The League One betting review looks back to August 2012 to see what the odds where for the forthcoming campaign. Few would have predicted the thrilling climax that ultimately unfolded, and another tight race looms next season, can reflecting on last year’s prices guide us to the betting value in 2013/14?
The League One Betting Review
The final day, and final minutes, of the League programme in England’s third tier saw some momentous action and will live long in the memory. Brentford’s missed penalty in the closing stages of their home game versus Doncaster was tense enough, but for Donny to go the length of the pitch and score a goal which effectively shot them from third in the table, and a place in the play offs, to first spot, was a jaw dropping moment. Doncaster were 14/1 (15.0) for the title pre season (7th favourites), while the Bees were further down the market at 16/1 (17.0). Bournemouth secured the other automatic promotion spot. Their odds at the start of the campaign were 9/2 (5.5) for promotion – but those would have been considerably bigger when the Cherries struggled early in the season, and it took a remarkable run after the reappointment of Eddie Howe for them to gain second spot – a dream season for traders.
Brentford’s heartache was not restricted to the final day of the League programme, as they were ultimate unsuccessful in the play-offs as well, with a Paddy Madden inspired Yeovil team defying odds of 25/1 (26.0) to be promoted – they were just 7/4 (2.75) for the drop at the start of the season.
The favourites for the title were Sheffield United at 6/1 (7.0) and MK Dons at 8/1 (9.0). The Blades were undone by Yeovil in the play-offs after finishing fifth, while the Dons came a disappointing eighth. Preston and Coventry were fourth and fifth in the market, but could only manage fourteenth and fifteenth. It was not a great year for the jolly backers.
The relegation market was clouded by the possible implosion of Portsmouth last summer. Thankfully they remain in existence and the future looks much brighter, but layers feared the worst last summer and of those willing to give odds, Pompey were odds-on to go down. Hartelpool at 5/2 (3.5), Bury at 2/1 (3.0) and Scunthorpe at 4/1 (5.0) joined Portsmouth in the relegation places, so there were few shocks in the sides who dropped into League Two.
League One saw some really volatile betting action throughout this term. In the spring, sides were moving from first to eighth and back again on the back of a couple of results. While it was a traders delight for those on the right side of the prices, it does reflect what a tight division it was, and there is little to suggest it will be any different next term. Wolves will attract plenty of money after their drop from the Championship – and that will mean big prices, and big value, elsewhere.