EFL Championship Betting Odds & Predictions – Matchday 1

Odds & predictions from matchday 1 in the Championship

David Brooks / Bournemouth ©IMAGO / Sports Press Photo 07/28/2021

The start of the 2021-22 EFL Championship kicks off on Friday night when Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion lock horns at the Vitality Stadium. We have several tasty matches to look forward to across the opening weekend, including Saturday night’s game at Bramall Lane between Sheffield United and Birmingham City.

Anticipation is in the air for all 24 clubs as a new season gets underway, but which teams can get off a winning start this weekend? In our in-depth matchday one Championship betting preview, we have all of the latest odds and best predictions.

EFL Championship Matchday 1: Best Betting Football Tips

Bournemouth vs. West Bromwich Albion: EFL Betting Tip

Bournemouth and West Brom meet in what is arguably the standout fixture of the weekend. Both teams start the Championship season with fresh managers in the dugout – Scott Parker is the new boss of the Cherries, while Valerien Ismael has taken over at The Hawthorns. The season opener promises to be a cracker.

Only the three relegated clubs – Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United – are available at shorter odds for promotion, as Bournemouth have been tipped to have a fine campaign under Parker. The Cherries began their season with a thumping 5-0 home win over MK Dons in the Carabao Cup last weekend – can they follow that up with three points here?

Our betting prediction:
Both teams to score

Bet at 22Bet


(odds taken 2010 GMT, Thursday 5 August)


West Brom were poor in the Premier League last term, but there has been a lot of chopping and changing at The Hawthorns over the summer, starting with the manager. Ismael did a remarkable job at Barnsley last season, guiding the Tykes to the play-offs. Can he do the same with the Baggies?

These two are likely to be promotion rivals this season, and Friday night’s showdown at the Vitality could be a close one. However, we fancy the hosts to nick a narrow victory. You can get 3/1 for Bournemouth to win by one goal.

Bournemouth 13/10
Draw 9/4
West Bromwich Albion 11/5
* Bookmaker Unibet
Odds: 3/1 odds taken 2015 GMT, Thursday 5 August


Cardiff City vs. Barnsley: Best Football League Betting Predictions

Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City welcome Markus Schopp’s Barnsley to the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Under Ismael, the Tykes finished above the Bluebirds last season, but the Welsh outfit are the bookies’ favourites in this one. Can Cardiff get an opening weekend win on home soil?

McCarthy hit the ground running at the Cardiff City Stadium back in January, taking the Bluebirds from 15th to sixth in just over a month. In his first game, City battled from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Oakwell. Their promotion fell short in the end, but Cardiff could be the dark horse this season.

Life after Ismael will be very interesting for Barnsley. The Frenchman took the Yorkshire side to the play-offs against all odds last term. After he left for West Brom, Barnsley wasted no time in bringing Austrian Schopp to Oakwell. Will Schopp have a similar kind of impact?

On paper, there is not an awful lot to split these two, but we are backing Cardiff to edge an entertaining encounter in the Welsh capital. The home victory and both teams to score is available at 9/2.

Cardiff City 6/5
Draw 12/5
Barnsley 11/5
* Bookmaker Unibet
Odds: 9/2 odds taken 2021 GMT, Thursday 5 August


Stoke City vs. Reading: EFL Betting Odds & Predictions

Stoke City and Reading lock horns at the bet365 Stadium on the opening weekend. The Royals were the early pace-setters last term, winning seven and drawing one of their opening eight games. Can Veljko Paunovic’s troops start with three points on the road this season?

Michael O’Neill has certainly steadied Stoke’s sinking ship since arriving, but the Potters should be challenging for promotion. They had an indifferent campaign last time around, picking up just 15 wins and finishing in 14th. Will they be in the play-off mix this season?

Reading flew out of the blocks last term as Paunovic made a stunning first impression at the Madejski Stadium. However, several poor patches of form throughout their campaign cost them a place in the play-offs in the end. Nevertheless, they went on to finish in seventh with 70 points to their name.

Both teams would love maximum points from this one, but we fancy the pair to cancel each other out at the bet365 Stadium. The 1-1 draw at 11/2 has caught the eye.

Stoke City 21/20
Draw 9/4
Reading 14/5
* Bookmaker Unibet
Odds: 11/2 odds taken 2027 GMT, Thursday 5 August


Sheffield United vs. Birmingham City: Best EFL Betting Tips on Matchday 1

Saturday’s late kick off in the Championship sees Sheffield United entertain Birmingham. This will be Slavisa Jokanovic’s first match in charge of the Blades. Can the former Watford and Fulham boss get off to a winning start?

Sheffield United have just had a season to forget in the Premier League, but they are one of the favourites for promotion before a ball has been kicked in anger. Jokanovic is experienced at this level and will be gunning for a third Championship promotion.

Lee Bowyer did a fine job with Birmingham at the end of last term, keeping the Blues up in his ten games in charge. However, the Midlands outfit ended their season with a 4-0 home reverse to Cardiff and a 5-2 loss at Blackburn Rovers.

No games are easy in the Championship, but the Blades will be looking for a comfortable victory at Bramall Lane on Saturday night. Take a punt on Sheffield United to win -1 at 11/5.

Sheffield United 3/4
Draw 5/2
Birmingham City 4/1
* Bookmaker Unibet
Odds: 11/5 odds taken 2032 GMT, Thursday 5 August