League Two 2016/17: Preview & betting tips


League Two winner odds

Portsmouth (9/2) find themselves bookies’ favourites for the title for the fourth consecutive year since dropping down to this level.

No fewer than 13 players have left the club in the close season, including player of the year Ben Davies who joined Grimsby, and top-scorer Marc NcNulty who’s gone back to Sheffield United after a season-long loan.

Related: Championship 2016/17 betting preview
Related: League One 2016-17 betting predictions 

Manager Paul Cook has brought in a number of new faces to replace the out-going players and it may take time for his squad to settle.

Curtis Main is an exciting signing, with Michael Smith and Milan Lalkovic also joining to add to the manager’s attacking options.

Carl Baker, arriving from Milton Keynes Dons, adds quality to a midfield already brimming with talent, so it’s not too difficult to see why Pompey lead the ante-post betting.

800x320 Barcelona La Liga NEW CUSTOMERS ID-9814Relegated teams are often avoided by savvy punters but you can make a case for Doncaster (at 9/1) going straight back up this season.

Donny were plying their trade at Championship level not too long ago and it was a bit of a shock to see them suffer relegation last season.

Darren Ferguson has been there and done that when it comes to lower-league promotion campaigns and it’ll be interesting to see if he can get Doncaster back on track.

My instinct is to avoid them due to the relegation hangover and I don’t see much value in backing either of the two favourites for the title.

I’ll also be steering clear of the other three sides who dropped down from League One last year. Blackpool, Colchester and Crewe are all very poor sides and nothing has happened over the close season to believe any will threaten.

Affiliate_Social_800x320_ManUnited_Everton_ukLuton find themselves third in the betting (at 10/1) after a disappointing 11th-placed finish last season. They never looked like finishing in the play-off positions last year, despite ending the season strongly.

They’ve invested well with the signings of Jonny Mullins and Danny Hylton from Oxford but at this short a price its difficult to see myself backing them for the title.

After a blistering start to the 2015/16 season Leyton Orient (10/1) faded badly to finish in eighth. Kevin Nolan has since departed the club with former Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler replacing him in the hot seat.

Orient will feel they’ve done good business this summer with the additions of Yvan Erichot from Sint-Truiden, Josh Doherty from Watford and Jordan Bowery from Oxford but after the underwhelming performance last season the price is just too short.

League Two promotions odds

Last season’s losing play-off finalists Plymouth (3/1) were leading the table in the early stages last season but were pipped at the post for automatic promotion.

I’d be snapping up 14/1 outright bet for the title if they’d managed to keep hold of loan signing Jamille Matt but the former Fleetwood man moved to Blackpool instead.

Manager Derek Adams has added a number of useful signings to settled team who performed excellently for the majority of last season. 3/1 for promotion is good enough for me but an each way bet for the title could be an even better play.

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Despite Northampton running away with the title you could argue that with Accrington’s limited resources their 85-point total was the more impressive feat.

John Coleman’s men finished agonisingly close to promotion to League One, losing out on goal difference to Bristol Rovers on the final day.

It seemed inevitable Josh Windass would leave the club but that loss alone shouldn’t rule them out of contention. The manager has been given decent funds (for a change) to add to his squad this summer.

Affiliate_Social_800x320_WestHam_Domzale_ukJordan Clark joined from Shrewsbury this week, with defender Omar Beckles from Aldershot and French midfielder Bastien Hery from Carlisle also among the in-comings.

6/1 for promotion will be a fantastic price if Stanley manage to adequately replace the goalscoring threat of Windass.

League Two relegation odds

Morecambe (3/1) are the bookies’ favourites for the drop after their 21st place finish last season. They conceded a worrying 91 goals, more than relegated Dagenham and York, and that isn’t a nice statistic for fans hoping for a better showing this time around.

Also worrying for fans is the lack of transfer activity this summer and it could well be limited resources that costs Morecambe their League Two status come the end of the season.

Newport County (10/3) narrowly avoided relegation last season and were odds-on at one stage to drop out of the Football League.

Terry Butcher was replaced by John Sheridan, who was in turn replaced by his assistant Warren Feeney after Sheridan left for Oldham in January.

From that point on Feeney did a solid job to keep the team up so for me it’s hard to justify a similar price to Morecambe for the drop.

Crawley (7/2) are third in the betting in part because of their terrible end to last season that saw them slip to 20th place.

In truth, they never truly looked like being relegated so at these odds i’ll be looking elsewhere.

League Two 2016/17 betting tips

Plymouth to win the title (each-way) – 14/1 @ Bet365 (bet now)
Accrington to win promotion – 6/1 @ Bet365 (bet now)
Morecambe to be relegated – 10/3 @ Betvictor (bet now)

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