EFL Betting Tips: Championship scraps and League One’s title tussle

26 January 2024

Fans of the Championship will be feeding on scraps this weekend given the FA Cup fixtures, but in League One there’s a heated weekend ahead.

Portsmouth may top the table going into the games on Saturday, but four different clubs could mathematically climb to the summit come the evening should results go their way. 

We’re here to pick a game from each of the English Football League divisions to shine a light on, and it could be another fascinating afternoon as clubs seek another important three points. 


Sunderland v Stoke City

Kick off: 3pm Saturday

 Things haven’t really gone to plan for Michael Beale since his arrival at Sunderland. The Black Cats didn’t get the new manager bounce they were hoping for, and with four defeats in seven games across all competitions there are already some calling for his head on Tyneside.

They’re the favourites (2.04 to win) on home turf against a Potters side that have just two wins from their last 15, however the visitors have picked up points on the road of late – winning two in a four-game unbeaten run away from home.

Sunderland, meanwhile, have struggled at home – failing to score in three of their last four – and with neither side exactly free-scoring it may be worth looking at under 2.5 (at 2.02) goals for this one.

 Prediction: A draw @ 3.55

League One

Carlisle United v Bolton Wanderers

Kick off: 3pm Saturday

This is where it’s at this weekend. Bolton are the team to watch in the third tier title race now, and it’s absolutely no surprise that they’re at 1.77 to beat a struggling Carlisle that haven’t kept a clean sheet since November.

Couple the Cumbrians’ poor defensive record with the fact that the Trotters have only failed to score in five of their 37 matches across all competitions, and the idea of over 2.5 goals being scored (at 1.96) may seem tempting. All of Carlisle’s last four games have ended that way – but none of Bolton’s have.

A win for the visitors would take them top if Portsmouth and Peterborough United drop points, and if they can’t get fired up for this one against relegation-threatened Carlisle then they’ve got problems. Four clean sheets from their last five bodes well, and can get them at 2.26 to get another here.

Prediction: Bolton to win and over 1.5 goals @ 2.16

League Two

Forest Green Rovers v Accrington Stanley

Kick off: 3pm Saturday

Rovers are in trouble at the foot of the table, but after making a strong managerial appointment in Steve Cotterill they’ll be hoping for a new manager bounce as they try and close the six-point gap on safety.

Despite not winning any of their last nine games in all competitions the hosts aren’t massive outsiders here (2.58 to win compared to 2.68 for Accrington), and they will take some heart from the fact that they’ve at least scored in four of their last five League Two matches.

And Accrington are hardly sparkling, either. They’ve lost three of their last five and haven’t won on the road since October, but there do tend to be goals in their matches – six of Accy’s last seven fixtures have seen over 2.5 goals. For the hosts there have been six games in a row where over 1.5 have been scored. Think both teams could scored? That’s at 1.56. 

Prediction: Accrington Stanley win either half @ 1.83

Recommended Bets

Back a draw between Sunderland and Stoke City @ 3.55
Back Bolton to beat Carlisle and over 1.5 goals @ 2.16
Back Accrington Stanley to win either half @ 1.83

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