and obtain value for money. Either way, team news is something to pay close attention to.
  • Keep a record. Serious punters keep a record of their bets. Not only does this let them stay on top of the profit and loss, but it helps to provide an insight into what is going well and what isn’t. When recording Premier League bets, note down bet types to get a fuller picture.
  • Specialise. You can’t focus on everything, so specialise. Even when focused on just one competition, for example the Championship, there are too many markets for us to bet widely. Pick an area, such as ‘Over/Under’ or ‘Asian Handicap’ and focus on finding value bets in that area. If you want to go even more niche, then you could, for example, specialise is betting on under-valued home teams, or betting on home underdogs on the handicap markets.
  • Performance patterns. As the season wears on, there is more and more data to get stuck into. Make a note of how teams tend to perform under certain conditions. Do they set up differently away from home against top six teams, are they likely to thrive playing against opposition that adopts a certain playing style. Noticing performance patterns can really help the punter to make better informed betting decisions.
  • Team objectives/motivation. In every league we see a variety of ambitions, but perhaps even more so in the Championship. There are lots of moving pieces. Some teams are looking for a top-two spot, some seek the play-offs, some want merely to remain in the division. It’s always important to be aware of objectives a team may have. For example, late in the season you may notice that a top team has an attractive price away against a side sitting just above relegation, but you’d failed to notice that the visitors had already secured their place in the play-offs, and can no longer reach the top two. As a result, they’re likely to be resting key players and winning is no longer a must for them. In contrast, it’s a case of all or nothing for the hosts.
  • Value. The principle of value should be at the forefront of the serious punter’s mind. Value is a much spoken about term, and with good reason. If you’re going to be successful betting on the Championship, then you must be able to identify value and exploit said value. Value can’t really be covered in a few lines, but to cut a long story short, value exists when the odds of a selection are greater than the true probability, or rather the perceived true probability, as in football probabilities can vary depending on who does the calculating. There are lots of information about value out there, using such resources and learning how to spot and use value to your advantage is critical.
  • Work hard. Three teams are promoted from the Championship each year. These three replace the three teams relegated from the Premier League. 1st and 2nd go up automatically, while the final promotion spot is reserved for the winner of the play-offs, which are contested by the teams that finish 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th.

Our Recommended Bookmaker for EFL Bets

# 1 UK Bookie for the Championship

Up to £100 in bet credits

  • Championship accumulator bonus
  • Plethora of markets
  • Early pay out if teams go two goals up
9.8

Previous Championship winners

Year Winner Runner up Play-off winner
2020 Leeds United West Bromwich Albion Fulham
2019 Norwich City Sheffield United Aston Villa
2018 Wolves Cardiff City Fulham
2017 Newcastle Brighton & Hove Albion Huddersfield Town
2016 Burnley Middlesbrough Hull City
2015 Bournemouth Watford Norwich City
2014 Leicester City Burnley Queens Park Rangers
2013 Cardiff City Hull City Crystal Palace
2012 Reading Southampton West Ham United
2011 Queens Park Rangers Norwich City Swansea City

Bottom line on Championship betting sites

With the Championship being a league that is hugely popular among UK bettors, most firms cover the competition extensively. However, not every site is the same. In fact, there are plenty of sites that don’t cut the mustard when it comes to Championship betting. We believe that the ten sites listed in this article are the best Championship betting sites, in terms of safety and overall quality.

FAQ

When does the Championship take place?

The Championship season usually starts one or two weeks before the Premier League, so in early August. There’s often more than one list of fixtures per week, with games often on Saturday’s and Tuesday’s. Unlike many European leagues, which take a winter break during December, the Championship runs all the way through Christmas and into the new year.

Can I place a Championship accumulator?

Accumulator betting is a big thing in the Championship. With lots of matches taking place each week, mainly at the same time as each other, lots of punters get stuck into Championship accumulators. For those who don’t really know what accumulator betting is, here’s an example. An accumulator bet involves grouping together several single bets. If you bet on three teams to win at odds of 11/10, 7/5 and 13/8. Now, a winning £10 bet on either of those three teams as a single would return £21, £24 or £26.25. Three separate £10 winning bets would yield a combined return of £71.25, leaving a profit of £41.25. In contrast, a winning £10 bet on the three teams in an accumulator would return £122.30. Each leg of the accumulator is multiplied as follows: £10 x 11/10 x 7/5 x 13/8 = £122.30

How do I receive my free bet?

To receive a free bet, you must meet the requirements set out by the bookmaker offering the free bet. Be sure to check the free bet criteria and terms and conditions before depositing/betting to obtain a free bet.

Can I bet on the league winner after the season has started?

It is possible to bet on the league winner at pretty much any point between the start of the season and just before the final ball is kicked. Many punters prefer to bet on the winner earlier rather than later, as the more teams left in the title race, the larger the odds.

How many teams are promoted from the Championship?

Three teams are promoted from the Championship each year. These three replace the three teams relegated from the Premier League. 1st and 2nd go up automatically, while the final promotion spot is reserved for the winner of the play-offs, which are contested by the teams that finish 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th.

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About Bradley Gibbs

Freelance sports betting writer, focusing primarily on football in the form of match previews and betting strategy. Over the last few years, Bradley has written for numerous publications, including popular UK newspaper Racing & Football Outlook.