There has been plenty of controversy surrounding the ending of the League 1 season, with a number of clubs feeling aggrieved at the decision to end the season as things stand and play out the playoffs in July. As such, Coventry City and Rotherham United have won automatic promotion to the Championship, while Tranmere Rovers, Southend United and Bolton Wanderers have all been relegated to League Two. It also means that both Peterborough United and Sunderland will miss out on the playoffs entirely despite sitting just a point outside of the top six with 11 and 10 games each left to play.
That now leaves Wycombe Wanderers, Oxford United, Portsmouth and Fleetwood Town to fight it out to join Coventry and Rotherham in the final promotion place to the Championship. Below, we have taken a closer look at each of the ties and where we feel you should be putting your money in the betting markets. Before placing your bets, be sure to check out Efirbet, whose list of bookmaker reviews will point you in the right direction of where to place your League One playoff bets. Claim the best bonuses by using Efirbet’s expert reviews of the best betting sites.
League One Playoff Semi-Finals
The first and second legs of the League One Playoff Semi-Finals will take place on Friday 3 July and Monday 6 July respectively, as Portsmouth face Oxford United and Fleetwood Town take on Wycombe Wanderers. Pompey and Fleetwood will each have home advantage in the first legs of their ties, with the results then being settled at Oxford and Wycombe. Whichever teams are successful in their semi-finals will then meet at Wembley on Monday 13 July for a place in the Championship.
Starting with Portsmouth vs Oxford, there was only goal difference separating the two teams during the League One season, as Oxford’s more prolific attack saw them finish with a +24 goal difference compared to Portsmouth’s +17. They had identical records, winning 17, drawing 9 and losing 9 of their 35 league games in what was a successful campaign for both sides. The teams have also met three times this season, twice in the league and once in the Football League Trophy, with there being two draws and one Oxford victory from those games. However, we will be backing Portsmouth to qualify from this one having had more playoff experience in recent years.
Betting Tip: Portsmouth to qualify at 8/13
Fleetwood also shared an identical record with Portsmouth and Oxford at the point where the season came to a close and come into their playoff tie as the favourites to progress to the final. That is despite coming up against a Wycombe team who finished third, who are most likely the underdogs after winning just five of their 13 games that came after Christmas. Fleetwood also took four points from a possible six in their two meetings with Wycombe during the season and also have the impressive Paddy Madden, who has scored 15 goals this season in League One. We are also expecting this game to go the bookies are calling it and are backing Fleetwood to progress in the tie.
Betting Tip: Fleetwood to qualify at 4/7
Should both of our tips come to fruition and it be a Portsmouth vs Fleetwood final on July 13, we are siding with Pompey to win the final at Wembley.