How To Bet On League One
Betting on League One continues to grow in popularity especially in the UK, where millions of pounds are bet on League One matches across the course of the football season. While it may not attract the same attention as the Premier League or the Championship, League One provides football bettors with dozens of value betting opportunities weekend to weekend. Our detailed League One betting guide will show you how to make money betting on League One this football season.
Betting On League One: An Introduction
League One is the third tier of the English football pyramid, and the second division in the English Football League. Home to a number of former Premier League clubs, League One is renowned for it's ability to spring surprises on even the most seasoned of bettors. In this guide we're going to show you how it's possible to make consistent profits when betting on this league.
League One Dates
The 2016/17 League One Season begins 6th August 2016 and will conclude 30th April 2017.
- How League One Works
- History Of League One
- League One Odds Explained
- League One Betting Strategies
- League One Bookmakers, Free Bets & Offers
- League One Live Streaming
- League One Betting Tips
1. How League One Works
League One, also known as Sky Bet League One for sponsorship reasons, consists of 24 sides who play each twice a season, once at home and once away. There are 46 matches in the regular season, excluding the promotion play-offs. The League One season typically runs from August through to the May of the year after.
League One Winner and Championship Promotion
After the regular season, the team that finishes with the most points are declared League One Champions and are rewarded with a place in the second tier, the Championship, for the season after. The team that finishes second are named runners-up and are also given a place in the Championship. The four teams that finish in third, fourth, fifth and sixth position take part in the League One Play-Offs, where the third placed side plays the sixth placed side and fourth meets fifth in a two-legged Semi-Final affair, with the winners of both meetings facing each other in the Play-Off final. The winners of this one-off match are given the final Championship place available.
League One Relegation
There are four relegation places in League One. The teams that finish in 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th position are automatically demoted to League Two, with the top three clubs of that division as well as the League Two play-off winners replacing them.
League One Upcoming Fixtures
Current League One Table
2. History Of League One
The third tier of English football was set up in 1920 and was then known as Division Three. When the Premier League was founded in 1992, the Football League restructured the divisions and Division Three became Division Two, behind the Premier League and Division One. In 2004, the Football League again reorganised their divisions with a re-branding campaign, with Division One becoming known as the Championship, and Division Two and Three renamed as League One and League Two.
Some of England's biggest and most successful clubs have participated in the third tier of English football. Manchester City and Leicester City are just two of them, with these two sides working their way back to the top flight and winning the Premier League crown. From the 20 teams currently in the Premier League, eight of them have played in the third tier in the last 20 years, which shows the competitive nature and quality all the way through English football.
League One (Division Two) Winners Since 1992/1993
|1992/1993||Stoke City||Bolton Wanderers||West Bromwich Albion|
|1994/1995||Birmingham City||Brentford*||Huddersfield Town|
|1995/1996||Swindon Town||Oxford United||Bradford City|
|1996/1997||Bury||Stockport County||Crewe Alexandra|
|1997/1998||Watford||Bristol City||Grimsby Town|
|1999/2000||Preston North End||Burnley||Gillingham|
|2001/2002||Brighton & Hove Albion||Reading||Stoke City|
|2002/2003||Wigan Athletic||Crewe Alexandra||Cardiff City|
|2003/2004||Plymouth Argyle||Queens Park Rangers||Brighton & Hove Albion|
|2004/2005+||Luton Town||Hull City||Sheffield Wednesday|
|2005/2006||Southend United||Colchester United||Barnsley|
|2006/2007||Scunthorpe United||Bristol City||Blackpool|
|2007/2008||Swansea City||Nottingham Forest||Doncaster Rovers|
|2008/2009||Leicester City||Peterborough United||Scunthorpe United|
|2009/2010||Norwich City||Leeds United||Millwall|
|2010/2011||Brighton & Hove Albion||Southampton||Peterborough United|
|2011/2012||Charlton Athletic||Sheffield Wednesday||Huddersfield Town|
|2012/2013||Doncaster Rovers||AFC Bournemouth||Yeovil Town|
|2013/2014||Wolverhampton Wanderers||Brentford||Rotherham United|
|2014/2015||Bristol City||MK Dons||Preston North End|
|2015/2016||Wigan Athletic||Burton Albion||Barnsley|
*Due to restructuring of the Football League in the 1994/1995 season, only one automatic promotion spot was available. Brentford entered the play-offs, in which they were unsuccessful.
+denotes the season the Second Division was renamed League One.
3. League One Odds Explained
As with every English division, League One is extremely popular with bettors, with millions of pounds being placed on League One odds each season. When you begin to bet on League One, it's important to understand the wide variety of betting markets available and the odds on offer. Bookmakers offer a huge range of betting markets, from League One outright odds on markets such as Who Will Win League One and Who Will Make The Play-Offs, to individual match betting odds on markets such as Half-Time/Full Time and Correct Score. We'll discuss the most popular now.
Betting On League One Winners
One of the more popular markets, every bookmaker offers odds on each League One side to win the title. Some terrific value bets can be found in this market, with League One winner odds available at the start and throughout the season. The relegated sides from the Championship are usually among the teams with the shortest odds, but study every side and assess their chances to give yourself the best chance of making profit.
It's interesting to know that since 2004, only five clubs relegated from the Championship have won League One the season after, something to bear in mind when you look around at the various title odds on offer.
Bookmakers also offer each way odds on League One title winners, usually to three places, though these bets are offered at significantly lower odds. Think about the price you're taking and whether your bet is ultimately worth it.
League One title odds can be longer than betting on individual matches, and these better odds are what makes this market popular with bettors. The key to performing well in this market and improving your chances of your bets being successful is to study the teams in the division, before the season starts as well as throughout the campaign. You might learn of manager changes, player signings, injuries and decide that betting on a team pre-season will offer you the best odds. Or, you might wait until a few games into the season where a team isn't performing well but through your knowledge you've learnt that key players are coming back from injury or a new striker is to be signed for example. The side might be performing badly but the odds will lengthen, and this will be the right time to place the bet.
Betting On League One Top Six Finishers
A broader yet still just as popular market, betting on the Top Six finishers can provide bettors with excellent profit making opportunities. With the play-off system being implemented, it ensures that there's something for teams to play for right until the last kick of the season, which in turn is exciting for viewers and gamblers alike. The Top Six finishers dictate who plays in the Championship the season after, with the top two receiving automatic promotion spots and one from the remaining four joining them.
Like League One winner odds, the odds on top six finishers are usually shorter on the sides that have just been relegated into the division, but again it's worth noting that only six sides relegated from the Championship since 2004 have been promoted back in their first season in the third tier.
There are separate markets for play-off place finishers and top two finishers. The odds on these markets are shorter, but well worth considering. You can decide to pick all four play-off place achievers, though in a league this competitive this is extremely hard to predict!
Betting On League One Relegation
League One Relegation is another popular market. With four relegation places, instead of the three in the Premier League and Championship and the two in League Two, picking one or more sides to go down is a popular choice for many bettors.
There's a couple of things to bear in mind when it comes to betting on League One relegation. Firstly, League One has the record of most back to back relegations (I.e, teams getting relegated from the Championship then relegated again from League One the season after) than any other division. Secondly, the percentage of teams promoted from League Two and relegated back the next season is low, so it's worth your while studying those sides who have been in League One for more than a season when considering relegation bets.
League One is an extremely hard league to judge, with teams capable of flying up the table after going on losing streaks and equally teams dropping down to the relegation zone after winning streaks. The only way to ensure you have the best chance of making successful choices when it comes to your betting is to follow the latest Championship news week after week.
Like League One title odds, League One relegation odds are available at the start and throughout the season. With odds fluctuating and with different odds from different bookmakers on offer, make sure you use Smartbets to compare odds from a complete list of bookmakers.
Betting On League One Top Goalscorers
The League One Top Goalscorer market is another common market to bet on. Despite being the third tier, League One still possesses players capable of quality who have gone on to play for Premier League and Championship clubs, and in each of the last 12 seasons the top goalscorer has scored in excess of 20 goals. Of those 12 top goalscorers, only four have played for the title winners of that season, but there does seem to be a connection between the top goalscorers each year and teams who get promoted. Since 2004, nine top goalscorers have played for a side who've won promotion, something worth thinking about when considering your top goalscorer bets.
League One (Division Two) Top Goalscorers
|1992/1993||Bob Taylor||West Bromwich Albion||30|
|1995/1996||Marcus Stewart||Bristol Rovers||21|
|Gary Martindale||Peterborough United
|1996/1997||Tony Thorpe||Luton Town||28|
|1997/1998||Barry Hayles||Bristol Rovers||23|
|1998/1999||Jamie Cureton||Bristol Rovers||25|
|2001/2002||Bobby Zamora||Brighton & Hove Albion||28|
|2002/2003||Robert Earnshaw||Cardiff City||31|
|2003/2004||Leon Knight||Brighton & Hove Albion||25|
|Stephen McPhee||Port Vale||25|
|2004/2005||Stuart Elliott||Hull City||27|
|Dean Windass||Bradford City||27|
|2005/2006||Freddy Eastwood||Southend United||23|
|Billy Sharpe||Scunthorpe United||23|
|2006/2007||Billy Sharpe||Scunthorpe United||30|
|2007/2008||Jason Scotland||Swansea City||24|
|2008/2009||Simon Cox||Swindon Town||29|
|Rickie Lambert||Bristol Rovers||29|
|2010/2011||Craig Mackail-Smith||Peterborough United||27|
|2011/2012||Jordan Rhodes||Huddersfield Town||38|
|2012/2013||Paddy Madden||Yeovil Town||24|
|2013/2014||Sam Baldock||Bristol City||24|
|2014/2015||Joe Garner||Preston North End||26|
|2015/2016||Will Grigg||Wigan Athletic||25|
4. League One Betting Strategies
When you start to bet on League One football, there are some basic betting strategies you should follow to ensure you give yourself the best possible chance of making consistent profits on your bets.
In a league that is notoriously hard to predict, you have to do your research. Study League One news, the League One table, League One recent results, League One transfers, upcoming fixtures, injuries and suspensions details, absolutely every detail surrounding the teams in League One. It sounds like a lot of work, but it really does pay off in terms of profit on your bets if you know what you're betting on.
For example, there could be a side mid-table but have an excellent away record playing a team away who sit top of the league but have lost a number of matches at home. The top of the table side would usually be favourites and the mid-table side at bigger odds to win, but through your knowledge you know that the away side have a good chance of winning the game. Increasing your knowledge also increases the advantage you have over the bookmaker.
League One Matchup Analyser
If you're looking to conduct serious head to head analysis, then the Championship matchup analyser is just what you're looking for. Get instant betting data across a range of statistical categories by simply selecting the season and the two Championship clubs you want to compare.
If you're looking to enhance your League One analysis, here are our top 5 sites for League One stats:
- bettingexpert Clash
- SkySports League One News
- ESPN League One Stats
- SoccerStats League One
- WhoScored League One Stats
5. League One Bookmakers, Free Bets & Offers
There is a huge number of bookmakers across the globe who offer League One betting markets and odds. Finding a bookmaker isn't difficult, but finding a good bookmaker can be. With so many bookmakers offering all kinds of Welcome Bonuses, Money-Back Specials and Enhanced Odds, it can be tough to decide which ones to bet with. There are certain things you should look for when choosing a bookmaker for your League One bets. Our bettingexpert guide to bookmakers will be extremely helpful for you when deciding on a bookie, we'll discuss the most important points here.
Firstly, trust is the single most important thing in the relationship between you and your bookmaker. Trust that there are no issues with depositing your money, no problems with withdrawing, the bookmaker settles your bets quickly, no issues with pay-outs and that your bookmaker consistently offers competitive odds on the markets you want to bet on.
Secondly, if you're planning to bet online often, think about your bookmakers website/app. It doesn't sound like a major issue, but it can be incredibly infuriating when you've spotted a late bet that you think offers value only for the website/app to take time loading, or taking time to accept your deposit. The best bookmakers generally have the most user-friendly websites, so look around at various sites and see which ones you feel most comfortable with.
Thirdly, think about what bonuses and promotions are on offer and how each bookmaker pays out on these special offers. Again, it's frustrating when you've bet on a market and have taken certain odds and then see an enhanced odds special with another bookmaker. The best bookmakers offer great deals on a regular basis as a reward for loyal customers, so look around at those bookmakers that look after their customers both new and existing.
There are certain offers you should look out for in particular:
Most bookmakers offer new customers a Welcome Bonus when they register. These can consist of depositing a certain amount and receiving a number of free bets, or a deposit match. Many bookmakers have withdrawal criteria to meet on your free bets, so double check the finer details of what you will get as a payout, but it's definitely worth signing up with a few different bookmakers and taking advantage of these sign-up offers.
Another popular special offer, Money-Back Specials offer great chances to protect your stakes. These deals are typically where if you bet on a certain game, like League One promotion clashes, and certain events happen, like the game ends in a draw, the bookmaker will return your stake. The terms of your stake return are decided by the bookmaker. Paddy Power are famous for their Money-Back Specials, but many other bookmakers offer similar special offers, so look around at the various options available.
In League One, bookmakers offer free bets when certain events happen. These are usually offered when important or televised League One matches take place, like promotion/relegation clashes or derby matches. These free bets are offered in all sorts of circumstances, for example one offer could be get £5 every time a certain player scorers, or a free bet if the match is decided by a penalty. A lot of the time, free bets such as these are only available for a limited time so be sure to check out the latest offerings from a variety of bookmakers.
To learn more, please consult our detailed bookmaker reviews listing.
6. League One Live Streaming
Because of licensing laws, no bookmaker can offer free live streams of League One games in the U.K, though many offer audio streaming of certain matches, like Betfair. Bookmakers can offer visual live streaming to the rest of the world, but this varies from country to country and on different terms and conditions.
For more information read our bettingexpert guide to bookmaker live streaming.
7. League One Betting Tips
A wide variety of League One betting tips and predictions are available on the bettingexpert website. We have thousands of experts each week offering their League One betting predictions. At bettingexpert, you can see how successful each expert has been by checking their record via the User Statistics tab to ensure you're being offered League One tips by successful tipsters.