League One 2023/24 Outright Predictions: Mid-Season Update With A 20/1 Outsider Winner Tip

The competition for the League One title is fiercely close, with a mere seven points dividing sixth-placed Oxford United and table-toppers Portsmouth. Notably, Portsmouth have played more matches than their top five challengers.

We have asked our experts to evaluate the League One outright market, looking for some interesting bets that can be placed at this stage of the season. In particular, they have looked for a main bet and two potential dark horses that could deliver a surprise. Read on to find all the predictions that can be loaded immediately into your betslip by clicking on the ‘bet’ button. In case you don’t have an account with the bookmakers suggested, click on the green buttons to secure their sign-up deals.

League One Outright Predictions

MAIN BET 

£20 Returns £120

Reason for tip: Portsmouth, top contenders in League One, show consistency, tactical skill, and resilience. Colby Bishop's goals and strong defence play key roles in their title chase.

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DARK HORSE 1

£10 Returns £210

Reason for tip: Barnsley, a dark horse in the title race, boasts an extraordinary unbeaten run and strong away form, showcasing resilience and adaptability, making them a serious title contender.

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DARK HORSE 2

£20 Returns £65

Reason for tip: Bolton Wanderers, with strong defensive solidity and excellent home record, emerge as title contenders. Manager Ian Evatt's tactical flexibility and effective squad management boost their surprise title bid.

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The Intriguing Race for League One Supremacy: The Mid-Season Review and Predictions

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Key Stats
– Portsmouth’s Striking Consistency: Topping League One, Portsmouth have dazzled with an outstanding 16-game unbeaten streak, laying a robust foundation for their title aspirations.
Barnsley’s Away Form Fortress: Barnsley’s remarkable journey this season is highlighted by their formidable away record, losing just once in 12 league games outside their home turf, turning adversary grounds into strongholds.
Bolton’s Defensive Mastery: Bolton Wanderers have showcased exceptional defensive solidity, contributing significantly to their title challenge. Their robust backline has been the cornerstone of their impressive 10 wins in their last 14 league matches.

The League One title race this season is shaping up to be a captivating affair. With the majority of teams having played around half their fixtures, the battle for supremacy is intense. Portsmouth currently leads the pack, but the competition is fierce with a mere seven points separating them from sixth-placed Oxford United. Notably, Portsmouth have played more games than their closest rivals, adding an extra layer of suspense to the title chase.

Evaluating the Contenders

Bolton Wanderers, sitting in second place and two points clear of third and fourth positions, with initial odds for automatic promotion at 3/1. Their odds have now shortened to 1/1, reflecting their strong position despite challenges from Peterborough United and Derby County. Bolton’s prospects of clinching the title are still alive, especially with Portsmouth not maintaining their early-season momentum.

In contrast, Derby County’s market value has improved since the season’s outset. Initially at 9/4 for automatic promotion, they’ve now moved to 4/5. Despite currently sitting fourth, their favourable odds are testament to their perceived strength and potential.

Spotting Value in the Top 6 Finish

Bristol Rovers, initially at 7/2 to secure a top-six finish, now present significant value at 13/2. After overcoming early-season challenges, they’ve shown improvement under new management and boast a potent attacking line-up. This marks them as serious contenders for a playoff spot.

Conversely, Portsmouth, initially backed at a less eye-catching price of 13/10 for a top-six finish, are comfortably exceeding expectations. Their strong performance, coupled with astute managerial decisions and smart summer transfers, make their current short price of 1.04 a reflection of their high likelihood of making the playoffs.

Relegation Battle Insights

In the relegation zone, Exeter City is a team of concern. Starting at odds of 7/2 for relegation, they’ve seen their odds shorten to 11/10 amid a worrying run of form. They’ve struggled in recent fixtures, which is reflected in their worsening relegation odds.

On the other hand, Cheltenham Town’s odds of 7/4 for relegation looked promising initially, but a managerial change has spurred a remarkable turnaround. Despite their current position, their improved form suggests they might avoid the drop.

Carlisle United, tipped at 3/2 for relegation, now face odds of 17/100. Despite a change in ownership and attempts to strengthen in January, their current league position and form suggest a challenging remainder of the season.

League One Top Goalscorer Odds

Dion Charles, initially at 12/1 to be the top scorer, now stands at 11/2. His prolific scoring form for Bolton places him as a strong contender for the golden boot. The likelihood of Bolton’s continued push for a top-two finish could further boost his chances.

League One Title Race: In-Depth Analysis and Predictions

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Main Bet: Portsmouth to Clinch the League One Title

Portsmouth, leading the charge in League One, are my main bet to win the title. Their performance this season has been nothing short of remarkable, showcasing a blend of consistency and tactical acumen. A key factor in their success has been the goal-scoring prowess of Colby Bishop, whose impressive tally has been pivotal in their quest for the top spot.

Their campaign kicked off with a 16-game unbeaten run, laying a solid foundation for their title aspirations. Despite a few hiccups post-Boxing Day, they’ve managed to regain their momentum, evident in their recent resilient victory at Fleetwood. This ability to bounce back under pressure is a testament to their character and resilience as a team.

Portsmouth’s strength isn’t just in their attacking play. Defensively, they’ve been robust, conceding few goals and showcasing an ability to grind out results when necessary. Additionally, the strategic acumen of their management, coupled with shrewd transfer moves last summer, has bolstered their squad depth, allowing them to navigate the challenges of a long and arduous League One season.

Dark Horse 1: Barnsley’s Potential Surprise Challenge

Barnsley emerges as the first dark horse in this thrilling title race. Their recent form has been nothing short of extraordinary, with an impressive unbeaten run that has catapulted them into contention for the league title. What makes Barnsley a formidable force is their remarkable record away from home. They’ve turned their away games into fortresses, picking up crucial points that have kept them in the mix for the top spot.

This side’s resilience and adaptability are key factors in their success. They’ve shown they can grind out results, whether in high-scoring affairs or tight defensive battles. Barnsley’s squad, brimming with talent and determination, has the depth and versatility to maintain their title push until the very end of the season.

Their journey to this point hasn’t been without challenges, but it’s their ability to overcome these hurdles that makes them a genuine threat in the title race. With a few more consistent performances, Barnsley could very well upset the odds and clinch the League One title.

Dark Horse 2: Bolton Wanderers’ Bid for an Unexpected Triumph

Bolton Wanderers, my second dark horse pick, have displayed formidable defensive solidity throughout the season. Their backline, marshalled by experienced players and a tactical setup focusing on defensive cohesion, has been key to their success. This defensive strength, coupled with their excellent home record, positions them as strong contenders for the title.

Their journey in the league has seen them win numerous key battles, especially at home, where they’ve turned their stadium into a fortress. The team has shown an ability to adapt to different styles of play, whether it’s soaking up pressure and hitting on the counter or dominating possession and dictating the pace of the game.

The managerial acumen of Ian Evatt has been a crucial factor in Bolton’s rise. His tactical flexibility and ability to get the best out of his squad have been instrumental in their push for the title. With a few strategic moves in the transfer market and maintaining their current form, Bolton could very well be the surprise package of the season, clinching the League One title against all odds.

MAIN BET 

£20 Returns £120

Reason for tip: Portsmouth, top contenders in League One, show consistency, tactical skill, and resilience. Colby Bishop's goals and strong defence play key roles in their title chase.

Best Bookmaker for this selection:

Don't Have a BetVictor Account? Best Sign Up Offer Here

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DARK HORSE 1

£10 Returns £210

Reason for tip: Barnsley, a dark horse in the title race, boasts an extraordinary unbeaten run and strong away form, showcasing resilience and adaptability, making them a serious title contender.

Best Bookmaker for this selection:

Don't Have a Bet365 Account? Best Sign Up Offer Here

Open Account Offer – Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Registration required. Time limits and T&Cs apply.; #Ad. 18+Only, begambleaware.org

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DARK HORSE 2

£20 Returns £65

Reason for tip: Bolton Wanderers, with strong defensive solidity and excellent home record, emerge as title contenders. Manager Ian Evatt's tactical flexibility and effective squad management boost their surprise title bid.

Best Bookmaker for this selection:

Don't Have a Parimatch Account? Best Sign Up Offer Here

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Herrin Kendrick
Herrin Kendrick is a sports journalist with 10 years of experience in the sports betting industry. His work has been referenced by many sports publications over the years. Sport passionate.