With Crystal Palace securing the final promotion spot, it is worth looking back on a fiercely competitive Championship, and seeing exactly what the betting markets were predicting back in August 2012. There are certainly clues for the future, as we reveal the Championship betting review of 2012/13
The Championship Betting Review
Back in August 2013, the clubs dropping out of the Premier League dominated the Outright winners market. Bolton were favourites, at a best price 8/1 (9.0) and Wolves and Blackburn were third and fourth in the market at 9/1 (10.0) and 10/1 (11.0) respectively. Safe to say there were some significant under performers in that trio. Eventual title winners Cardiff City were available at 12/1 (13.0) and were seventh in the market. Leicester were widely expected to mount a challenge after a second summer of spending, but their price of 8/1 (9.0) was also proved false.
Hull and Watford provided the each way value. The Tigers were 28/1 (29.0) for the title and 10/1 (11.0) for promotion – the same as their price to be relegated into League One. Watford were 33/1 (34.0) to win, and 10/1 (11.0) for promotion, no consolation after play off final heartache but a sign of what a good season it was, none the less. What of play off winners Crystal Palace? They were a very chunky 25/1 (26.0) for promotion and interestingly as short as 5/2 (3.5) for relegation.
The relegation jollies were Barnsley at just 11/8 (2.375) but some last day heroics and a late collapse by Peterborough meant the Posh went down instead – they were 2/1 (3.0) shots for the drop. Bottom placed Bristol City were third favourites to go down, at 5/2 (3.5). So that market seemed to be going to form, until we reach Wolves. Their nightmare season came to an end with them four points from safety, yet they were as big as 40/1 (41.0) to be relegated back in August. Unsurprisingly, that would have been the pick of the pre-season bets.
As it proved on a weekly basis, the Championship is a very tight division, where any team can beat anyone else on their day. It is hugely competitive and a great betting proposition. Premier League teams dropping down do not always find it easy, and likewise, League One teams coming up can be very successful – Southampton and Brighton proving that in recent seasons. So keep options open when sizing up the 2013/14 Championship and be cautious when backing favourites.