The Championship season kicks off this upcoming weekend and we take a look through the players at the top of – and who might provide value – in the top scorer betting market here at Betfred…
It is probably fair to say that the traders are backing Leicester City and their strikers to light up the division and bang in the goals left, right and centre. All three of their main men, Kelechi Iheanacho, Jamie Vardy and Jamie Vardy top the market with the first two priced at 8/1 and the third member a hair longer at 9/1.
The latter is clearly the name that most will be pondering backing and at 36, he still can be the leading man at this level. The question is whether he’ll be a starter and if his body can hold up. If the answer is yes to both of those questions then he’s very much worthy of consideration.
Personally though I’d bypass the Leicester trio just because it is not totally clear who Enzo Maresca will play. This is why when looking at top scorer markets, I’m always on the lookout for a team with a clear number one striker who’ll play week in, week out should they be fit.
This is why you have to look extremely closely at Chuba Akpom up at Middlesbrough. The 27 year-old was in scintillating form last season and dominated this betting market winning the Championship Golden Boot by no fewer than seven goals from the second best striker. 28 goals will be a tough act to follow but he has every chance but his status going into the season looks dicey as he may well miss the opening couple of games due to injury. He’s available to back at 10/1 and has to be seriously considered.
At the same price you can back Joel Piroe who at the time of writing is a Swansea City player but both Leeds United and Southampton are reportedly in talks to sign the Dutch front man. He has scored 41 league goals in his two seasons in Wales and at the age of 23, he’s always improving. A move to a team more likely to be challenging right at the very top of the table would on paper be favourable for Piroe backers.
Two Southampton players are also rated highly in this market. Neither Che Adams or Adam Armstrong showed they were ready for the Premier League but both could well be back to their goal scoring best back in the Championship. The future of influential creative spark Romeo Lavia has to be considered but James Ward-Prowse seems likely to surprisingly stay at St. Mary’s and he will provide assists.
Coventry have seen star striker Viktor Gyokeres move on but they are looking to former everton youngster Ellis Simms to fill that void. It would be fair to say that I’m sceptical that he’s ready to be among the top five strikers at this level.
Two players who I think provide solid value are Patrick Bamford at 16/1 and Ross Stewart at 20/1. The former will score plenty if he can stay fit but boy that is a big ask having watched his injury struggles the past couple of seasons but I really really like the Sunderland Front man at that price. There is plenty of talk that he may leave Wearside if he doesn’t sign a new contract but plenty of fellow Championship clubs would sign him in a heartbeat. If he stays in this league then he’ll be there or thereabouts and is my top pick in this market.
Conor Chaplin was the joint top-scorer in League 1 last term and plenty expect him to continue banging in the goals at this level and I’m one of them. I don’t however think he’ll finish in the top five but scoring 15+ would not be a shock to me at all.
One other player I’ll note and tip up as a real longshot who could go closer than the odds indicate is Manchester City youngster Liam Delap, who is on a season-long loan at Hull from the Etihad. He’s very highly regarded at the Premier League champions but didn’t really impress at either of his Championship loan stops last season. Another year of maturity coupled with a bit of confidence could lead to a good season and at 50/1, feels a bit big.