20th Nov 2020 | Championship

Championship Outright Tip: Middlesbrough

Yet to concede more than 1 goal in any match, Warnock's defence is the basis for another promotion bid. If Assombalonga can find his shooting boots, which he normally does, then anything is possible.

As attention returns to domestic football, now’s a good time to add to our season-long portfolio with Middlesbrough representing outlier value with Bet365 at 33/1 for the Championship. Go each-way for ¼ odds on a top three finish.

The second tier remains a division where the most important position is in the dugout and Neil Warnock knows how to get teams promoted - he has done so a record eight times.

Boro currently sit 7th in the table, but just 4pts off top spot. They have lost the fewest matches in the division (1 along with Bournemouth) and are unbeaten since an unlucky 1-0 reverse at Watford on the opening day.

The value of this bet depends on your take on two pivotal factors. To get the bad news out of the way, they have only scored 9 goals - which isn’t great. But, expect this to change for the better. They are having a comparable or better number of shots per game (12) to two of the promotion favourites (Brentford 12.6) and Watford (10.4) and they have a proven goalscorer poised to start finding the net again.

Britt Assombalonga is Boro’s top scorer this millennium with a very respectable 41 goals in 95 starts, reaching double figures 5 times in the Championship already if you include his spell at Forest.

Plus, the captain surely won’t have to do it on his own if Boro stay in the mix till January. Steve Gibson is part of the furniture at the Riverside Stadium, and the chairman (since 1994) will surely back Warnock if promotion remains a distinct possibility.

And it should do thanks to pivotal factor two - the Teesiders have the best defence in the league, conceding just 5 times in 11 outings to date. That solidity means they can compete every single week.

That defensive record becomes all the more remarkable when you consider that Boro have already played away to Brentford, Blackburn and Bristol City without conceding. Throw in other matches with Watford, Bournemouth and Reading and you see they have had a tough start. They shouldn’t be down as 11th favourites with Bet365.

1pt Middlesbrough to win the division (each-way pays top 3) 33/1 with Bet365
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Odds correct at time of publishing: 08:30 20th Nov, 2020 but subject to change