League One 2018/19 preview: Top tips for all outright markets
We assess the best bets for promotion, relegation and more, as English football's third tier gets back under way.
It makes sense to look to the sides that have come down from the Championship in this market, as seven relegated teams have made an immediate return to the Championship in the last five seasons – including three from three last term.
But favourites Sunderland should be avoided, coming off the back of back-to-back relegations.
New manager Jack Ross has never worked higher the Scottish Championship and, despite success at St Mirren, it is questionable whether he is up to such a sizeable job.
The Black Cats also remain lumbered with underperforming top earners who have no desire to stay, including Bryan Oviedo, Papy Djilobodji and Lamine Kone.
Second-favourites Barnsley represent better value at .
The Tykes ended last season unbeaten in four at Oakwell and were only relegated on the final day of the season.
Having kept hold of Tom Bradshaw despite Championship interest, along with Lloyd Isgrove and Kieffer Moore – all of whom have previously impressed at this level – they look well set for the season ahead.
Charlton were beaten by Shrewsbury in last season’s play-off semi-final, and a summer dominated by off-the-field issues has left them in a perilous position.
Tight finances mean the Addicks – where Lee Bowyer is still caretaker manager – have been unable to spend big, while key players Ezri Konsa and Josh Magennis have both been sold.
Free transfers Darren Pratley and Lyle Taylor, who netted 14 goals for AFC Wimbledon last season, look like solid additions, but they are too short to get behind at .
Alternatively, new-boys Luton look a better shout.
The Hatters have added Jorge Grant to an attack that scored 94 goals in League Two last term – a total only bettered by Manchester City in the top four divisions.
The signings of defenders Sonny Bradley and Matty Pearson from League One rivals Plymouth and Barnsley, meanwhile, is further evidence that they will be looking up rather than down.
Portsmouth should also challenge.
Pompey consolidated in eighth in their first season back in League One, closing out an impressive year with just one defeat from their final seven matches.
The goals of Brett Pitman, who bagged 24 in all competitions last term, and the experience of manager Kenny Jackett, who has twice been promoted out of League One, are the basis of a strong side.
As ever in League One, there are very few sides who will not have their sights on the play-offs.
With 18 teams prices at 4/1 or shorter to make the top six, we are set yet another unpredictable scrap.
Peterborough have undergone major surgery over summer in an attempt to improve on a disappointing ninth-placed finish last season, with 17 departures and 15 arrivals.
Posh have done well to replace the outgoing Jack Marriott, who won the 2017/18 League One Golden Boot, and influential midfielder Gwion Edwards, with exciting talent from League Two.
Fourteen-goal striker Matt Godden comes in from Stevenage, along with pacey winger Siriki Dembele from Grimsby and midfielder and new captain Alex Woodyard from Lincoln, among a host of others.
Oxford are another side that represent good value to make the play-offs.
The U’s have put last season’s haphazard recruitment behind them, favouring a safer approach.
Ricardinho, Dwight Tiendalli and Gino van Kessel have made way for Luke Garbutt, Tony McMahon, Samir Carruthers – all of whom, crucially, have performed well at this level before.
Jamie Mackie also comes in from QPR. He, fitness permitting, should prove an important player.
At the bottom of the table, Wycombe look poised to become the first side in seven seasons to drop straight back down to League Two after promotion.
The Chairboys come into the campaign with a forward line that has a combined age of 70, consisting of Adebayo Akinfenwa and Craig Mackail-Smith.
Having also lost dynamic midfielder, and arguably their best player, Luke O’Nien to Sunderland, Wanderers simply do not have a competitive squad.
Elsewhere, AFC Wimbledon’s time in the third tier finally looks to be up.
Neal Ardley’s side were just three points away from going down last season and look in worse shape now than in May.
The Dons managed just 47 goals last term – the fewest of any team that stayed up – and a failure to properly replace the aforementioned Taylor in a side already low on quality will prove costly.
At , Barnsley’s Kieffer Moore looks a steal in the top goalscorer market.
The towering striker was a continual threat during his time in League One last season and bagged 13 goals in his first 17 matches while on loan at Rotherham.
Now in a Barnsley side that looks set to challenge at the top of the table, he should pick up where he left off.
Further down the list, Burton Albion’s Liam Boyce is of each-way interest at .
The Northern Irishman scored 24 goals for Ross County in his last full season before a serious knee injury curtailed his first year with the Brewers.
Boyce still managed to score twice in Burton’s final four matches last term and, with a full pre-season behind him, should be among the goals again.
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