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The League One relegation odds were the last to be released by the bookmakers due to the Wigan Athletic off-pitch situation, which only increased the anticipation for where the 24 clubs were going to be ranked at this stage of pre-season. The third tier is the most ruthless division in the EFL with a four-team relegation zone, only adding extra food for thought when monitoring the League One relegation odds.
The battle went down to the final day last season when Cambridge United completed a great escape at the expense of Milton Keynes Dons, and it will be interesting to see how the U’s respond this time around under Mark Bonner. Some of the newly promoted sides are looking a little vulnerable in the League One relegation odds but there are also plenty of contenders from different backgrounds. A few clubs in this list notably overperformed last season and it will be a tough test to replicate their results from 2022/23.
Second-season syndrome for Wade Elliott
Wade Elliott deserves enormous credit for keeping Cheltenham Town up in League One last season, by an impressive nine-point margin, after Michael Duff left the Robins in the summer of 2022. Having said that, if it was not for the goals of Alfie May, who has since departed from Charlton Athletic, there is a good chance that they would have been relegated. Striker Aidan Keena is ready to take on the mantle, having scored six goals in the second half of last season after arriving from Sligo Rovers in January.
However, the Robins appear to have regressed over the summer so far, with Charlie Raglan, Ryan Broom and Ryan Jackson also leaving, the latter of which chipped in with seven assists from full back and wing back roles last term, and they do not want to be relying on Luke Southwood between the sticks as much as they did last season. The Robins’ success was largely built off a solid base last season, but if the goals dry up, as they could in May’s absence, the unforgiving four-team drop zone may be their likely destiny.
The prices are a touch shorter in League One because an extra team will face relegation, but the unforgiving nature of the division does offer a little more margin for error than relegation picks in the other two EFL leagues. There is still a way to go in the window, but as things stand Elliott is fighting an uphill battle to keep them in the third tier.
League One Relegation Odds
Not so plucky Exeter this time around
Exeter City enjoyed an excellent first season since promotion from League Two finishing 14th last term. The Grecians were a little less exciting after Gary Caldwell replaced Matt Taylor at the helm though, and have lost a lot of key players from 2022/23 without replacing them convincingly as yet.
Jevani Brown, Josh Key, Archie Collins, Jake Caprice, Kevin McDonald and Jay Stansfield were all crucial to the Grecians’ success last term, while Sam Nombe is also looking set to leave the club before the transfer deadline. Exeter will have one of the smaller budgets in the league and sometimes struggle to recruit effectively due to their geographic location, despite their coffers being bolstered this summer by a sell-on clause in the deal that took Ethan Ampadu from Chelsea to Leeds United.
Exeter supporters should be preparing for a reality check of a campaign in which Caldwell will have to show greater tactical resolve than he did at the back end of last term, to steer them clear of serious relegation concerns. 7/2 looks very generous in the League One relegation odds.
League One Relegation Odds
Cobblers to yo-yo again?
Northampton Town have been bouncing between League Two and League One consistently for a very long time, and the Cobblers, despite some excellent recruitment in the last couple of years, will be amongst the shallower pocketed members of League One in 2023/24. The Cobblers showed tremendous resilience and a strong mentality to bounce back from final day disappointment in 2021/22 to go one better and secure automatic promotion last term.
Jon Brady has the full support of the home faithful and will call on the spirit he has built inside the dressing room to give Town the best chance of achieving survival in the third tier, but they are where they are in the League One outrights for a reason. Scoring goals was the issue as they dropped out of League One in 2020/21, and it could hurt them once again.
Tyreece Simpson is a very intriguing addition on a season-long loan from Huddersfield Town to lead the line, but there is very little proven quality for the level in the squad. Kieron Bowie is also a smart loan signing from Fulham after performing well in League Two last season, but that still heaps a lot of pressure on Mitch Pinnock and Sam Hoskins to deliver in the final third at a level where they have not previously. Brady will ensure they make a good fist of it, but 15/8 looks a sensible bet for them to not quite make the cut for our League One predictions.
League One Relegation Odds
Carlisle story too good to be true?
Paul Simpson pulled off one of the finer EFL fairytales by coming in to keep Carlisle United up in 2021/22 before competing for automatic promotion for most of 2022/23, only to win promotion the glamorous way via a Wembley penalty shoot-out. The former England U20 manager has been a revelation back in Cumbria and has the nous to give Carlisle a great chance of stabilising at the level.
Interest in midfield maestro Owen Moxon will likely rumble on until the end of the window, and if he does leave the Cumbrians price at 6/4 to be relegated would look very fair in the League One outrights. Omari Patrick, Joel Senior, Morgan Feeney and Kristian Dennis, who all played important roles in promotion have since moved on, with the additions since yet to really capture the imagination of neutral observers. Further attacking flair is desperately needed and the clock is ticking for them to add reinforcements before the start of the season, it is hard to get excited about Carlisle in our League One predictions.