Derby vs Rotherham, Blackburn vs Stoke City & Barnsley vs Swansea City


Sky Bet Championship features Stoke's Sam Clucas

Stoke’s Sam Clucas during the English FA Cup third round soccer match between Stoke City and Leicester City at Bet365 stadium in Stoke on Trent, England, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

  • Now in the second half of the EFL Championship season, Matchday 24 has some massive fixtures at the top and bottom of the table
  • Second place Swansea, who are ahead of Bournemouth by only a point, are tasked with playing ninth place Barnsley, a side that has won three out of their last five
  • At the bottom of the table, Derby County is favored to beat 23rd place Rotherham United with a moneyline of -109

The festive fixtures are over with, and now it is time that the Sky Bet Championship table really starts to take its shape. It all starts with Matchday 24, otherwise known as the start of the second half. Norwich currently leads the Championship title race on 47 points and no matter what happens this weekend in their match against Cardiff, they will remain top. However, the promotional playoff spots could be altered drastically as Swansea, Bournemouth, and Watford all play.

The EFL Championship relegation battle is also heating up as the season starts its downward approach. Wycombe looks like relegation favorites on 15 points, while Rotherham who has three games in hand could climb out of the bottom three with some positive results. Their first test is against Derby County this weekend, a side that is three points ahead of them in 22nd. Nonetheless, it should be another great round of Championship matches.

Sky Bet Championship Matchday 24 Odds

Matchup Home Draw Away
Middlesbrough vs Birmingham -125 +250 +355
Cardiff City vs Norwich City +210 +240 +125
Bristol City vs Preston North End +150 +215 +188
Derby County vs Rotherham United -109 +240 +300
Nottingham Forest vs Millwall +135 +200 +230
QPR vs Wycombe -130 +275 +335
Watford vs Huddersfield Town -155 +290 +380
Bournemouth vs Luton Town -182 +300 +500
Blackburn Rovers vs Stoke City +105 +225 +270
Barnsley vs Swansea City +165 +220 +170

All odds taken Jan 13 at DraftKings

Sky Bet Championship Pick 1: Derby County vs Rotherham United

The first featured match of the Sky Bet Championship weekend is Derby County versus Rotherham at the iPro Stadium. Rotherhamโ€™s positioning in the table looks quite unfortunate in 23rd place, however, it must be noted that they have a trio of matches in hand. These nine points are incredibly valuable to Paul Warneโ€™s side, but with three consecutive 2-1 losses, it looks doubtful that they will see many positives out of this. Furthermore, aside from a 1-0 win in 2018, the last time Rotherham beat Derby was in 2009.

The last time these two squared off at the iPro Stadium, it was a drubbing in favor of Derby by a score of 6-1. Additionally, Derby is on a run of decent Championship form, winning two out of their last five against Swansea and Birmingham. In reality, Derby are the favorites for a reason which is why they are my pick in this match.

My Pick: Derby moneyline (-109)

2021 English Premier League Odds Tracker

Sky Bet Championship Pick 2: Blackburn Rovers vs Stoke City

Another Sky Bet Championship match to keep an eye on this weekend is Blackburn versus Stoke City in the middle of the table. These sides sit in 11th and 8th, respectively, but a win for Blackburn could put them above Stoke on goal difference. Stoke City under Michael Oโ€™Neill have gone through some rough form lately, but keep in mind they have had to play Tottenham, Bournemouth and Leicester in various competitions. Stokeโ€™s last Championship win was actually just in late December against this Blackburn Rovers side.

Blackburn, on the other hand, have also not been great, only managing one win since Christmas against Birmingham. However, nobody can deny their offensive output, sitting at joint-top on goals scored along with Bournemouth. Harvey Elliot and Adam Armstrong have been simply sensational this year, which is why I favor them to start the second-half off with a bang.

My Pick: Blackburn Rovers moneyline (+105)

Sky Bet Championship Pick 3: Barnsley vs Swansea City

The last featured Championship game in Sky Bet Championship Matchday 24 is between Barnsley and Swansea City. Swansea is really fighting to keep their automatic promotion spot, which makes this game all the more meaningful for the Swans. They have won four out of their last five and with Andre Ayew and Jamal Lowe up top, they can really hurt teams going forward.

The tricky part about this match is that Barnsley has been playing well as of late, which makes a straight moneyline pick quite challenging. Barnsley are only seven points below them in the table and realistically, everyone knows how volatile Championship results are. However, in five out of seven of Barnsleyโ€™s last matches, they have conceded first, making it an easy choice to happen again.

My Pick: Swansea to score first (-120)

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Josh Ricker

NBA MLB Soccer Sports Writer

NBA MLB Soccer