Away from the glitz and glamour of the Premier League and the EFL is the Non-League football pyramid, and National League betting has become increasingly popular recently. The National League – or Conference as it was previously known – is one division below League Two and one division above its two regional leagues, known as the National League North/South respectively. Despite its lowly standing, the leagues are becoming a favourite among punters looking for great value and more fun than the top divisions.
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National League Betting Odds, Tips & Prediction
The 2020/2021 National League is set to be one of the closest campaigns in recent memory. Here are the very best odds for the most popular markets, provided by some of the best bookmakers on the web.
2020/2021 Odds to Win National League
|Dagenham & Redbridge||20/1||Bet365|
National Conference League Promotion Odds
|Dagenham & Redbridge||12/1||Bet365|
|Kings Lynn Town||28/1||Betfred|
National League Betting Tips & Predictions
Over the past few seasons, more established professional sides have found themselves dropping down into the National League. Notts County – formally the oldest Football League club in Britain – will be favourites to bounce back to the big time after missing out via the playoffs last season. County’s wingers Enzio Boldewijn and Callum Roberts are likely to end the season top of the assist charts.
Stockport County are also set for a strong campaign. In John Rooney they possess one of the best midfielders in the division who seriously impressed for last season’s champions Barrow.
There are also a few dark horses such as Wrexham, Dageneham & Redbridge and Hartlepool, all of whom have significant Football League pedigree and talented managers.
At the wrong end of the table, we are worried for the likes of Weymouth and Wealdstone. These two sides have far less resources than the rest of the league and with four relegation spots on offer, it will take some effort to stay up.
Popular England National League Betting Markets
This is one of the most popular forms of National League betting. Simply put, bettors place a wager on who they think will finish top of the pile come the end of the season. The odds for this will shorten as the season progresses. In order to maximise the value of this bet, make sure you decide on which Conference team you will be backing in the first few weeks of the campaign.
To Get Promoted
As the National League employs a playoff system – more about that below – bettors can also select which teams they think will get promoted, but not finish top of the league. As the playoff is a lottery, there is often great value to be found in this market. In the past, many National League teams have shocked the pundits by securing an unlikely promotion. It’s your job to select the next great underdog story.
As well as betting on a team’s performances, there is also a lively top goalscorer market for the National League. This is the player who scores the most goals in a specific season. Make sure you check out which players have been in hot form before selecting your bet for this one.
To Be Relegated
There are multiple relegation places on offer in the National League, which gives bettors some room to maneuver when selecting which teams they are tipping to struggle. An analysis of each side’s summer transfer business can help with this particular wager.
Tournament Structure for National League
The National League consists of 24 different teams from across England and Wales. Due to coronavirus enforced delays, the 2020/2021 season is scheduled to take place between October and May with teams playing each other home and away. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. In the case of two teams being on equal points comes the season’s end, they will be separated by goal difference.
There is only one automatic promotion spot in the National League which goes to the side who finishes top. The only other way to progress into the EFL League Two is via the playoff. Teams placed second through to seventh compete in one-legged, straight knockout playoff matches. The teams who finish second and third receive a bye into the playoff semi finals, while everyone else are placed into the quarter finals. The winner of the final – played at Wembley in June – is set to receive a trophy and a place in the Football League.
At the other end of the table, there are four available relegation spots. The bottom four teams each season are relegated to the National League South or National League North, depending on their location.
National League North and South
Situated one step below the National League are its two feeder leagues. As their names suggest, the National League South North and National League South are regionalised divisions but with a similar structure to the league above.
National League North
The National League North is made up of 22 teams, largely situated in the northern part of England. There is one automatic promotion spot on offer for the title winners, while there is also a playoff system in place.
Much like the National League, teams who finish from between second and seventh place qualify for the playoffs by while the top two get a bye into the semi finals. The final of the playoffs is not held at a neutral ground. Instead it is hosted at the stadium of the team who finished higher in the league.
At the bottom, there are two relegation spots. Those teams who end up getting relegated get placed in one of the National League North’s four feeder leagues, normally the Northern Premier Division.
National League South
The National League South has 21 teams – thanks to an upcoming restructuring of the Non-League pyramid – and a promotion and playoff system that is identical to its Northern counterparts.
This season, there is only one relegation spot on offer. The demoted team will end up being placed in one of the National League South feeder leagues.
Vanarama National League Past Winners
|2002/03||Yeovil Town||Doncaster Rovers|
|2003/04||Chester City||Shrewsbury Town|
|2005/06||Accrington Stanley||Hereford United|
|2006/07||Dagenham & Redbridge||Morecambe|
|2007/08||Aldershot Town||Exeter City|
|2008/09||Burton Albion||Torquay United|
|2009/10||Stevenage Borough||Oxford United|
|2010/11||Crawley Town||AFC Wimbledon|
|2011/12||Fleetwood Town||York City|
|2012/13||Mansfield Town||Newport County|
|2013/14||Luton Town||Cambridge United|
|2015/16||Cheltenham Town||Grimsby Town|
|2016/17||Lincoln City||Forest Green Rovers|
|2017/18||Macclesfield Town||Tranmere Rovers|
|2018/19||Leyton Orient||Salford City|
National League Key Stats
- Aldershot (2007/08), Crawley Town (2010/11) and Fleetwood Town (2011/12) are tied for the most wins in a single season with 31.
- Barnet (1990/91) and Hereford United (2003/04) are tied for the most goals scored in a season with 103.
- The fewest points in a season is 10, recorded by Hyde in 2013/14.
Vanarama National League FAQs
🎁 What are the best National League betting sites?
Based on our research, the best National league bookies are Paddy Power, Coral and Betfred.
🤑 How many National League teams are there?
During the 2020/2021 season, 24 different teams will play in the National League. Each team will play each other home and away for a total of 46 games.
🤠 How many teams contest the National League playoffs?
Teams that finish second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh qualify for the Vanarama National League playoffs. Second and third receive a bye to the semi finals. All the ties are one-legged affairs with the final being played at Wembley Stadium in June.
🏆 What is the National League South & North?
The National League South/North are two regionalised feeder leagues. Those who get promoted from these divisions - either by finishing first or winning the playoffs - are placed into the National League.
🛡️ What National League betting markets are available?
There are plenty of options for bettors wishing to place a wager on the Conference League. Outright markets such as title winners, Golden Boot and relegation are available, while bets can also be placed on specific games.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
Do not be put off by the National League’s lowly status in the English football pyramid. The division is still a great option for bettors.
The majority of UK bookmakers offer odds on the division and there is a lot of enjoyment to be had. Join the Non-League revolution today!