Football League specialist Tom Love (@TomLove_18) provides us with an in-depth ante-post preview of the 2019/2020 League Two season and pens his best bets.
2019/2020 League Two Season Betting Preview & Tips
Of the top 5 in the betting to take the League 2 title, 4 weren't even in the division last season. Bradford City are currently going off as favourites, other relegated sides in Scunthorpe and Plymouth are also up there. Mansfield will be hoping to go a step further than the play offs and secure promotion finally whilst National League new boys Salford City are well backed and fancied by punters and bookmakers alike.
All have a fair shout but at the prices I'm willing to be a bit more adventurous and hopefully take advantage of some odds that look a bit too long.
Crewe Alexandra are always of interest to me in the antepost markets because they rarely cause a stir in the transfer window and consequently are priced up as comfortable bottom half fodder. What the bookies seem to struggle to calculate is how much of an impact their youth players will have. Their current crop are improving every game and its no surprise. The likes of Ryan Wintle, Harry Pickering, Perry Ng, Charlie Kirk and Callum Ainley all received plenty of minutes last term and despite some flaws in physicality, they more than make up for it in quality on the ball and movement.
They have some experienced heads dotted around the team too, it is important to have come older heads to complement the youthful exuberance of the academy prospects. Chris Porter is great at bringing others into play with his size, but equally as good at getting into good goal scoring positions in the box. Paul Green has played at a higher level and adds composure and know-how to the midfield. Nicky Hunt is a highly experienced right-back and will be just as influential off the pitch as he will be on it.
The Railwaymen have impressed in pre season and gaffer David Artell looks to be playing a high pressing, energetic system which relies on one and two touch football to outdo their opposition. It's shown to be a fruitful exercise this summer with the Cheshire club smashing at least five goals in upon three occasions as well as defeating premier league Burnley.
I feel it could be an emerging year for this side and their enterprising and refreshing approach can make them mix it with the big guns. 8/1 quotes just look too big for me and I'm pretty confident they'll make a mockery of those quotes.
Another side I think have been priced up unfairly is Stevenage. Dino Maarmria and his staff have made promotion their aim and he should show the players how the bookies almost laugh at those claims with them given less than 10% chance of promotion in a division where four clubs go up.
They're lacking in squad depth at the minute but his tight knit squad have a lot of quality and variety in the first XI which I believe to be top half standard at the very least. Dean Parrett has made a welcome return to the club where he made his mark initially, he will partner the cool head Joel Byrom and Ben Kennedy in what looks likely to be a 5-3-2 setup. Centre halves Ben Nugent, Chris Stokes and last year's player of the year Scott Cuthbert make a strong trio at the back, Luther Wildin and Tyler Denton will provide effervescent energy from the wing back positions one would imagine.
Up front they have 17/18 top scorer and 18/19 top scorer in Danny Newton and Kurtis Guthrie. That could be one of the most dangerous partnerships in the league with the different type of threats they pose, as an outside bet I like Guthrie to be top scorer each way at 80/1 with skybet.
If Dino can utilise the loan market to the same affect as he did last season, bringing in the superb Ilias Chair from QPR, then they should be able to give it a good go. Should the majority of their key players keep fit then they can give it a real good go and challenge for the the play off spots at least. 5/1 represents good value in my opinion.