Watford hold a one-point lead over Bournemouth which ensures that a sixth win in a row at home to Sheffield Wednesday at [1.42] will earn them their first ever second-tier title. Bournemouth have a superior goal difference, so don’t visit Charlton, where they are [1.52] to triumph, without hope.
The potentially party-pooping pair only have a top-half finish left to play for, but neither should be completely discounted against opponents whose competitive edge may have been blunted by recent celebrations. The Owls have a W4 D3 L4 record away to top-half teams, while Charlton are on a run of eight victories in 15.
Of course, Bournemouth aren’t 100% guaranteed a top-two finish; they are just 99.999999% certain to go up automatically.
If the Cherries lose to Charlton and Middlesbrough justify [1.62] odds to beat Brighton, who have taken one point from six games, then it is all change – well, provided those results are accompanied by a 20-goal swing. No wonder Boro are [1000.0] to usurp Eddie Howe’s men!
Besides the point dividing tenth and 14th, this is the most open section of the table. Middlesbrough (barring the aforementioned 20-strike turnaround) and Norwich are sure of their spots, but the identity of their semi-final adversaries are unknown.
The standings from fifth to eighth are Ipswich 78, Derby 77, Brentford 75, Wolves 75. Ipswich have the trickiest final encounter of the lot away to Blackburn, as their win odds of [2.24] emphasise.
Any slip is likely to be punished as the other three clubs have dreamy fixtures, with Derby hosting the Reading side winless in nine Championship outings and aspiring gatecrashers Brentford and Wolves entertaining relegated Wigan and Millwall.
There was no such thing as a “fight for survival” in the Championship this season as the trio that started 2015 in the relegation zone – Millwall, Wigan and Blackpool – accepted their fate all too willingly.
All that is left to be decided is who ranks best of the worst. Were Wigan to prevail at Brentford, admittedly an [8.8] shot, and Millwall to fail to defeat former manager Kenny Jackett’s Wolves, the Latics would climb to 22nd.