Betting on English League 2 Football
League 2 in England is in fact the fourth tier of the English professional league, so the name is greatly misleading. In days of old this league would have been called Division 4, but has had its name adapted a couple of times since the Premier League was inaugurated in 1992.
In past time, the English League 2 was also the last professional league within England, with the Conference below it featuring semi-professional teams at best. However, in recent years Conference teams have nearly all become professional too, which has served to make the gap between the two leagues, and indeed League 1 above it, much closer in quality. In essence you have more than 70 teams in and around these three divisions who have decent facilities, decent support bases, and professionally-paid footballers. The competition is steep, and the League Two betting odds reflect that, at the onset of a League 2 season, more than 50% of the teams have a realistic chance of promotion, and the same again for relegation. In fact, there is often a team tipped for promotion who end up heading the other way, and vice versa.
The League features 24 teams and the top three at the end of the campaign are automatically promoted to League 1. The next four teams, placed between 4th and 7th, then enter a playoff competition which sees the winner of the two two-legged semi-finals complete in a showpiece game at Wembley Stadium in London for the right to play in League 1 the following season. Once again, the League 2 betting odds at the start of the playoff round indicate that really any of the four teams have as good a chance as any other to win that final promotion spot.
At the bottom end of the division, the bottom two teams are relegated into the Conference. In the past that perhaps would have been considered more of a disaster than it is today, considering the professional status of the Conference these days and the vastly improved facilities in comparison to years gone by.
English League 2 Football Odds
Like the three leagues in the English football system above League 2, this is an immensely popular division for betting on, particularly in the shape of accumulator bets on betting coupons. However, in a similar vein to League 1 and the Championship in particular, League Two can be a really tricky division to back winners on for the reasons that, statically, there are no big standouts in terms of the average number of goals scored, the number of games that features three or more goals, the likelihood of draws, or the percentage of points that are won at home. Instead, the league can be characterised by the nature of underdogs winning more than their fair percentage of matches. In fact, even identifying who those underdogs are can be difficult, even when scouring through the League 2 betting odds.
Predicting the League 2 championship at the start of each season is similarly tough because of the number of potential winners. Usually any of at least half of the teams in the division can be identified as potential champions, both through looking at the League 2 title odds, and by considering the players and resources at the teams' disposal. Often form from the previous campaign is irrelevant, as newly-promoted teams can climb to the top of the table as quickly as previously successful teams can drop down the rankings. League 2 relegation odds are therefore as unpredictable as the League 2 champions odds.
English League 2 Title Odds for 2019-20
The 2019/20 League 2 season promises to be as unpredictable as it has ever been, with any of at least half a dozen teams rivalling each other's League 2 title odds to be crowned champions come May.
Due to the fact that the team finished 4th in 2018/19, Mansfield Town are probably just edging the betting as favourites for promotion to League 1 in 2019/20. Mansfield were only edged out on penalties by Newport County in their semi-final playoff head-to-head, and their conquerors were narrowly defeated in the final by Tranmere, so expect Newport to also be among the frontrunners as the 2019/20 season kicks off. The final team of the three playoff-qualifying sides not to get promotion – Forest Green Rovers – are a little bit back in the League 2 title betting odds due to the fact that their 2018/19 performance as a little unexpected – typical of League 2.
One of the teams ruffling feathers in the division is newly promoted Salford City, who have already been installed as some bookmakers' League 2 title favourites, not so much based on any history, tradition of barnstorming performances from the previous season, but more because of the fact who the owners of the club are – Manchester United legends Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and David Beckham. In coach Graham Alexander the team also have an experienced operator, so it's no surprise to see the team tipped as a favourite for promotion, even if this is the club's first season in the professional football league. Expect Salford to attract a lot of attention, both on themselves, and on League 2 in general.
English League 2 Football History
The fourth tier of the English football league has been in existence since the old Division 3 regional leagues were made national in 1958. For many years the division was known as the English Fourth Division, but upon the creation of the Premier League in 1992, that became the English Football League 3, and then soon after, League Two, which it remains to this day.
Due to a number of factors, including the natural changes in fortune that happen in football, economic pressures and administration worries, a number of big-name clubs have passed trough League 2 in its recent history. In fact, even taking a glance down the league table today would throw up names such as Swindon Town, Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, who have all played in the Premier League at one time or another. League 2 title odds don't pay any attention to history either, with teams' odds at the start of a season usually reflecting the ownership status of the club, and its ability to bring in players, rather than form from the previous season, or historical considerations.
Betting on League Two can be challenging, but what is certain is that this long-established league is highly competitive, and pays no respect to reputation, always leading to an entertaining league campaign.