League Two Betting Tips

The English Football League Two is the lowest of the three leagues hosted by that of the EFL. The league format is played as the base of the professional leagues and whilst it’s seen as the lowest of the three, is widely regarded as one of the most competitive and unpredictable leagues in England.

The league is actually the fourth tier of English football if you include the Premier League, which isn’t run by the EFL. Whilst it doesn’t get the plaudits and crowds that the higher leagues get, it is able to offer up a great base for young players to get a taste of professional football.

It comes with a unique style and the games are often played out very differently than say, the Premier League. It’s known for its physicality and whilst Premier League teams put an emphasis on entertainment, League Two highlights that there is more to football than the tikka-taka style and see’s much more success from a direct style of play.

Who Will Win League Two?

Last Updated: 11th February 2019

Lincoln City currently lead the way in EFL League Two, with Mansfield Town and Bury hot on their heels. After an excellent seventh placed finish last term, Danny Cowley’s side have really kicked on this season. However, with just a few points separating the top three at the time of writing, the race for the title in the fourth tier could go to the wire. Colchester and Carlisle United will still fancy their chances of overhauling Lincoln, but the pair are both nine points behind at the moment. Who will gain promotion to EFL League One by winning the division this season?

Lincoln City – Evens

Cowley’s Lincoln have been incredibly consistent all season long. The Imps have come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, gaining promotion to the Football League by winning the National League back in 2017. So far, Cowley’s troops have picked up 17 wins, which is the most in League Two. Lincoln have not lost many games this season, suffering just one defeat in the league since October.

City have lost just once at Sincil Bank in the league all season while they have the joint best away record, picking up 29 points from 16 fixtures on the road. However, having drawn their last three, Lincoln will want to return to winning ways as soon as possible. The East Midlands club will no doubt face a fierce battle with Mansfield and Bury – and possibly one or two others – for the League Two title this season, but we fancy the leaders to fend them off. Evens is a very generous price.

Mansfield Town – 7/2

David Flitcroft is a popular man at Field Mill, with his Mansfield side pushing for automatic promotion this season. After just missing out on a place in the League Two play-offs last season, the Stags will be hoping to end this campaign with promotion. With Town just three points off the top, they are in with a genuine chance of winning the division this time around.

Mansfield, who host Lincoln at Field Mill next month, are breathing down the neck of the league leaders. The Yellows have been in good form of late, picking up 13 points from the last 18 on offer since suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time this term back in January. Flitcroft’s boys are available at 7/2 to win the league.

Bury – 7/2

With the battle for the title looking like at three-horse race, Bury are the third horse in the running. Ryan Lowe’s side will not go away, keeping the pressure on the leaders. The Shakers have accumulated 57 points and sit just four points off the top at this present moment.

Bury have been in excellent form lately, winning seven and drawing three of their last 10 league and cup fixtures. However, the club have drawn two of their last three, which has seen them drop off a little. Lowe’s troops are certainly outsiders, but 7/2 is still a very decent price.

Who Will Be Promoted To League One?

Last Updated: 11th February 2019

The battle for the promotion places and the top six is really starting to heat up. Lincoln (1/10), Mansfield (3/10) and Bury (1/4) are odds-on for promotion, with the likes of MK Dons, Forest Green, Carlisle, Colchester United and Exeter City all still fancying their chances with over a quarter of the season left to play. Which three teams will be automatically promoted, leaving four clubs to battle it out in the League Two play-offs? Get ready for plenty of thrills and spills from now until the end of the season in the hunt for promotion to League One.

Forest Green Rovers – 9/4 (8/11 Top 7 Finish)

After a poor campaign last year, with Forest Green just avoiding relegation back to the National League, Rovers have enjoyed a much better season this time around. The Green Devils have been in reasonable form lately, losing just two League Two fixtures since a 1-0 home defeat to Colchester back in November. Mark Cooper’s men are sitting nicely in sixth at the moment, nine points adrift of league leaders Lincoln, although they are only two points ahead of eighth place. Forest Green are priced at 9/4 for promotion and 8/11 to finish in the play-offs.

MK Dons –11/8 (8/11 Top 7 Finish)

MK Dons are long shots for the title at 22/1, but Paul Tisdale’s side are odds-on for promotion at just 8/11. The Dons currently sit seventh in the table having won 14 of their 31 games up until now. Milton Keynes have scored 49 goals in League Two this season, only bettered by Bury (62), Lincoln (55) and Colchester (52). The Dons will be looking for an instant return to the third tier following relegation last term, and Tisdale’s team are currently available at just 8/11 to make the play-offs.

Carlisle United – 7/2 (10/11 Top 7 Finish)

Steven Presley’s side are also in the mix for promotion, with the Cumbrians priced at 7/2 to go up this season. Meanwhile, you can get them at the generous odds of 10/11 to finish up in the top seven. At the moment, United occupy fifth spot, just three points away from the automatic places. Carlisle are the in-form team in the fourth tier at present, winning eight of their last 10. Can United’s momentum take them all the way into League One? At just under evens to make the play-offs, those odds are just too good to turn down.

Colchester United – 10/3 (4/5 Top 7 Finish)

Colchester have been in patchy form lately, although they did hit back from two defeats with a convincing 4-0 win at Northampton Town recently. Since the turn of the year, the Essex club have already been beaten three times in League Two. Colchester’s poor run of results had seen them slip out of the top seven, but back to back wins allowed them to leapfrog Carlisle and Forest Green. If John McGreal’s side stay back on track, 10/3 for promotion becomes a very good price. However, 4/5 for Colchester to finish in the top seven is without doubt the better choice.

Exeter City – 9/1 (5/4 Top 7 Finish)

Despite sitting in the final play-off spot, the bookies have Exeter at 5/4 to end up in the top seven. Meanwhile, the Grecians are available at 9/1 to be promoted one way or another. Since losing three league and cup games in a row, City have responded well by winning six of their last 10 in League Two. After beating MK Dons 3-1 at home recently, Exeter will believe that they can stay in the promotion mix this season. If Matt Taylor’s team can keep on getting good results, we can see no reason why they can’t finish in the top seven (5/4) this term.

Relegation Betting

Last Updated: 11th February 2019

In League Two, there are only two relegation places to avoid. Dropping into the National League will be a bitter pill to swallow for two clubs, but which two will it be? Realistically, all teams from Northampton downwards are not yet safe, with just 10 points separating 23rd Macclesfield Town to the Cobblers in 16th. Macclesfield are a point from safety while Notts County are four points adrift of 22nd place Morecambe. With Notts County seemingly on their way out of League Two, who will be joining them in the National League next season?

Notts County – 3/10

Notts County may well be the oldest professional club in England, but many think their stay in the Football League could be coming to an end. But after a crucial victory at Forest Green, County are currently four points adrift of safety and three points behind their closest rivals. Despite losing out in the play-offs after securing a fifth placed finish last term, the Magpies have had a disastrous campaign thus far. The Nottingham outfit have picked up just five league wins along the way, with just one since in mid-December. Neal Ardley’s men are priced at just 3/10 for the drop, but they might just have enough to turn things around.

Macclesfield Town – 8/11

Macclesfield currently sit second from bottom in the Football League, but Sol Campbell’s side are only a point away from safety at the moment. Town have certainly made an improvement since the former England international arrived on the scene at Moss Rose, with five of their seven league wins coming under their new boss. However, the Silkmen still have plenty of work to do in the race for survival, especially after losing two of their last three. Town are 4/5 to be relegated, but we have a sneaky feeling that Campbell will keep Macclesfield in League Two come the end of the season.

Morecambe – 11/8

Jim Bentley’s Morecambe are currently hovering just above the relegation zone. The Shrimps have won only seven league games all season, losing four and drawing four of their last eight in League Two since an impressive 3-0 home win over Colchester a few days before Christmas. Bentley’s boys look vulnerable in 22nd, especially with Macclesfield picking up under Campbell. The Seasiders, who narrowly avoided the drop last season, might not be so lucky this time around. There’s good value in 11/8 for Morecambe to slip out of the league.

Yeovil Town – 4/1

Darren Way’s Yeovil Town are just above the relegation zone on 30 points. With 15 games to go, the Glovers, who were an EFL Championship team not so long ago, have work to do in the race for survival. After winning two in a row, Yeovil have gone on to lose each of their last four in League Two, being dragged back down into the mire in the process. Those two victories last month remain Town’s only league wins since October. A price of 4/1 for the team from Somerset to drop out of the Football League looks fair value.

League Two Top Goalscorer

Last Updated: 11th February 2019

Tranmere Rovers’ goal-machine James Norwood leads the way at the top of the scoring charts in League Two, netting 19 of Rovers’ 43 goals. Norwood is odds-on favourite, but the likes of Tyler Walker, Nicky Maynard and Kieran Agard – plus one or two others – will have something to say about that. At the moment, though, Norwood is three goals clear at the top. Will anyone catch the Tranmere ace?

James Norwood (Tranmere Rovers) – 1/2

Tranmere have had a pretty mediocre campaign so far, with the Merseysiders sitting in 10th place with 15 games to go. However, nothing has been mediocre about Norwood, who has scored goals for fun for Rovers this term. The 28-year-old’s goals had dried up somewhat, but Norwood has been back in the goals recently, scoring four in his last five League Two appearances. The former Forest Green man, who is priced at 1/2 to win the Golden Boot, will take some stopping.

Tyler Walker (Mansfield Town) – 7/2

Tyler Walker, who has spent the season on loan from Nottingham Forest, has had a fine campaign in League Two with Mansfield. Walker’s goals have helped the Stags climb up the table, with Town just three points off the top in second. Walker has helped himself to 16 goals and three assists, making him the second favourite for the Golden Boot at 7/2. The 22-year-old is highly thought of at the City Ground, and the Nottingham-born man has a bright future ahead of him. With Mansfield pushing for automatic promotion, we fancy Walker to score many more goals before the season draws to a close.

Kieran Agard (MK Dons) – 16/1

29-year-old Agard has had a fine season for MK Dons thus far. Agard has scored an impressive 10 times in all competitions since November. The Dons have been blessed with high-scoring strikers this term, with Chuks Aneke on 12 goals. Who will finish top scorer for MK Dons this term will be a personal battle between the pair. Agard’s goalscoring form has slowed up lately, though, with the former Bristol City man bagging just two in his last five league appearances. Agard is priced at 16/1.

Nicky Maynard (Bury) – 20/1

Maynard, who has had successful spells with Bristol City and West Ham United during his career, has really found his feet at Gigg Lane this season. After leaving Aberdeen last summer, Maynard joined Bury in September, going on to score a staggering 13 times in just 22 League Two appearances for the Shakers. A striker with Maynard’s prowess could be just what Bury need in their quest for promotion. Maynard may have seven goals less than Norwood at this stage, but the big odds of 20/1 for the 32-year-old to end up as top scorer could be worth having a few quid on.

Chuks Aneke (MK Dons) – 25/1

As we mentioned, Agard’s teammate at Stadium MK, Aneke has 12 goals to his name so far. The 25-year-old is a little further back in the betting, though, with the bookies pricing him at 25/1. Like Agard, Aneke has also struggled for goals lately, scoring just once in his last six league outings. Nevertheless, as the Dons seek promotion back to League One, Agard and Aneke will be vital to Tisdale in the remaining months.

Padraig Amond (Newport County) - 33/1

Newport County’s Padraig Amond has been the Welsh side’s hero in the Emirates FA Cup this season, scoring in wins over Metropolitan Police, Wrexham, Leicester City and Middlesbrough. Amond’s goals have helped the Exiles reach the last 16, where they will play Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at Rodney Parade. In League Two, Amond has only managed 11 goals, nine less than leader Norwood. Still, if you fancy the Irishman to finish with a flurry of goals and end up top scorer, you can get him at attractive odds of 33/1.

The League has been in its current format since 2004 when the whole EFL league system was reformed, albeit through naming. The original name of the league was that of Division Four, which was set up in 1958. It then changed to Division Three when the Premier League broke away and was formed in 1992, before finally being renamed League Two in 2004.

Sky Bet are the current sponsors for the league, with the official title being that of Sky Bet League Two. Many still refer to it as Division Three though.

As the sponsors are those who work with the EFL, the leagues governing body, they tend to take on the name of these sponsors. Some of them have included the likes of Canon, Today Newspaper, Barclays, Endsleigh, Nationwide, Coca-Cola, npower and most recently, Sky Bet.

Format

The league includes 24 teams in total, which is the same as both the Championship and League One. The format is pretty much the same as each of these leagues, with all 24 teams playing each other both home and away throughout the season. This means that in total, each team will play 46 games throughout the season, some 8 more than the Premier League.

The cast majority of games take place on a Saturday afternoon and Tuesday evening. Some games will be moved in order to fit in matches for TV purposes or even for more convenient times for local authorities to police, such as major local derbies. As League Two get the fewest number of matches shown live within the EFL, few games need to be moved, so often you see that the majority of teams will all play at the same time throughout the week. The biggest disruptions come in the form of cup runs, which need to be allocated accordingly.

There are four teams in total that get promoted to League One come the end of the season. The places are earned by that of a point scoring system, with the teams ranked in highest points first. Usual rules apply for points, such as 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw and none for a loss.

League Two is unique with 4 teams getting promoted, as both the Championship and League One only have three teams. Three are automatic spots and the final spot comes from the playoffs.

The playoffs are played out between the four teams ranked 4th to 7th, respectively. The first stage is played over two legs, with 4th playing 7th and 5th playing 6th. The aggregate winners over both legs will then play in the final, hosted at Wembley Stadium.

The final is a winner takes all match. The winners progress to League One and the losers will remain in League 2 for the following season.

Cup Entries

As a member of League 2, the teams are able to enter three cup competitions in total. These include the FA Cup, League Cup and the EFL Trophy. The FA Cup and the League Cup will eventually include teams from higher leagues as rounds progress and is often a chance for teams from the league to go head to head with some of the best teams in Europe.

The EFL Trophy has been designed by the English Football League and does not include the first team squads from Premier League teams. But, in a recent change to the format in 2017, they now allow Premier League and Championship teams to field their academies, which are made up of players aged 2q and under. The EFL Trophy offers the best chance of major honours for teams within League Two.

Whilst unlikely, it is worth noting that should a team from League Two win the FA Cup or League Cup, they will be eligible to take up the reward of representing within the Europa League if they choose to do so.

Prize Money

As you would imagine, the money on offer at League Two level compared to the likes of the Premier League is worlds apart. Each team is offered a basic award from the EFL of £472,000, with a solidarity payment from the Premier League of £430,000, totalling £902,000.

The money between League 1 and League is quite significant as well, with League 1 teams picking up around £1.3million in total, almost 50% more than in League Two.

The money on offer for players is small compared to the likes of the higher leagues, but in the real-world, still offer a very good living. Players will look to take home around £1,000 a week, but this can fluctuate anywhere between £200 a week and £5,000 a week, depending on the stature of the player. At around £50,000 per year to play a solid level of football, it shows that whilst the money does drop off massively so as you work down, there is still money to be made.

Transfer Window

As League Two is part of and run by the EFL, they have to adhere to rules regarding transfers just as any other club in the association would. The transfer window usually opens around early May, after the season has ended and shuts on the 31st of August. But, in 2018/19 season, this deadline is being brought forward to the 9th of August in order to close before the first game of the season. The Premier League are also applying these rules for this season as well.

 Clubs are still allowed to loan players until he end of January and also agree option to purchase deals for when the window reopens in January. The January transfer window is one that occurs across Europe and opens on the 1st of January, closing on the 31st of January.

The History of League Two

League Two came about in 2004 in its current format, although it has actually been running since 1958. The league was originally brought in 1958 to offer another professionally run league by the EFL. It was designed as a feeder league into the then Division Three, but has been able to stand on its own for several years after and now is widely regarded as quality football league.

It’s growth and expansion is one that is ranked on a world level. In the 2016/17 there were over 2.8million fans across the course of the season. To put that into perspective, that’s more than the Turkish Super League, 3 Division of German football (equivalent to League One in England), Brazil 2nd Division, Siwss Super League and the Canadian Football League, to name just a few.