Championship playoffs semi-finals 1st leg tips: Oppose Leeds, back the Saints

Norwich have been too readily dismissed by the bookies in the Championship playoff semis



3 weeks ago

One ticket to the promised land of the Premier League remains tantalisingly within reach for a quartet of Championship teams as the playoff semi-final first legs playing out this weekend.

Norwich are strong at Carrow Road and their chances of beating an out-of-form Leeds on Saturday look underrated by the Betzone traders. Southampton look backable favourites at the Hawthorns.

Championship Play-Off 1st leg tips

Norwich to beat Leeds (draw no bet) @ 7/5

Southampton to beat West Brom @ 6/4

Bet on the latest EFL odds at Betzone

Canaries too strong at home to be picked off by labouring Leeds

Norwich City find themselves priced up as 9/4 underdogs to beat Leeds in their playoff semi-final first-leg at Carrow Road. Those odds look to have underestimated their chances of getting a result against former boss Daniel Farke on home turf.

Yes, 11/10 win-draw-win favourites Leeds beat the Canaries home and away in the regular season, but the margin of victory was only one goal on both occasions. Norwich even went in at half-time 2-0 to the good before the Whites earned a 3-2 comeback success in East Anglia last October.

The Yorkshiremen enter the playoffs in the worst form of any of the four clubs involved, having lost four of their last six games and won just once. Norwich, on the other hand have tasted defeat only once in their last six league games, winning twice and drawing three times.

David Wagner’s outfit last tasted defeat at Carrow Road 17 games ago and have won 12 of their 16 home outings since. Such form in front of their own “On the Ball City!” bellowing partisans makes opposing the Leeds win the way forward.

The draw is priced up at 5/2 but given the way the Canaries have been racking up wins on the banks of the River Wensum in recent months, bets like the 8/11 Norwich double chance or the 7/5 on them to win ‘draw no bet’ make more appeal. Chunkier odds make the latter the better value selection.

Tip: Norwich to beat Leeds (draw no bet) @ 7/5

Saints have the sign when it comes to besting stubborn Baggies

At first glance Southampton look skinny enough at 6/4 to beat West Brom at The Hawthorns.

Only Ipswich (1) and Leeds (2) suffered less Championship home defeats than the Baggies (4) in 2023/24, while Carlos Corberan’s men had the second stingiest home defence in the division, allowing a mere 17 visiting goals during 23 regular season fixtures.

However, on closer inspection the case for Southampton being a backable price begins to materialise.

The Saints were one of the four sides to claim league wins in the Black Country this term, when running out relatively comfortable 2-0 winners in February. That success brought up the double over West Brom for the season – coming as it did in the wake of a 2-1 victory at Saint Mary’s in November.

Southampton also enter the post-season in the best form of the four contenders, having won three of their last six games and signed off the regular season with 2-1 against Leeds at Elland Road.

As noted previously, that was only the Whites’ second home league loss of the campaign and gives plenty of encouragement that Russell Martin’s side can chisel out a first-leg advantage to take back to the south coast.

Tip: Southampton to beat West Brom @ 6/4