Firstly - if you're looking for a winner, then I wouldn't even bother reading on. Seriously. I have been doing the same method for years and haven't made much from doing this. All I am doing here is having some fun with the handicap season betting.
Don't know what season handicap betting is? Well, I recommend reading this post from over six years ago.
Picking a Championship, League 1 and League 2 team
The usual method for picking Championship, League 1 and League 2 teams is still in play. What I do is go through the Racing and Football Outlook newspaper's league guide that is included inside the paper on the week the league season kicks off and I rank the teams in the order of how the writers predict how the league will end up.
For example, in the Championship - the writers have Cardiff to finish in the 'Top Ten'. Another three teams are tagged as being in the 'Top Ten' so I put the teams in order of how they performed in the previous year (better team first).
Once I have the teams in order of how I interpret how the writers have the final league positions tied up, I put in the average points for each position. To cut a long story short, I have the average points per position for the past twelve years. For example, the teams that have finished in sixth place in the Championship have usually done so with approximately 73 points.
Ipswich is the team the writers appear to have coming sixth next season. Therefore, they have 73 points on my spreadsheet. I then add the handicap points that the bookmakers have given the team. In 2016/17, the bookies have given Ipswich a twenty-point head start. So, they have 93 points.
Once I have done this with every team in the league, I put everything in order to determine the top teams based on their predicted points per position and the headstart points they're given at the start of the season.
Here are the results from the Championship, League 1 and League 2 method.
1. Brighton 99pts (12pts of which is the head start points)
2. Birmingham 94pts (28 points given at the start of season)
3. Ipswich 93pts (20 point head start)
4. Newcastle Utd 93pts (As league favourites, Newcastle has a zero point head start)
1. Millwall 99pts (5pt head start)
2. Scunthorpe 91pts (14pt head start)
3. Bradford 88pts (8pt head start)
4. Sheff Utd 87pts (0 points)
1. Accrington 101pts (17 point head start)
2. Plymouth 97pts (8 points to start)
3. Doncaster 85pts (5pt start)
4. Exeter 84pts (20pts to start)
Picking a Premier League team
As the newspaper doesn't publish its Premier League guide until the week of the league kicking off, I take a different approach. Or rather approaches. For the past few years, I have blindly backed the team that has been promoted to the Premier League after finishing second in the Championship. This didn't seem to have worked out well recently, so - last season - I took a new approach and placed all the teams in the order of how the bookmakers have them listed in outright winner betting. I attach the predicted season points and add the handicap points. The success of Leicester in 2015/16 made the first run of this method a failure. I'll give it another go this year and re-evaluate the approach again next season. Here are the top four teams this method has:
1. Man City 88pts (0 head start)
2. Man Utd 83pts (2pt head start)
3. Sunderland 82pts (38pt head start)
4. Chelsea 81pts (5pt head start)
I prefer cherry-picking one of the four teams from each league and then putting them in a Lucky 15. The teams I have decided to run with this season are
League 2 - Accrington +17
League 1 - Millwall +5
Championship - Brighton +12
Prem League - Sunderland +38
I was forced to take Sunderland because I didn't like the small head start both of the Manchester clubs have been given.
And there you have it. That's the season handicap post done for another year. Please remember this is all for fun so - if you do fancy having a bet on these methods - there is no guarantee that it'll win as season handicap betting is VERY tricky.