Sky Bet League 2 - Betting Preview
There's no splitting Luton and Portsmouth at the top of the Sky Bet League 2 title betting.
Luton are returning to the Football League after a five-season stay in the Conference and John Still's men are fancied to make it back-to-back title successes with 15/2 on offer with Sky Bet for the Hatters to finish on top.
Portsmouth ended last season in mid-table after a late run of results took them away from relegation trouble. They join Luton at 15/2 at the head of the League 2 outright betting.
Bury are tipped by many to go well after a busy summer of recruitment from manager David Flitcroft. Impressive acquisition Ryan Lowe has joined his new Shakers team-mate Daniel Nardiello at the head of the top goalscorer odds as 12/1 and 14/1 chances respectively.
Carlisle, Shrewsbury, Stevenage and Tranmere are the four clubs dropping into League 2 after suffering relegation from League 1 last season.
Shrewsbury are rated as the most likely of the quartet to bounce back at the first attempt. Micky Mellon is the new man in charge at the Greenhous Meadow and his team can be backed at 15/8 to win promotion.
Tranmere also have a new face in the dugout.
Former Exeter coach Rob Edwards was named boss of the Prenton Park outfit during the summer and is 11/2 to secure promotion back up to League 1.
Stevenage and Carlisle are both towards the front of the promotion odds. Graham Westley's Boro are priced up at 4/1 and the Cumbrians can be backed at 9/2.
Burton are hoping to bounce back quickly from last season's play-off final defeat against Fleetwood at Wembley.
The signing of Stuart Beavon on a season-long loan from Preston has caught the eye and the striker is a good shout at 22/1 to finish the campaign as League 2's top goalscorer.
Southend and York lost in last season's play-off semi-finals.
Former Hull manager Phil Brown remains in charge of Southend and the Shrimpers are 9/2 to win promotion.
York secured their spot in the play-offs with a fantastic run during the second half of last season. Keeping that momentum would see the Minstermen as contenders at 16/1 to win the title.
It has been a busy summer at Oxford with Gary Waddock's reign as manager lasting only last eight games before an ownership shake-up saw Michael Appleton appointed head coach at the start of July.
The U's can be backed at 15/8 to reach the play-offs after finishing on the fringes of the top seven in each of the last four seasons.
Ex-Oxford manager Chris Wilder worked wonders at Northampton after his arrival as manager in January.
The Cobblers retained their Football League status on the final day of last season after months of scrapping at the wrong end of the standings.
John-Joe O'Toole has joined Northampton from relegated Bristol Rovers over the summer and 13 League 2 goals from midfield last term make him an interesting option at 40/1 in the top goalscorer betting.
Dagenham and Hartlepool also have top goalscorer contenders in their ranks.
Rhys Murphy netted 13 goals for the Daggers last term and the Irishman is 33/1 to finish top of the shots.
Hartlepool forward Luke James is one of League 2's brightest prospects and also ended the 2013/14 campaign with 13 League 2 goals to his name.
The 19-year-old is a 33/1 top goalscorer contender.
AFC Wimbledon have made a couple of impressive swoops for strikers during the off-season.
Matt Tubbs has arrived from Bournemouth on a season-long loan and is rated a real top goalscorer contender at 16/1. Adebayo Akinfenwa has also been snapped up by the Dons and the burly forward is a 33/1 option.
Confident Plymouth fans might be tempted by a League 2 winner/top goalscorer double.
You can get 100/1 for the Pilgrims to win League 2 and star striker Reuben Reid to end the campaign with the most goals in the division.
Cambridge are the second club returning to the Football League from the Conference.
Richard Money's men are 7/1 to make it back-to-back promotions but 9/1 for relegation back out of League 2.
Mansfield and Newport were the two teams who made the step up from non-league last season.
Both clubs have hopes of a place in the play-offs. Mansfield are 100/30 to end up in the top seven and Newport can be backed at 3/1 in the same market.
Cheltenham ended the 2013/14 campaign in the bottom eight but lost in the play-offs at the end of both of the previous two seasons. The Robins are 4/1 for a return to the top seven.
The relegation betting is headed by Accrington (9/2), Morecambe (9/2) and Exeter (11/2).
Fans of those three clubs will hope to see pre-season expectations proved wrong and the trio can be backed at 6/1, 5/1 and 7/2 respectively for a top-half finish.
Wycombe survived in League 2 on a remarkable final day last season with victory against Torquay moving Gareth Ainsworth's side ahead of Bristol Rovers, who went down after losing at home to Mansfield.
The Chairboys are 6/1 to drop out of the Football League this time around, but just 3/1 to end up in the top half suggesting expectations should be higher this term.
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