The Football league playoffs conclude this this weekend so we look at the how the markets have them and have our own treble for the 3 games here for you on The Cheeky Punts
The Cheeky Punts Picks
We've gone for a couple of draws & with so much at stake, particularly in the Championship playoff, there could be some very tense & nervy games. The 90 minute win we've gone for is the League 2 playoff where we think Stockport will be too strong for Carlisle.
At 20/1+ a few draws certainly pushes the price up & who doesn't love a good penalty shoot out in the playoffs. Great for the neutrals but hell if you're on the losing end of it as a fan!
Barnsley vs Sheffield Wednesday
Monday - League 1 Playoff
It's the final playoff final today as Barnsley and Sheff Weds look to secure a spot in the Championship next season. Wednesday were maybe a touch unlucky to not make automatic promotion with a huge 96 point total but L1 is a tough place to be these days with plenty of 'sleeping giants'. They did however produce arguably the greatest ever playoff comeback in the absolutely superb game against Peterborough, coming back from a 4-0 defeat in the first leg, equalising in the 98th minute to take it to extra time before ultimately coming out victorious on penalties
Barnsley's route was no walkover with a narrow margin win against Bolton but a 1-0 win at home was enough to set up this Yorkshire derby between the 3rd and 4th placed finishers from the regular season.
They come in to this having already beaten Wednesday twice this season but their end of season form wasn't the best, picking up just 14 points in their last 10 games.
Wednesday finished much stronger in comparison with 20 points from their last 10 and will surely be buoyed by that epic win to get here
We've already seen both playoff games finish 1-1 and be decided on penalties so it seems almost impossible that lightning could strike a 3rd time but it is hard to split these two. I'd originally gone for this to end as a draw and I'm going to stick with that but I think Wednesday will ultimately go up
For a bit of value I think this could be a bit more of a fiery game so bookings could be a good play too. Two I like here are Palmer for Wednesday and Kitching for Barnsley at about 9/1 for the double or possibly Barnsley over 2.5 cards at 3/1
It should be another cracker and a great way to end another pulsating season across the English leagues. Good Luck
Coventry vs Luton - Luton win on Penalties
Saturday - Championship Playoff
I'm going to get this part in early, it's the richest prize in league football with so much on offer for the winner from a financial perspective as well as the chance to play against the best in the Premier League. And this season surely no one would have predicted it would be between Luton and Coventry for this prestigious prize
The remarkable rise of both clubs to be here is well documented but it's now down to this final game to find the winner. And I really can't call it so I think this could go all the way but interestingly only 1 game from the last 10 years has gone the distance with most games settled by a single goal margin (7 from 10). It's likely to be a tight affair and there will be some nervous energy with so much at stake for both clubs
A few more eye catching stats point to a potential Coventry win with the team finishing 3rd (which Luton did) not having stats on their side and Coventry come in to this with a better Wembley win rate and an unbeaten playoff record. However, over the course of the regular season Luton had a far superior record with only Burnley having a better away record
Much will come down to the two star strikers on show, Morris for Luton and Gyokeres for Coventry, so we could see goals as we did in the regular season with just both game's finishing level, 1-1 and 2-2.
And I think we'll see that again so I'm going for the game to finish as a 1-1 draw, with a smaller bet on 2-2, in 90 minutes. What happens after that could be anyone's!
Carlisle vs Stockport - Carlisle win on Penalties
Sunday - League 2 Playoff
It may not have the glamour of the Championship playoff but Sundays game sees Carlisle taking on Stockport for a spot in League One next season. Much has been said about Luton's remarkable rise from the ashes but Stockport have had more than their own fair share of challenges in recent years! They've been down to the 6th tier, where they spent 6 seasons, and had to work their way back up, only securing a spot back in the football league last season after winning the National League. Being a club seen very much back on the up they were many bookie's favourites for promotion this season and as we've seen a few times in recent yeaes, teams coming up from the National League often do go on to progress
Carlisle on the other hand probably weren't many peoples obvious choice and having spent much of their recent history down the bottom end of League two, including a brief stint in the National League, they were a bit of a surprise package this season under Paul Simpson.
They only finished 3 points behind Stockport in what was a very tight at the top finish but their end of season form would be a concern. In their last 10 league games Carlisle picked up just 11 points compared to Stockport who topped that form table with an impressive 20 points
This should be a bit more open of a game and set pieces are likely to be pivotal with both sides dangerous when it comes to this but I think on the basis of the recent form and the stronger finisher that Stockport will edge this one so I'm going for a Stockport win 2-0 or 3-1