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League One promotion odds: Wembley win gives Black Cats hope

| 18.05.2021

Preview and odds for League One play-offs

Hull and Peterborough have already secured promotion from League One and now four teams are ready to battle it out to join them by winning the play-offs.

Here we assess the League One promotion odds and the chances of the quartet hoping to get to Wembley and then the Championship.


Sunderland fans may have hoped their time in League One would be short-lived following their relegation in 2017/18 but they continue to do things the hard way, which will come as no surprise to viewers of Sunderland Til I Die.

They suffered play-off disappointment in 2019 and narrowly missed out on a top-six spot last season while automatic promotion proved beyond them again this term as they finished fourth during a campaign in which Phil Parkinson was sacked and replaced by Lee Johnson.

The Black Cats have a dismal record at Wembley and had lost seven consecutive finals there before their EFL Trophy victory against Tranmere in March ended their hoodoo at the national stadium.

That will give them renewed hope and they are the 15/8 favourites in the League One play-offs odds.


Blackpool hold the record for the most promotions achieved through the play-offs and are 5/2 to do so for a sixth time this season.

The Tangerines have also been in the most play-off finals with seven appearances, most recently in 2017 when they achieved promotion from League Two.

A poor start to the season which saw them win just one of their seven games is now a distant memory having lost only two of their last 22 matches.

They ended the regular season with four straight wins, keeping a clean sheet in all of them, and did the double over Sunderland last month.

Blackpool also took four points off semi-final opponents Oxford this season so should be full of confidence.


Karl Robinson, Oxford

Portsmouth went into the final day of the regular season as firm favourites to claim the final play-off place but their surprise defeat by Accrington allowed Oxford to squeeze in, so momentum is with the 3/1 shots.

They were the form team in League One over the last seven matches with six wins, scoring a whopping 24 goals in the process.

Whether they can maintain such free-scoring form under the pressure of the play-offs is now the big question and they failed to find the net in either match against semi-final opponents Blackpool.

Oxford are appearing in the play-offs for the second successive season, having lost 2-1 to Wycombe in last July’s final at Wembley, so will hope that experience allows them to go one step further this time.


Lincoln finished fifth in League One but are the 7/2 outsiders to win the play-offs after their form tailed off towards the end of the season.

The Imps were three points clear at the top of the table after beating Gillingham in early February but four defeats and just one win in March saw them drop out of title contention.

Nine defeats at Sincil Bank this season is a concern heading into the first leg against Sunderland, especially December’s 4-0 thrashing by the Black Cats.

On the plus side, they enjoyed the best away record in the division so the trip to the Stadium of Light should not worry Michael Appleton’s men.

View the latest League One odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication



Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.