The League Two relegation zone is extremely congested, and the picture changes week by week. The layers cannot make their minds up who will drop out of the football league, and there is plenty of opportunity for profit in the relegation betting markets.
League Two relegation
We recently looked at the tight race for League One promotion, but if anything the situation at the foot of League Two is even closer. The prospect of dropping out of the football league is bad enough, but one look at the Blue Square Premier table, and the clubs dropping down will know they are likely to be out of the League for some time – just ask Luton, Wrexham, Grimsby, Hereford, Stockport – the calibre of football clubs trying to regain their League status is sobering.
So what of the relegation betting market in League Two? The picture has changed considerably throughout the season. Bristol Rovers were backed at odds of 2.3 at one point this term, but their recovery means they are now barely included in the market. The current favourites for relegation are Aldershot. They lie bottom, three points from safety (on 40 points) – they do however, have a game in hand on most of their rivals and prior to two back to back home defeats, they had gone six games undefeated. With more twists and turns almost guaranteed, Ladbrokes price of 1.53 looks far too short. They still look a lay on the exchanges at 1.95.
York currently occupy the other spot in the drop zone (two clubs go down). They are a point better off (41 points) than Aldershot, having played a game more. They are two short of Accrington and Plymouth (Both 43 points). Their form however, is a real worry. York’s last win was on New Years Day, fifteen games ago. Defeat to relegation rivals Torquay at the weekend was yet another blow, and they are odds-on shots to go down with most firms. Ladbrokes are a best price 1.91 on them. They look in real trouble – well done to the punters that backed them for the drop at 40/1 and 100/1 earlier in the season on Betfair.
Plymouth and Accrington sit on 43 points, and while Plymouth have played a game more, their goal difference is 10 goals or so better than their rivals. Accrington are available at 2.75 with Bet365, with Plymouth fractionally over 3.5 with most firms. Stanley recently thumped Wimbledon 4-0 at home and a narrow defeat at leaders Gillingham is not too concerning – they are showing plenty of fight at least. Likewise, Plymouth have only lost one of the last five (three wins) and that solitary defeat was also away at Gillingham.
Barnet sit on 44 points and their home form is slowly dragging them clear of trouble. They are priced at 6.0 across the board to go down, but that price is likely to fluctuate when they go on the road – their away record is woeful, in the last six away games, only the hapless York have failed to beat them, so getting the timing right is important if betting on the Bees. Then come Torquay on 44 points. They went eleven games without a victory, but back to back wins in the last two have left them feeling much more comfortable. Bet365 go 11.0 on them to go down, and that could look big if Torquay slip back into the sort of form that saw them lose seven games on the run, back in February.
Rochdale are another team barely limping over the finishing line. They have won twice in the last fourteen, but sit six points clear of danger on 47 points. They also have a game in hand on most rivals, but at 34.0 look handily priced if the teams below them continue to grab points. The layers think they are safe, but it is a bit early to assume that. Dagenham also sit on 47 points, and two wins in twelve leave them equally vulnerable. They are also widely priced at 34.0 for the drop.
There is sure to be some pivotal moments in the League Two relegation market, with many of the strugglers still set to face each other. One key date is next Saturday, when Rochdale host Aldershot – an away win would blow the market wide open.