IT’S incredibly bunched at the top of the English Championship with four sides locked on 66 points.
One behind Bournemouth, Derby, Watford and Middlesbrough come Norwich and you can’t rule out Brentford on 62, Ipswich on 61 or even Wolves with 58.
The way things stand any of the top eight could win automatic promotion but for me it’s two from the trio of Bournemouth, Norwich and Watford.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth have overcome a wobble and have the easiest run – just three of their final 11 games are against top-10 clubs.
And just one of those – against Ipswich – is away from home so the least-heralded of the challengers look a decent shout at 3-1 to top the pile.
The other two I’m siding with are Norwich and Watford because the momentum is with them while the likes of Derby and Middlesbrough are off the boil.
Bournemouth and Norwich are 3-1 to win the title, 4-6 to go up, but the value could be with Watford at 13-8 with Skybet for promotion.
Norwich v Derby today is one of the biggest games of the season and if Alex Neil’s side win they could be installed as title favourites.
I’m backing them at 23-20 against a Derby side who threw away two goals and points in the final minute at home to Birmingham last weekend.
Steve McClaren’s men have collected one point in nine and it’s the wrong time of the season to stall.
Watford tackle a Reading side who will have one eye on Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final replay with Bradford. The Hornets have won four of their last six and are 8-11 at bet365 today.
Bournemouth at home to doomed Blackpool are no bigger than 1-4 at Betfred and you can see why when you consider the leaders won 6-1 at Bloomfield Road in December and face a side without a win in eight.
Howe’s men should win by three or four so best bet could be the home men minus two at 17-10 with Paddy Power.
Brentford can take care of Cardiff having hit four in each of their last two home matches and I’m on Wolves to stay in the play-off hunt with victory at Brighton.
Championship Best Bet
(17-10, Paddy Power)
|Coral||Get 6/1 on Chelsea to win v Swansea. Sat 3pm. Max Bet £5 (£5 free bet if loses), new customers.||CLAIM OFFER|
|Paddy Power||2 Up - You win! Paddy Power will pay you as a winner straight away if your team goes 2 goals up at any stage in the game. Ends Jan 9th.||CLAIM OFFER|
|Racebets||Use code WELCOME for up to £50 matched bonus when you join Racebets.||CLAIM OFFER|
|Marathonbet||Get a £20 matched bonus when you open a new account at Marathonbet. Use code TV20||CLAIM OFFER|
|Coral||Opt in to Coral's Bet & Get Club and receive a free £5 bet each week.||CLAIM OFFER|
|BetVictor||Bet £10 Get £60 when you open a new account at BetVictor.||CLAIM OFFER|