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League Two Outright Predictions, Tips & Offers

Brett Curtis /
league two

Sky Bet League Two, the fourth tier of English football, begins its 2022/23 campaign on Saturday 30th July, and here at BettingPro we have picked out a few betting angles on some of the main outright markets available as we preview another intriguing season.

What is Outright Betting?

Outright betting is betting on an event as a whole, with ante-post betting the process of betting on it prior to it beginning, sometimes weeks or months ahead.

This is a common method of betting as it can frequently aid bettors in gaining an edge on the market, rather than missing out as the odds diminish alongside a prediction potentially coming truer as the season ensues.

However, one of the cons of outright betting is that so many unexpected events can occur during a season, including change of managers, transfers and injuries. Potential cash out offers are always worth keeping an eye on for this reason.

In football, there are several markets in dozens of divisions across the world available for outright betting, with Outright Winner, Top Goalscorer and Outright Relegation three of the most popular ones.

Most bookmakers provide the function to build accumulators, too, for example predicting the winners of the Championship, League One and League Two as a treble, substantially increasing the odds on offer as a result.

Bookmakers such as Sky Bet also often offer outright Request-A-Bets, which allow you to combine different predictions into a single bet for potentially massive odds, for example Stockport to win League Two, Stevenage to finish inside the top seven and Barrow to be relegated.

Without further ado, then, let’s delve into League Two ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, analysing which teams and players may be over-rated or under-rated and how we may be able to beat the bookmakers.

Winner

After blitzing the National League last season, Stockport dominate the outright winner market in League Two, largely due to their significant financial backing.

However, while The Hatters undoubtedly look set for a strong campaign, I’m not sure there’s value in backing a newly-promoted side at around the 6/1 mark. We’ve seen Salford fail to gain even a play-off spot at similar prices in recent years.

For me, there’s bigger value in backing three sides who were each competing in League Two last season – and therefore have recent experience to stand them in good stead – in the shape of Northampton, Mansfield and Bradford.

Northampton were desperately unlucky not to gain automatic promotion having missed out on goal difference after Bristol Rovers’ final day 7-0 thumping of Scunthorpe. I think the Cobblers can use that as motivation to go again and at 12/1 (bet365) they look a big price to win the division. Back them each-way and you will still receive odds of 3/1 for a second or third-placed automatic promotion finish.

Mansfield also fell at the final hurdle as they were soundly beaten by Port Vale in the play-off final. Nigel Clough is a shrewd operator in the lower divisions and after a slow start last season, the Stags were clearly one of the stronger teams in the division throughout the second half of the season. They’ll be there or thereabouts and at 10/1 (Sky Bet) are worth an each-way tickle, especially with Sky Bet paying four places at 1/5 odds.

Lastly, Bradford are probably the biggest team in League Two and for the second successive summer have had an incredibly busy transfer window. It didn’t work out for them last season under Derek Adams, but the fact Mark Hughes is managing a League Two club still seems somewhat crazy. They’re a shorter price at 7/1 (Sky Bet) but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they hugely improved and blitzed their way back into the third tier.

Relegation

With only two relegation places in League Two, it can be a tough market to call, but that in turn often makes for more generous odds than other divisions.

I’ve bagged winners in each of the last two seasons with Southend (7/1) and Scunthorpe (5/1), but this season looks a lot tougher to call I must admit.

Generally I tend to look at clubs trending in a downwards direction and there’s one club which fits the bill for me this time around.

Colchester were playing Championship football as recently as 2008 but have spent the last two seasons fighting off relegation from the Football League altogether.

A 15th-placed finish last season hugely flattered them after a few good results at the end of the season, with recruitment thin on the ground this summer.

Their large batch of former Ipswich players undoubtedly means there is some quality there, but equally you have to question the hunger of a group of thirty-something’s playing at a lower level than they are used to.

They may just about have enough in the end to survive once again but 6/1 looks a big price for the U’s to crash out of League Two.

Harrogate are a much more recent addition to the Football League having competed in the fourth tier for the first time ever last season, quickly adapting well before their form significantly crashed in the second half of the season.

The Sulphurites ended up in 19th place and a tough season looks almost certain for a club punching above their weight being here.

At 5/1 they look the safest bet to crash back into the fifth-tier to me as I can’t see anything other than a long, hard season.

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