The new EFL Championship season – domestic English football’s second tier – is already shaping up nicely despite being less than a month old. But no one has started the season better than former Premier League stalwarts Leeds United and Middlesbrough, with the pair meeting at Elland Road this coming Friday night (31 August).
First things first
Before you go any further, head on over to the Oddsshark website, find your favourite betting side and get your account up and running using your credit card. As a new customer and with the EFL Championship season already up and running, there should be several promotions and offers available to you.
Where should I be investing my money?
Without doubt, the pick of the round 6 ties is the clash between Leeds United and Middlesbrough. There is precious little to choose between the teams, either – both have amassed 13 points so far and both remain undefeated five games into the season.
The one differential is goal difference. Under esteemed boss Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds have already scored 14 goals at rate of 2.8 goals per game, while under the more conservative Tony Pùlis, Middlesbrough are currently averaging less than two goals per game.
Leeds have won their last two home games, scoring five goals in the process and will be in the mood to exert their authority over one of their main promotion rivals. Middlesbrough, by way of comparison, have now won four matches in a row and will offer Leeds their most stringent test yet.
Nevertheless, it is the home side who come into this game s the favourites to pick up another three points. You can more than double your money by backing Leeds at a price of 2.20, while Middlesbrough are at 3.20 to make it five wins in a row.
A 2-1 win for Leeds sis priced at 9.00, offering close to a ten-fold return on any investment. In addition, you could almost double your money by backing over 2.5 goals in the game at 1.95, while both teams to score is at 1.72, according to Oddsshark.
Bolton look to extend good run of form
And the surprise package in the EFL Championship so far has been Bolton Wanderers. Previously one of the favourites to suffer relegation to League One, their price to fall through the trapdoor has since risen to 3.25, higher than the likes of Reading, QPR and Ipswich Town.
And they come into this weekend’s game away to Preston North End as one of the in-form teams in the division. Bolton have won their last two league matches in a row and sit third in the table, just three points behind Leeds and Middlesbrough.
Preston, meanwhile, have won just one of their five league outings thus far and are just a point outside the relegation zone. They do come into this match, however, having eliminated Leeds United from the League Cup this past Tuesday night.
Perhaps surprisingly given their poor league form, Preston are clear favourites for this game. You can back the home side to take the points at just 1.53, with in-form Bolton all the way out at 6.00.
And the visitors may well be worth backing at that high price. A 1-0 win for Bolton, as they managed in their last away game against Reading, is priced at 12.00, meaning that a US$5 bet would lead to a US$60 return.
Blackburn looking to extend unbeaten start
Having just come up from League One, Blackburn Rovers have made an excellent start to life in the EFL Championship. The Lancashire club currently sit fifth and are unbeaten in five matches.
And Blackburn travel to take on an out of sorts Bristol City this Sunday afternoon. The Bristol club are ninth in the table but have won just two of their last seven games across all competitions.
By way of comparison, Blackburn have lost just two of their last 40 games and confidence is clearly high within the squad. Rovers thrashed Lincoln City 4-1 in the League Cup this past Tuesday and will be looking for more goals and points this weekend.
Nevertheless, it is Bristol City who are the favourites to make it three league wins this season at a price of 2.25. Visitors Blackburn are at 3.20, with a draw only slightly higher at 3.30.
And given the fact these sides look so evenly matched – on paper, at least, a draw looks a fair result here. You can back a 1-1 draw at a price of 6.00.
EFL Championship round 6 fixtures:
Friday, 31 August
(2.20) Leeds United x Middlesbrough (3.20); draw (3.40)
Saturday, 1 September
(2.05) Birmingham x QPR (3.80); draw (3.20)
(1.80) Brentford x Nottingham Forest (4.50); draw (3.50)
(2.70) Hull x Derby County (2.60); draw (3.20)
(1.53) Preston North End x Bolton Wanderers (6.00); draw (4.00)
(2.20) Reading x Sheffield Wednesday (3.40); draw (3.20)
(2.30) Sheffield United x Aston Villa (3.20); draw (3.20)
(1.90) West Brom x Stoke City (4.20); draw (3.30)
(1.55) Wigan x Rotherham (6.00); draw (4.00)
(2.05) Millwall x Swansea (3.60); draw (3.30)
Sunday, 2 September
(3.00) Ipswich Town x Norwich City (2.40); draw (3.20)
(2.25) Bristol City x Blackburn Rovers (3.20); draw (3.30)