By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 3rd June 2019
A glance at the Championship promotion odds for the 2019/20 season sees all three teams relegated from the Premier League in 2018/19 inside the first six in the betting.
Same as it ever was, it might be observed. Yet the oddsmakers’ assumption that teams fresh through the top-flight trapdoor are best placed to return the following term has long looked lazy.
Given goings on over the past couple of seasons, the incentive to look beyond Fulham (5/2 co-favourites alongside Leeds and West Brom), Cardiff (3/1) and Huddersfield (9/2) in the promotion odds has only grown.
Bouncebackability of top-flight drop-outs on the wane
Over the last 10 Championship campaigns just eight of the 30 promotion places were claimed by team that was making a return to the Premier League at the first time of asking following relegation.
Another five sides demoted the previous term came up short having reached the play-offs, but overall that still adds up to less than half of the 30 that went down reaching the post-season or better.
The three seasons between 2013/14 and 2015/16 were a successful time for relegated sides regaining their place at the captain’s table the next year.
QPR and Norwich achieved the feat in the first two of those campaigns, while both Burnley and Hull pulled off promotions at the first time of asking in 2015/16.
However, in the three seasons since, just one team, 2016/17 Championship title winners Newcastle, managed to respond to the drop by clawing their way back the Premier League the very next term.
For the two most recent campaigns, not one of the clubs to gain promotion had been relegated from the top-flight a year earlier.
The message is clear when it comes to Championship promotion betting, let the demoted big dogs lick their wounds and sniff out the value their lofty presence in the market helps create.
A bottle-neck at the top of the Championship promotion odds
Slap-you-round-the-chops value is absent from the betting as it stands, with no fewer than 11 of the division’s 24 teams trading at odds of 5/1 or shorter to be promoted.
Among those at the head of proceedings, Leeds look poised to go well again with both inspirational manager Marcelo Bielsa and chairman Andrea Radrizzani staying on for 2019/20.
At slightly longer odds, Brentford make plenty of appeal having finished with the best goal difference of any side outside the play-offs, despite finishing 11th.
Only automatically promoted Norwich and Sheffield United better home records in 2018/19 than the Griffin Park outfit too. That’s despite them losing manager Dean Smith to Aston Villa in October.
Their 25-goal hitman Neal Maupay may well be a transfer target for some Premier League teams over the summer.
However, the Bees’ renowned knack for sourcing bargains means that, even if the Frenchman moves on, they can be trusted to use the windfall shrewdly.
If they can also find away to improve their form away from the art-deco environs of their west London stronghold they could put down a serious challenge next term.