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League 2 Betting Preview 2016/17

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Cambridge United (ew)League 2 – To Win Outright16/1Bet365
Cambridge UnitedLeague 2 – To Be Promoted7/2Bet365
Cambridge UnitedLeague 2 – Top 7 Finish7/4Bet365
Cheltenham Town (ew)League 2 – To Win Outright25/1BetVictor

Last season we tipped Northampton Town to win League 2 at odds of 16/1 and the Cobblers duly obliged. Below we preview the main contenders this season.

Portsmouth

Portsmouth FCAfter missing out on promotion in the play-off semi-finals last season, Portsmouth are strong favourites in the League 2 betting this term, at best odds of 9/2 with Bet365. Pompey were also favourites with the bookmakers last year, but finished in sixth place and 7 points adrift of automatic promotion (W21, D15, L10).

Clearly there is room for improvement and manager Paul Cook has responded by bringing in a host of new faces, although he has lost key defender Adam Webster to Ipswich. Nevertheless, Carl Baker, Michael Smith, Drew Talbot and Milan Lalkovic are all interesting signings who are coming to Fratton Park from a higher level that they are capable of returning to.

Doncaster

Doncaster-RoversA run of one point from a possible 36 between late January and early April saw Doncaster collapse from the top half of League One to relegation, but they are second favourites in League Two at a best price of 9/1 with Bet365. Despite taking the club down, Darren Ferguson is retained as manager and he has made a few decent signings in wide players Gary McSheffrey and Tommy Rowe, while striker Andy Williams should get plenty of goals at this level.

Luton

LutonLuton were expected to go well last season – no bigger than 8/1 – but fell well short and finished down in 11th place. Once again they are among the market leaders, but they haven’t strengthened their squad particularly as yet, with novice manager Nathan Jones returning to his old club Brighton for a couple of players and signing striker Jordan Cook, who he worked with at Charlton, on a two-year deal. The Hatters need to do more to justify a punt at best odds of 10/1 with Bet365, although they have at least held on to key man Cameron McGeehan, a real goal threat from midfield.

Leyton Orient

Leyton-OrientAt 11/1 with Ladbrokes, Leyton Orient are fourth in the betting and they have been busy in the transfer market, signing a host of players to bolster a squad which finished eighth last season. The main concern with the Os is the owner Francesco Becchetti, who is on his fifth manager in just two years, and it’s too early to say if Andy Hessenthaler, only appointed in April, has the full support of his chairman.

Cambridge

Cambridge-UnitedOur top tip for League Two is Cambridge, who improved greatly last term after a slow start, losing only six of their last 28 matches and finishing the campaign with an eight-game unbeaten run. Throughout the second half of the season they were a team the bookmakers wanted to keep on side and it is noticeable that while Bet365 are offering 16/1, some firms are quoting just 12s.

From 18th place in late November, Cambridge climbed to a final position of ninth and manager Shaun Derry has since made several changes to his squad, bringing in some interesting signings such as Piero Mingoia, who impressed for Accrington over the last few years, to join an experienced core which includes Mark Roberts, Leon Legge, Luke Berry, Barry Corr, Ben Williamson and Keith Keane.

Bet365 are quoting 7/2 for Derry’s side to claim one of the four promotion places, or 7/4 that they finish in the Top 7 – we suggest taking both prices, plus that 16/1.

Cheltenham

Cheltenham-TownCheltenham won the National League with 101 points and a +57 goal difference, winning 21 of their last 28 games, and they look well equipped to make an impact at this level. It is interesting that manager Gary Johnson has only signed one player so far this summer, as he is happy with his squad. He knows what it takes to lead a team into the Football League and compete, as he did that with Yeovil, where he missed out on the play-offs on goal difference in his first season in the league – before winning the title the following year.

They are worth a small interest at 25/1 with BetVictor as an outside title bet. The same firm have them as a 6/1 chance for promotion or 3/1 to finish in the Top 7.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Cambridge United (ew)League 2 – To Win Outright16/1Bet365
Cambridge UnitedLeague 2 – To Be Promoted7/2Bet365
Cambridge UnitedLeague 2 – Top 7 Finish7/4Bet365
Cheltenham Town (ew)League 2 – To Win Outright25/1BetVictor