League One Mid-Season Betting Report
With a break in fixtures now until mid-December, BettingExpert community member Manchild now turns his league analysis to League One. Are Charlton good things to win the league and return to Championship football next season? Manchild breaks down the numbers for us.
It is the turn of League 1 to be assessed with a view to identifying any value in the title betting. Nineteen rounds of fixtures have been played, and five clubs make most appeal at the top of the table.
Charlton, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield, MK Dons and Sheffield United have all reached 35 points and will be dreaming of automatic promotion to the Championship. The last seven years of promotion records from League 1 have been examined to identify any trends and patterns that might provide a clue to the second half of the season.
Analysis of recent seasons
Analysis of the records of the fourteen automatically promoted sides since 2005 reveals that away points are harder to come by in League 1 than in League 2 or the Championship. The table below indicates the points-expectation of top-two clubs in each division against top-eight, middle-eight and bottom-eight sides in the final league table.
Points return of automatically promoted clubs against rest of division 2005-2011
|League 1||League 1||League 2||League 2||Championship||Championship|
Against fellow top-eight clubs, League 1 is remarkable in that more points are gained at home (1.88 points) compared to the other football league divisions, but far fewer (1.26 points) are gained on the road. The shortfall is generally made up by the expected points return against middle ranked clubs. In League 1, 1.87 points per game are gained on the road against these mid-ranked clubs that finish in 9th to 16th position, compared to 1.74 in the Championship and only 1.63 in League 2.
The findings of the table above have increased relevance now that a significant fraction of the fixtures have been played.
Current points 35.
Title odds 10/1.
Bramall Lane has already hosted the four teams above the Blades, and only MK Dons were beaten. The current top-8 return is only 1.0 points, which suggests United will have to make up that shortfall elsewhere. Still to come are five fixtures away at top eight clubs, and six at mid-eight clubs. It is hard to see Sheffield United turning the form around on their travels and making up eleven points on Charlton.
Current points 36
Title odds 14/1.
MK Dons have lost three of four away fixtures to top half sides faced so far, but otherwise the season is developing well. Securing impressive records against teams below fifth, MK Dons will have to find a way to take points from fellow-elite clubs if they are to break into the automatic places.
Current points 38.
Title odds 11/4.
Huddersfield have just lost their 43-match unbeaten record at title-rivals Charlton. It may actually be a blessing if the fear of defeat has been removed. The Terriers have won only four matches on the road, drawing the remaining five. Similarly, at home Huddersfield have drawn three times and all to teams outside the top-eight. A sustained run of wins is possible, but it will also be necessary to close the 8-point gap that has now developed to Charlton at the summit. Huddersfield have also enjoyed the easiest set of fixtures among the top five teams to date.
Current points 39
Title odds 11/2
Wednesday now occupy second place in the table, and are having a wonderful season at Hillsborough. Only three top-half sides have visited to date, but after nine matches only Brentford have emerged with as much as a point. On their travels, the Owls have been less impressive. If the home-win rate drops they might struggle to remain in the automatic promotion positions. Having said that, only four road-fixtures remain at top-half clubs and three of these are not until the final few weeks of the season. Wednesday could exploit a run of less-taxing fixtures and establish a gap to third place. Whether Wednesday could close the seven point lead enjoyed by Charlton is another matter.
Current points 46
Title odds 7/5.
Charlton have endured the toughest set of road-fixtures in the top five so far, as can be seen in the table below. Only Sheffield United have played a tougher opening set of home fixtures in the same group. Therefore, if the anticipated points return for clubs ending in the automatic promotion places are applied to Charlton, Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and MK Dons, the lead at the top for Charlton can be expected to increase as a result of the easier remaining fixtures.
Average league position of opposition played so far
End of season projection
The table below shows a rather inflated estimation of final points, because it assumes all clubs will play out the remaining 27 rounds of fixtures with the form of a promoted club. This is not a realistic assumption. However the implication is that with a kinder set of remaining fixtures, Charlton could win the title by a margin of up to ten points.
Estimated final points with expected points return of an automatically promoted club
|Estimated Final Pts 2011-2012|
Charlton Athletic have secured a seven point lead after playing a more difficult set of fixtures than their main rivals at the top of League 1. With an easier run-in, a substantial lead, and a seemingly superior squad the currently available price of 7/5 (Paddy Power) is considered to be outstanding value.
Sheffield Wednesday may emerge as the main challenger to Charlton in the New Year, especially as their most difficult fixtures are scheduled for as late as March and April. The price for the Owls to be promoted (5/4 SkyBet) may appeal as value in a straight race with Huddersfield, MK Dons and Sheffield United for the second automatic place, with the possibility of a second chance in the play-offs.
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As a Charlton fan, my hopes are only encouraged by this analysis. Great work Richard. Hopefully the Addicks can be back playing Championship football next year.