League One Playoff Odds: Bolton 7/4 Promotion Favourites

The League One playoffs are now confirmed, and begin on Friday night, as four teams battle it out for the final promotion place up to the Championship.

Bolton, Peterborough, Oxford and Barnsley finished in that order in the league, and are that order according to the latest League One playoff odds, but all four sides have a reason to be optimistic about their chances.

Bolton are favourites, and with good reason, they looked to be in with a chance of automatic promotion at one point, before falling away.

Them, and Peterborough both suffered heartache at this stage last season, while Barnsley went a step further but lost in the Wembley final to Sheffield Wednesday.


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League One Playoff Odds

The bookmakers have priced up promotion for all four clubs taking part, and here are the latest odds available.

TeamBest Odds
Barnsley 5/1

The odds reflect the finishing order of the clubs, Bolton favourites, and finishing in 3rd, the highest position of these teams.

Bolton take on Barnsley and Peterborough play Oxford, with Bolton and Peterborough the favourites to make it through to the final at Wembley.

League One Playoff Fixtures

Here are the four semi final fixtures, with dates and kick off times listed.

FixtureDate & Time
Barnsley v Bolton First LegFriday 3rd May - 7:30pm KO
Oxford v Peterborough First LegSaturday 4th May - 7:45pm KO
Bolton v Barnsley Second LegTuesday 7th May - 8:00pm KO
Peterborough v Oxford Second LegWednesday 8th May - 8:00pm KO

Bolton Promotion Odds

I think of the four playoff teams, Bolton are the best on paper, so it’s no surprise to see them installed as favourites.

They’ve got a rock solid spine to the team that is comfortable playing together, plenty of star quality to win them games and shine in big moments, and they’ve a lot of big match experience, the playoffs certainly won’t phase them.

Unbeaten in seven games heading into this one, they’ve not lost since March 16, when they suffered a blow in the race for second by losing 1-0 to Derby. But some will worry that four of those seven unbeaten have been draws, so things haven’t been perfect by any stretch.

They have a lot of goals in the team, Dion Charles led the way in the league with 17. Six players had six goals or more, and 15 scored three or more, so they don’t rely on one man to pop up and deliver the goods.

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Bolton to win promotion

League One Playoffs

Peterborough Promotion Odds

I think the first question you need to ask about Peterborough is do you believe they can overcome the playoff horror of last season? 4-0 up after the first leg against Sheffield Wednesday, they lost the second leg 5-1, threw away a huge lead, and went crashing out.

This is a similar bunch of players too, with not too many changes, so there will be scars.

But on their day, Peterborough can hurt anyone, with one of the best attacking line ups in the division. They’ve got pace to cause trouble against any defence, and a real rhythm to their game when they get going.

One thing to note regarding opposition, just three weeks ago, Oxford won 5-0 at home to Peterborough, could that have an impact on the players here?

Ephron Mason-Clark has led Peterborough with 16 goals this season, but to emphasise how many attacking threats they have, five players are in double figures this campaign, an impressive effort.

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Peterborough to win promtion

League One Playoffs

Oxford Promotion Odds

I think of the four playoff teams, Oxford are the team that are consistently at a good level, and you know what they will get with them. They could play their best and not be good enough here, but at the same time, I think they’re most likely to perform as expected, so if the others struggle to cope with nerves, Oxford are more than capable of taking advantage.

I want to call them rock solid without star quality, but that’s not fair on Cameron Brannagan, who is an exceptional talent in midfield at this level. With 12 goals and 10 assists, you can see how important he is to their attacking play, and how vital he will be here.

As mentioned above, go back three weeks and Oxford won 5-0 at home to Peterborough, with the first leg being at home against the same team on Saturday, they need to use that psychological advantage to the best of their ability.

Mark Harris led Oxford in goals this season, with 16 to his name.

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Oxford to win promotion

League One Playoffs

Barnsley Promotion Odds

Barnsley have stumbled into the playoffs, and almost threw it away on the final day of the season by conceding a late goal. But they’ve made it, and are the only side who tasted success at this stage last season, even though they lost in the final, and come back with a fair number of players from that.

But look at the form book, and you give Barnsley no chance here. No win in their last six, four defeats and two draws, and just two wins from their last 12, both away from home. They’ve not won at home since February 24, when they beat Derby 2-1.

There’s no doubting the talent this Barnsley side has going forward though. Herbie Kane, Adam Phillips and Luca Connell are as good as any midfield in this league, while Devante Cole is one of the league’s top scorers and John McAtee has backed him up superbly in recent months.

Defensively is where you can hurt Barnsley. A back three that looks very uncomfortable at best, and a goalkeeper who has dropped off over the past few months. They continue to concede from set pieces, and it’s not gone unnoticed, something that the other playoff contenders will have seen.

Devante Cole led Barnsley in goals with 18 for the season, while second striker John McAtee added 14, they have four players in double figures.

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Barnsley to win promotion

League One Playoffs

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Craig Jones

Craig Jones

Content Manager on Freebets. Experienced punter, from back street, smoke filled betting shops in the 2000s, to state of the art, dedicated betting apps of the 2020s. Covering the gambling industry with expert opinion and looking at the latest innovations.