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Football Betting: League One play-off tips

With the end-of-season promotion shoot-out upon us, we provide the best pick to back to go up to the Championship.

09 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Football Betting: League One play-off tips

For three of the four sides that have ended up in the League One play-offs, promotion would have been a realistic target at the start of the season.

Rotherham, Scunthorpe and Charlton have all competed in the Championship during the past eight years, meaning a top-six spot would have been the minimum expectation for their respective ambitions.

The same, though, cannot be said of Shrewsbury, who have defied even the most ambitious of pre-season predictions having been widely tipped for relegation in August.

Yet, despite out-performing the others by finishing third – 16 points ahead of semi-final opponents Charlton – their price as the most unfancied side to go up at is not a surprise.

The Shrews enter the play-offs in the worst form of all the four teams, and must tackle Charlton without captain Abu Ogogo, who was ruled out for the season back in April.

Paul Hurst’s side have won only three of their 10 games in all competitions without Ogogo, and just one of their last seven – including a 1-0 defeat to Lincoln in the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley.

Charlton, in comparison, have taken 19 points from their 10 games since Lee Bowyer has been in charge – more than any other play-off team during the same period.

They have also proved their ability to perform under pressure, winning pivotal games against Plymouth, Rotherham, Shrewsbury, Portsmouth and Blackburn in the last six weeks of the season to sneak sixth place by three points.

Backing the Addicks to make the final at will surely tumble after the first leg.

Two sides that were separated by just five points over the season will play each other in the other semi-final, which will be as tight as their respective finishes suggest.

Rotherham meanwhile, go into their tie as favourites to make Wembley, having completed a league double over opponent Scunthorpe and finished the higher of the two.

Having been promoted at Wembley in 2013/14 – their last season at this level – the Millers certainly have the better credentials at this stage.

But Scunthorpe are no strangers to the play-offs, having lost out in the semis last season to eventual winners Millwall.

The Iron have kept much of that group together, with six of the squad that were involved in that tie playing a part in their final two league games, along with the addition of another seasoned play-off campaigner in Rory McArdle, signed last summer from losing finalists Bradford City.

They were also more consistent over the course of the campaign, spending 208 days in the top six – longer than any other club in League One.

Nick Daws’ side can rely on one of the division’s form strikers in Ivan Toney, who has scored eight times in his last 13 appearances, including goals against Wigan, Charlton and Plymouth.

At to qualify for the final, it is Scunthorpe that are the more enticing bet.