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English Championship Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Projections: Our Best Bets, Including Luton Town & Queens Park Rangers (April 15)

English Championship Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Projections: Our Best Bets, Including Luton Town & Queens Park Rangers (April 15) article feature image
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Jacques Feeney/Getty Images. Pictured: Queens Park Rangers standout Lee Wallace.

The second division of English football is heating up, with a ton of drama surrounding which clubs will get promoted to the Premier League next season.

Fulham has all but wrapped up the top Championship spot and Bournemouth has a six-point cushion for the second automatic promotion spot.

After that, the battle for the promotion playoff positions is incredibly close, featuring nine sides battling for four berths.

*Graphic via FBref.com

For those who are new to the Championship, the first two teams in the table gain automatic promotion next season. Then, the next four teams play a two-leg playoff (3rd place vs. 6th place | 4th place vs. 5th place), with the winner of each tie playing the other in a winner-take-all game at Wembley Stadium for the final promotion spot.

On Friday, there’s a full slate of league matches, starting with Luton Town taking on Nottingham Forest.

So, what better way to start your morning than wagering on the Championship.

English Championship Projections

Best Bets

Luton Town vs. Nottingham Forest 

Luton Town Odds +180
Nottingham Odds +155
Draw +225
Over/Under 2.5 (+105 / -150)
Day | Time Friday | 7:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

This is a massive match for the promotion playoffs, with fourth-place Nottingham Forest sitting only two points ahead of fifth-place Luton Town.

Forest and Luton Town have been the most in-form teams over the second half of the season, putting themselves in promotional playoff spots. However, Luton Town has been a highly underrated side, as it has the fifth-best expected goal differential at +14.5 overall. It’s a dangerous club, not necessarily because of the talent, but because of its style of play.

Luton Town, which typically plays in a 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2 formation, is one of the heaviest counter attacking teams in the Championship. The side basically tries to get the ball as close to the goal as possible. Luton is second to last in the league in terms of sequence time and 10+ pass sequences, per Opta. However, it does have 62 shots inside the six-yard box, which is the third most in the league, per whoscored.com.

😍 Lansbury's pass
🔥 Pace and delivery from Fred
🤫 The celebration#COYH pic.twitter.com/XTHLfB71gL

— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) April 6, 2022

Luton Town is also one of the most efficient teams on set pieces, creating a whopping 17.1 xG off them and averages 0.11 xG per set piece, which is top five in the Championship. On the flip side, the club has allowed the second-fewest xG off set pieces.

Nottingham Forest has been on a fantastic run, but it has been drastically over-performed on the field. Forest has a +25 goal differential, but only a +7.7 xGDiff this season. The reason for its over-performance has been because of its defense, which has allowed 36 actual goals, but 47.1 xG in the process.

What is concerning in this matchup for Forest is how it’s going handle the pressure from Luton Town. Its opponent has forced the third-most high turnovers and has scored the most goals off those high turnovers.

I have Luton Town projected as a +127 home favorite , so I like the value we are getting on the via the Draw No Bet wager at +100 odds and will make it my top selection.

Pick: Luton Town — Draw No Bet (+100)

Huddersfield vs. QPR

Huddersfield Odds -105
QPR Odds +280
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (+100 / -140)
Day | Time Friday | 12:30 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Huddersfield is doing exactly what it did during the 2016-17 season when it was promoted to the English top flight with a negative goal differential. So far, Huddersfield has a +11 actual goal differential, but a -1.2 xGDiff overall.

The club is the worst pressing team in Championship by PPDA, only averaging 0.90 xG per match from open play, but has scored the most goals off set pieces, per Opta.

Huddersfield has been pretty fortunate of late as well, as it has only created more than one xG in four of its last 11 matches. Now, the side gets to face a completely out-of-form foe in Queens Park Rangers, but is the host deserving of being a -105 home favorite? Absolutely not.

*Graphic via infogol.net

Queens Park Rangers was sitting in a playoff spot for a majority of the season, but has completely cratered, losing seven of its last eight matches. However, QPR has been terribly unlucky in those eight games, as its actual goal differential is -9, but its xGDiff is only -3.36 in those contests.

The last time these sides met it was a throughly dominant performance by QPR in a 1-0 victory. The winners won the xG battle by a 1.67-0.82 margin, held 59% possession and outshot Huddersfield by a whopping 22-10 difference.

I only have Huddersfield projected at +153 on the three-way moneyline, so I like the value on QPR getting +0.5 goals on the spread line at -115 odds via the Asian Handicap and will make it my top pick for this matchup.

Pick: Queens Park Rangers +0.5 (-115)

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