Despite there still being everything to play for when the season in League Two was suspended, alongside the rest of the English Football League, on March 13th following the rapidly developing Covid-19 pandemic, the clubs recently voted to end the season with immediate effect with the final table being determined on a weighted points-per-game basis.
The decision (as it stands) has had a significant impact on both of Devon’s clubs in the Football League, with Plymouth Argyle being granted automatic promotion by being allocated the third and final automatic promotion place and Exeter City going directly into the play-offs, having been fourth in the table when the season ground to a premature halt.
Although Exeter were only three points behind Plymouth at the time the league was prematurely ended and had an eight-point cushion over any team outside the play-off places, they voted to curtail the season early in the wider financial interest of their peers.
The Pilgrims went into the season at odds of 10/1 with William Hill to win the League Two title and 9/4 with Betfair Sportsbook to win promotion. They’ve clearly justified those promotion betting odds in claiming a top three finish (behind Swindon Town and Crewe Alexandra).
The Grecians were less fancied, with best odds of 25/1 at bet365 to top the table and 6/1 with Coral for promotion. Any supporters who bet on the latter will be hoping that the play-offs do eventually materialise and that Matt Taylor can then steer his team past Cheltenham Town, Colchester United and Northampton Town.
Play-Offs Betting Odds
We now wait to see how and when it is decided to proceed with the play-offs. Once betting markets become available, those that want to bet Exeter to book a place in League One will be able to secure some free bets from the bookies offers.
The four teams in the play-off places look quite evenly matched and one would expect the Grecians to be available at betting odds of around 3/1 with leading bookmakers such as bet365, William Hill and Coral to win promotion through the play-offs.
The points-per-game system looks set to see Exeter City drop a place to fifth in the amended league table and, presuming the play-offs follow the usual routine, will face Colchester United at the semi-final stage as a result.
Now the question is what format will the play-offs take? The idea of home and away semi-finals is looking largely redundant in the absence of fans so perhaps a one-off game at St. James Park against Colchester? There also seems little sense in having a final at Wembley Stadium without supporters present. The EFL is set to discuss Friday's recommendations from the clubs at a board meeting this Wednesday. (May 20th)