Cottagers and Hatters Worthy Play-off Favourites

Fulham face Reading in the Championship play off semi final.

Fulham face Reading in the Championship play off semi final.

The English Championship play-offs final at Wembley Stadium is the most lucrative one-off match in football and one is tipping Fulham to win the game worth millions of pounds.

Fulham is the English Championship side that its play-offs rivals have been doing their utmost to avoid, none more than Huddersfield, which fielded its reserves versus Birmingham and did not extend itself against Cardiff. Fulham has been locked into sixth spot on the English Championship ladder for a few rounds so Huddersfield did not want to finish third – the Terriers got their way and ended up fifth.

The English Championship season began really well for Fulham – the Cottagers defeated Newcastle 1-0 at home in the first round and they collected 11 points from their opening five matches – but it went off the boil in September and October before rediscovering its mojo in November. Fulham finished the English Championship competition 14 points adrift of Newcastle but the Cottagers were the division’s top team over the last 25 rounds, accruing 48 points – the same as the Magpies, Brighton and Reading but with the best goal difference and goals scored of the four tied sides.

Fulham lost 10 of its 46 English Championship games but only one of its six matches versus the other play-offs teams – Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield. Fulham will face Reading over two legs for the right to participate in the English Championship play-offs final and the Cottagers ought to be confident of qualifying for the Wembley Stadium showdown – they beat the Royals 5-0 at home and lost 0-1 on the road for a theoretical 5-1 aggregate win. Fulham enjoys English Championship collateral form leads over Sheffield Wednesday (1-1 at home and 2-1 away) and Huddersfield (5-0 at home and 4-1 away) as well so it is impossible to look beyond the Cottagers at odds of +200  with Unibet to oust Reading and then beat either the Owls or the Terriers.

The English League Two play-offs will kick off this week also and, as is the case with the English Championship ones, bookmakers have identified the correct favourite. One is picking Luton to earn promotion to English League One via the play-offs at odds of +200  with Coral and Marathonbet.

Luton earned at least six more English League Two points than its play-offs rivals and, unlike some top seeded sides, the Hatters did not miss out on automatic promotion in a heart-breaking manner so they do not have lift themselves off the floor. Luton did not lose any of its six English League Two games against Exeter, Carlisle and Blackpool, with the Hatters beating play-offs semi-final opponent Blackpool at home and on the road. According to one’s English League Two collateral form analysis, Luton demands support even at favourite odds. Luton is 5-2-0 in its last seven English League Two matches and Hatters top goal scorer Danny Hylton is fresh after serving the second game of his two-match suspension last weekend.

You have until Saturday to bet on the English Championship play-offs and Sunday to bet on the English League Two play-offs. Bradford and Millwall have qualified for the English League One play-offs final already.

Tips Summary

Fulham to win the Championship Play Offs
First legs – 13th/14th May
Odds:  +200

Luton to win the League Two Play Offs
First legs – 14th May
Odds:  +200