League One winner odds
Just like last year, and the year before that, we find Sheffield United (6/1) at the top of the betting, and just like last year (as it transpired) they appear a little overpriced for the title.
Chris Wilder, the man who took Northampton to the League Two title in style, comes in to replace Nigel Adkins after a very disappointing 11th-place finish.
Related: Championship 2016/17 betting preview
It’s and all-too familiar feeling, isn’t it? Biggest club in the division, good squad, good manager. We’ve seen this story so many times with the Blades but will we get a similar ending? My guess is… probably.
If I had to bet my house on one team I’d still, albeit reluctantly, choose United. At 6/1 though, it’s just not worth the risk.
With an unfavourable-priced team in single digits you’d expect to find some value a bit further down the pecking order. That might just come in the shape of Millwall (11/1) who are second favourites.
When eyeing up the betting options it does make sense to focus on stable clubs, in terms of both management and playing staff, who finished highly in the previous season.
Related: League Two 2016/17 betting preview
On those terms Millwall fit the bill perfectly. Club legend Neil Harris took over in the summer of 2015 and guided his team to an excellent fourth placed finish in his first season, just six points behind winners Wigan.
So far, Harris has managed to prevent any key players from leaving the club this summer. That might not remain the case, however, with serious doubts on striker Lee Gregory’s future.
If Millwall could keep hold of Gregory I’d be all over the 11/1 here but, as it stands, I’ll be waiting to see if he’s lining up for Millwall come September before making a decision.
Next in the betting come two relegated teams in Charlton (9/1) and MK Dons (12/1) but I need to find strong reasons to back any previously relegated side to win this league.
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If anything, you can make a better case for Bolton (14/1), under new manager Phil Parkinson, who definitely have more genuine quality in their ranks.
You have to wonder how many of their Championship-level players will stick around come deadline day, but they are more than capable of replacing them with genuine League One talent.
With the aforementioned Parkinson leaving Bradford (12/1) it’s difficult to get too excited about their price with the appointment of Stuart McCall for his second stint as manager of the Bantams. At that price, it’s a clear fade for me.
League One promotion odds
Historically speaking the winners of League Two have performed well in this division, with Burton being the most recent case in point despite losing their manager midway through the season.
Up step Northampton (9/1) who waltzed through their league to finish on 99 points and a full 13 points clear of second placed Oxford.
New manager Rob Page did a good job at Port Vale last season and if he can keep the momentum going at Northampton they represent solid value in the promotion market.
Peterborough (5/1) have been an inconsistent club in recent years but they’ll be looking to put that behind them with a promotion tilt under former player Grant McCann.
McCann oversaw four games as caretaker boss at the tail end of last season, winning three and drawing one. He was appointed permanent manager on a four-year contract in May.
The Posh have a young squad who finished 13th last season but I feel they are primed to push on to better things this year.
It’s McCann’s first full-time managerial gig but the positive feel around the club suggests to me it was a good appointment. If the manager and players can build on last season they’ll represent good value at 5/1 to be promoted.
The 14/1 about Bolton outright for the title is a bit too optimistic for my liking, but I do see plenty of merit in taking them each-way or at 4/1 to go up.
Parkinson did a more than admirable job at Bradford, and with a much better squad available to him I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bolton there are thereabouts come May.
League One relegation odds
At first glance the relegation market looks a bit of a crap-shoot with six teams (Oldham, Port Vale, Bury, Chesterfield, Swindon & Shrewsbury) coming in at 5/2 or shorter.
Oldham (11/8) are the bookies favourites, and it’s easy to see why. They finished last season well to pull themselves to safety but have since appointed a rookie manager in Steve Robinson and the majority of the playing staff have left the club.
Robinson has drafted in a lot of new players and it remains a huge question mark as to whether he can get them to gel quickly enough.
With Oldham at this price point I see no obvious reason to get on-board the other candidates at similar prices.
You could make a case for backing Port Vale (6/4) if you really wanted, given that like Oldham they have a high turnaround of playing staff and a new inexperienced manager.
That being said, at a small price difference I favour backing Oldham to be the one to struggle this year.