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League 1 Betting Preview 2016/17

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Millwall (ew)League 1 – To Win Outright11/1Bet365, Paddy Power
MillwallLeague 1 – To Be Promoted7/2Bet365
Oxford United (ew)League 1 – To Win Outright16/1Bet365
Swindon TownLeague 1 – To Be Relegated11/4Ladbrokes, Coral

Only once in the past 22 seasons has the bookmakers’ favourite for League One obliged (Wolves were 4/1 favourites in 2013/14), while Sheffield United have been favourites for the past two seasons, finishing 5th and then just 11th last season.

Sheffield United

Sheffield UnitedBut Sheffield United are once again the clear favourites to land the title at stand-out odds of 13/2 with William Hill – and after several years of failing to live up to expectations, the Blades have brought in Chris Wilder as their new manager following his stellar season in leading Northampton to the League 2 title.

Wilder has set about doing what he did at Sixfields, bringing in players who he has previously worked with or who have excelled in this division and have the potential to play at a higher level and his no-nonsense approach should be a breath of fresh air after the departure of Nigel Adkins, whose relentless positivity bore no relation to results on the field.

Charlton and Bolton are among the market leaders, but both clubs have ongoing off-field problems – particularly the Addicks – and hold little appeal at odds of 11/1 and 14/1 respectively. Their attraction to punters is limited to the fact that they are among the biggest names in the division.

Bradford are also leading contenders, but having lost manager Phil Parkinson to Bolton they are something of an unknown quantity, while MK Dons stormed up from this league in 2015 but suffered a bruising campaign in the Championship.

Millwall

Millwall-FCThe pick of the frontrunners is therefore Millwall, who were consistently good throughout last season, finishing in fourth place before losing out to an impressive Barnsley side in the play-off final at Wembley. They can be backed at best odds of 11/1 with Bet365 or Paddy Power to win the title (as short as 8/1 elsewhere), or best price 7/2 with Bet365 to be promoted.

Lions boss Neil Harris has not been too busy in the transfer market, but unlike some of his rivals at other clubs he hasn’t needed to be. The inventive David Worrall looks to be a smart signing from Southend, while the quick and direct Gregg Wylde, who has arrived from Plymouth, is capable of making an impact.

The biggest bonus for Millwall is the form of striker Lee Gregory, who works well in tandem with the pacy Steve Morison, who possesses a strong aerial threat. Gregory took his time to find his feet in the Football League following his switch from Halifax, but since the turn of the year he has scored 17 times in 26 games.

Oxford United

OUFCOxford United may have finished second behind Northampton in League Two last season, but they were consistently highly-rated by the bookmakers and were always considered a better prospect than the Cobblers to prosper at a higher level. They are available at best price 16/1 to win the league with Bet365 (who are offering Northampton at 28/1) or you can back them at 5/1 to be promoted.

Having sold top scorer Kemar Roofe to Leeds for a hefty fee, manager Michael Appleton has made a host of new signings, including defenders Curtis Nelson and Aaron Martin and striker Wes Thomas, who has worked with Appleton at Blackpool and Portsmouth. Burton proved last season that a well-organised, defensively sound team can thrive in what looks a relatively weak league despite being considered unfashionable, and Oxford look well placed to follow suit.

Relegation

A 24-goal haul from Nicky Ajose proved significant in Swindon finishing in 16th place last season, but following the 24-year-old’s departure to Charlton they are currently looking a little vulnerable. The Robins have not yet been able to strengthen their small squad significantly and having bumped around in the lower half of the table from September onwards they could struggle. Ladbrokes and Coral are offering the best odds of 11/4 that The Robins are relegated.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Millwall (ew)League 1 – To Win Outright11/1Bet365, Paddy Power
MillwallLeague 1 – To Be Promoted7/2Bet365
Oxford United (ew)League 1 – To Win Outright16/1Bet365
Swindon TownLeague 1 – To Be Relegated11/4Ladbrokes, Coral