How To Bet On League Two
Betting on League Two presents a number of challenges to even the most experienced football bettor. While it is often regarded as one of the most difficult football leagues to predict season to season, League Two can provide numerous value betting opportunities for bettors willing to do their research. Our detailed guide will show you how to approach betting on League Two.
Betting On League Two: An Introduction
League Two, also known as Sky Bet League Two, is the fourth tier of English football, and the third in the English Football League. A popular division to bet on, in this guide we're going to discuss the inner workings of League Two and help you to bet on League Two matches with a view to placing successful bets and consistent profits.
2016/17 League Two Dates
The 2016/17 League Two Season begins 6th August 2016 and concludes 6th May 2017.
- How League Two Works
- History Of League Two
- League Two Odds Explained
- League Two Betting Strategies
- League Two Bookmakers, Free Bets & Offers
- League Two Live Streaming
- League Two Betting Tips
1. How League Two Works
League Two consists of 24 teams who play each other twice a season, once at home and once away, meaning each side plays a total of 46 games in a regular season. Like the other English divisions, the League Two season runs from August to May.
League Two Winner and Promotion
The League Two side that finishes with the most points after 46 games is declared League Two champions and rewarded with a place in League One for the following season. Unlike the Championship and League One, League Two has four promotion spots to play for not three. The First, Second and Third placed sides at the end of the season are all given places in League One and there's an additional place for the play-off winners.
The teams who finish in Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh all qualify for the play-offs and the chance to take that fourth promotion place. Fourth plays Seventh and Fifth plays Sixth in two two-legged play-off semi-finals, with the winners of each tie meeting in the play-off final. The winners of this one-off game takes the final spot in League One for the following season.
League Two Relegation
There are two relegation places in League Two. The teams that finish in 23rd and 24th place are automatically demoted to the National League, formerly known as the Conference division, and are replaced by the title winners and play-off winners of that league.
Technically it is possible for a relegated League Two side to have their relegation revoked if the team or teams promoted from the National League can't meet the requirements to play in League Two, or a team goes out of business. For example, if the promoted National League side(s) don't have suitable grounds to play League Two football they won't be allowed to progress up the divisions. This, however, is a rarity, with the money that flows through the English game down the divisions, most if not all National League sides have suitable stadia and funds to play in 'the 92', the number of teams that make up English football's top four divisions.
Whilst currently there are only two relegation places, there is talk that this number could be increased to three in the coming seasons.
League Two Upcoming Fixtures
Current League Two Table
2. History of League Two
The English Football League implemented a third and fourth division in 1958. League Two was known as the English Fourth Division until 1992 when the Premier League was founded. With the introduction of a new top league, the Second Division became Division One, the Third Division Division Two and the Fourth Division was renamed Division Three. This was until 2004 when the Football League re-branded its divisions and Division Three became League Two.
Since 2004, there have been eleven different winners of League Two (Chesterfield have won the League Two title twice in this period).
League Two (Third Division) Winners Since 1992/1993
|Season||Winner||Runner-Up||Also Promoted||Play-Off Winner|
|1992/1993||Cardiff City||Wrexham||Barnet||York City|
|1993/1994||Shrewsbury Town||Chester City||Crewe Alexandra||Wycombe Wanderers|
|1995/1996||Preston North End||Gillingham||Bury||Plymouth Argyle|
|1996/1997||Wigan Athletic||Fulham||Carlisle United||Northampton Town|
|1997/1998||Notts County||Macclesfield Town||Lincoln City||Colchester United|
|1998/1999||Brentford||Cambridge United||Cardiff City||Scunthorpe United|
|1999/2000||Swansea City||Rotherham United||Northampton Town||Peterborough United|
|2000/2001||Brighton & Hove Albion||Cardiff City||Chesterfield||Blackpool|
|2001/2002||Plymouth Argyle||Luton Town||Mansfield Town||Cheltenham Town|
|2002/2003||Rushden & Diamonds||Hartlepool United||Wrexham||AFC Bournemouth|
|2003/2004||Doncaster Rovers||Hull City||Torquay United||Huddersfield Town|
|2004/2005||Yeovil Town||Scunthorpe United||Swansea City||Southend United|
|2005/2006||Carlisle United||Northampton Town||Leyton Orient||Cheltenham Town|
|2006/2007||Walsall||Hartlepool United||Swindon Town||Bristol Rovers|
|2007/2008||MK Dons||Peterborough United||Hereford United||Stockport County|
|2008/2009||Brentford||Exeter City||Wycombe Wanderers||Gillingham|
|2009/2010||Notts County||AFC Bournemouth||Rochdale||Dagenham & Redbridge|
|2011/2012||Swindon Town||Shrewsbury Town||Crawley Town||Crewe Alexandra|
|2012/2013||Gillingham||Rotherham United||Port Vale||Bradford City|
|2013/2014||Chesterfield||Scunthorpe United||Rochdale||Fleetwood Town|
|2014/2015||Burton Albion||Shrewsbury Town||Bury||Southend United|
|2015/2016||Northampton Town||Oxford United||Bristol Rovers||AFC Wimbledon|
3. League Two Odds Explained
Betting on League Two can be tough. It's a league renowned for surprise promotion candidates and shock results. In the 2014/2015 season, Northampton Town were struggling towards the bottom end of the league, but the following season they stormed to the League Two title. This is just one example of teams struggling who go on to achieve something special.
Equally, teams that perform well one season can struggle the next. It's an inconsistent league, so to give yourself the best possible chance of consistently being successful with your bets and building your bankroll, it's vital you understand the League Two betting markets and League Two odds on offer. We will discuss the most popular here, starting with the League Two outright markets.
Betting On League Two Winners
Betting on League Two title odds is a popular bet. Every bookmaker offers League Two winner odds. There are some great odds to be found when betting on this market, and are available at the start and throughout the League Two season.
The odds to win League Two vary from bookmaker to bookmaker so be sure to look around or use an odds comparison site like Smartbets to ensure you take the best odds available.
Typically, those sides relegated from League One are offered at shorter prices than the mainstays of League Two, so look around at different teams and assess their chances. In a league that is so difficult to judge, betting on a League Two title winner before the season has begun can be riskier than waiting for the first few months of the season and studying how teams progress. Of course, if a team starts their campaign well their odds will shorten, so timing is key. To be successful on League Two winner odds, study League Two news, League Two transfers and League Two fixtures to stand a better chance of making profit and having an advantage over the bookmakers.
It's worth keeping in mind that most bookmakers offer each way odds on their title bets, usually up to and including third place, though usually at a quarter of the outright odds. An each way bet would be a good idea to take, particularly if the team you're betting on are priced at longer odds and you've assessed their chances and believe them to be good.
Betting On League Two Play-Off Finishers
The League Two race to the play-offs keep the viewing and betting public glued to League Two football until the final kick of the season. Even if all three automatic promotion places have been decided, the battle for seventh place, the last play-off spot, gives hope and meaning to teams in mid-table. This means that more end of season matches will be fought for rather than players 'already on the beach' as they have something to play for. Like League Two winner odds, bets on who will make the play-offs are available at the start and throughout the season.
Betting On League Two Relegation
Another popular League Two market, betting on which sides will finish in the bottom two again can keep bettors interested until the final kick of the season. Falling out of the Football League and into the National League can be catastrophic for some clubs, with only two teams in the last 12 years gaining promotion back to League Two at the first time of asking, so teams stuck in the relegation dogfight keeps bettors interested and gives them excellent opportunities to make profit on their relegation bets.
With League Two relegation odds, it might be easy to assume that the recently promoted sides are the teams to bet on to go down. Bear in mind that since League Two was re-branded, not one side earning promotion to League Two has been relegated back to the National League the season after. Maybe think about League Two survival bets as well as relegation bets, a recently promoted side could make you some serious profit.
Betting On League Two Top Goalscorers
The Top goalscorer market is always a popular choice for bettors, with some great odds on offer to be taken advantage of. Like with other League Two outright bets, odds on the League Two top goalscorer are available at the start and throughout the season.
Unlike the Premier League and the Championship, League One and League Two Top Goalscorers tend to play for those sides who are successful on a more consistent basis, either playing for the league winners or one of the sides that gains promotion. Of the last 12 League Two Top Goalscorers, eight of them have played for sides who have either won the division title or been promoted, something to bear in mind when you're picking your top goalscorer bets.
League Two (Third Division) Top Goalscorers Since 1992/1993
|Carl Griffiths||Shrewsbury Town||27|
|1993/1994||Tony Ellis||Preston North End||26|
|1995/1996||Steve White||Hereford United||29|
|Andy Saville||Preston North End||29|
|1996/1997||Graeme Jones||Wigan Athletic||31|
|1997/1998||Gary Jones||Notts County||28|
|2000/2001||Bobby Zamora||Brighton & Hove Albion||28|
|2001/2002||Steve Howard||Luton Town||24|
|2003/2004||Steve MacLean||Scunthorpe United||23|
|2004/2005||Phil Jevons||Yeovil Town||27|
|2005/2006||Karl Hawley||Carlisle United||23|
|2006/2007||Richard Baker||Hartlepool United||21|
|Izale McLeod||MK Dons||21|
|2007/2008||Aaron McLean||Peterborough United||29|
|2008/2009||Grant Holt||Shrewsbury Town||20|
|2009/2010||Lee Hughes||Notts County||30|
|2010/2011||Clayton Donaldson||Crewe Alexandra||28|
|Jack Midson||AFC Wimbledon||18|
|2012/2013||Tom Pope||Port Vale||31|
|2013/2014||Sam Winnall||Scunthorpe United||23|
|2015/2016||Matty Taylor||Bristol Rovers||27|
4. League Two Betting Strategies
As we've discussed, League Two can be a particularly hard league to bet on due to its capacity to spring surprises on each the most seasoned and experienced of bettors. That said, there are strategies you can employ to give yourself better chances of maximising your profit margins.
The Key Is To Learn
Learning the ins and outs of League Two football is an absolute necessity to make profitable decisions when you bet. League Two news, League Two results, injuries, suspensions, upcoming fixtures, everything you can study then study. It might sound tiring, but having a good knowledge of League Two gives you a great advantage over the bookmakers and better chances of spotting value bets.
It's not just learning about League Two, it's learning about League Two betting that's just as, if not more, important. Learn how each League Two betting market works, it's no good learning every detail about League Two if you can't apply it to your betting.
League Two Matchup Analyser
Identifying betting value in League Two, like any league, involves conducting detailed analysis. The League Two matchup analyser provides you with instant betting data for analysis, simply enter the season and the two competing League Two clubs you wish to compare.
To enhance your League Two research, here are our top five sites for League Two stats and news:
- bettingexpert Clash
- ESPN League Two Stats
- Skysports League Two News
- Goal.com League Two News
- BBC League Two News
Bet With Value
Betting with value is key to maximising your profit. A Value Bet is where you think the chances of a certain event happening are greater than the odds the bookmakers are offering. For example, after assessing the latest news, results and form of Blackpool v Leyton Orient, we decide we want to bet on Leyton Orient to win at odds of 6.0. To work out the implied probability of Orient winning we can use this calculation:
Implied Probability = 1 divided by the decimal odds
So the implied probability of Orient winning the match is 1 divided by 6 = 0.16 or 16%. However, we believe that Orient's chances of winning the game are greater than that, so we've found ourselves an excellent value bet.
This is just a basic example, it's advisable to read our bettingexpert guide on value betting.
Choose Your Markets Wisely
Of course, it's definitely advantageous to know how each betting market works, but in reality it's best to focus on a small number of markets and bet on those consistently. If you're finding a certain market difficult to understand, don't bet on it. There are plenty of other markets you will feel comfortable with and plenty of other markets to make profit on.
Stake Your Bankroll With Care
The easiest way of losing your money on your bets is to bet carelessly. Have a certain amount you place on each bet and stick to it, don't be tempted into staking more money on a bet just because you like the look of the odds for example. Stick to your staking plan. This minimises your chances of losing everything and leads to building steady profits.
Keep A Record
By keeping a record of your bets, it can help you keep your discipline. Set up a spreadsheet and record what bet you place, what stake you placed, at what odds, whether it won or lost, your profit or loss and your total bankroll at the end of each settled bet. This allows you to see what you've been doing correctly and what mistakes you've made and also helps you keep your bankroll in check. Most importantly it helps you keep your discipline.
5. League Two Bookmakers, Free Bets and Offers
When you begin to bet on League Two, you might be surprised by the amount of bookmakers out there, all tempting you with various welcome offers and bonuses. Here at bettingexpert, we offer you a detailed guide to bookmakers worldwide, but for now we'll discuss the key things to consider when choosing a bookmaker.
Take Advantage of Welcome Bonuses
Whilst it seems easier to bet with the same bookmaker, by doing so you're missing out on the various Welcome Bonuses other bookmakers offer. It's a good idea to open an account with a variety of bookies, and use the Welcome Bonus they give you for registering with them as a way to build your profit for smaller risk.
Think About Trust
The key to a bookmaker/customer relationship is trust. Make sure your bookmaker consistently offers competitive odds, that they pay out your winnings when they say they will, they offer the markets you want to bet on and so on. This is another reason why opening accounts with a few different bookmakers is important, so you can compare how each bookmaker works and which ones you feel the most comfortable with.
What Special Offers Can You Take Advantage Of?
As a rule, the best bookmakers offer a variety of special offers for existing customers as well as new to thank them for their loyalty. This can come in the form of Money-Back Specials, like your money back if the League Two top two clash end in a draw, to bet insurance, where if one leg of your accumulator loses you can get your stake back. Betfred offer their famous Double Delight and Hattrick Heaven if you've bet on the first goalscorer and they go on to score two or three goals in the match. Over the course of a League Two season, various offers can be taken advantage of. With League Two matches, these offers generally come when it's a big derby, top of the table clash or relegation battle. There can be terms and conditions attached to certain specials, such as reduced odds or limit on the amount you can bet, so check the finer details before placing your bet.
6. League Two Live Streaming
League Two matches are broadcast live exclusively by Sky Sports. Setanta also broadcast live League Two matches in other parts of the world. Unfortunately, no bookmaker can offer free live visual streaming of League Two matches in the U.K, but some, such as Betfair, offer free audio live streaming of certain League Two matches. There can be criteria to meet to gain access to these streams, such as placing a bet on the match or having an account in credit. For more information please read our bettingexpert guide to bookmaker live streaming.
7. League Two Betting Tips
As we've seen, there are many aspects to betting on League Two football to consider if you want to be consistently successful with your bets. Think about value bets, odds, markets and most importantly do your research! Want League Two betting predictions? At bettingexpert, we have thousands of users who offer their League Two betting tips each week. Our experts are certainly worth looking at, as is our user statistics tab where you can view the previous success of each of our users.