npower League One 2013 Promotion and Playoffs
The jostling for position in the League One promotion and play off races look well set to go all the way right to the end of the season. With a whole clutch of evenly matched sides trying to gain the lucrative promotion up to the Championship, the thin lines between gaining automatic promotion and landing in the play offs look pretty narrow. Then of course, the teams hovering outside of the play offs, who, with a late surge could also get themselves in the mix, will want to have their say. One of the strongest sides of the season in League One, Sheffield United remained one of the favourites to take the League One title. But after coming under pressure from the likes of Swindon, Tranmere and Doncaster, there was a long way to go before anything was going to get settled. The form of the Blades though were at least putting them in a strong spot because of the all important confidence factor.
Still, with a quarter of the season still to go, Sheffield United were hovering around odds of 6/4 in npower League 1 2012/13 to reach play-offs betting odds, which wasn’t looking too bad value seeing as how only two points were separating top from sixth in the league (the final play off spot). So very fine margins and everything to play for, and because of such a close promotion race in League One, there was value abound in pretty much everyone in the race after three quarters of the season had passed. So it could all be about picking out the trending teams and west country side Swindon Town certainly look to be one of those. The Robins look to be growing in stature all the time, looking like very serious League One title contenders, and they strung together a thirteen match unbeaten streak in League One between the start of December and the end of February. That kept them around Evens to make the play offs.
Fellow west country side Yeovil were also trending very well and showing promotion promise. They suffered a really poor start to the season but then really came on strongly from December onwards, tightening up the defence and starting to find some great form as highlighted in their eight wins on the bounce through the end of December to mid February (keeping clean sheets in half of those matches). So they are making a great case to land in the play offs and to battle for promotion. They could be helped along in their progress with the likes of Tranmere, Doncaster and Bournemouth both letting their respective oot off the pedal a bit in the promotion race. Both have been strong challengers for the play offs all season, but wobbles could put them in jeopardy, but what does that mean? Good value.
So to the outsiders, those floating around on the periphery of the play offs. Realistically there is only one strong contender to potentially push their way into play off contention and that is Brentford. Their big moment of the season came when they picked up a draw in the FA Cup against Chelsea, but they could top that with a strong push towards the Championship. Anyone beyond that was looking a long shot at the stage of just over a quarter of the season to go. Representing the best of the long shots in npower League 1 2012/13 to reach play-offs betting odds were Notts County, Walsall and Coventry, but on such an even keel as the top seven already were, anyone outside getting in faces a tough task.