- The EFL Championship’s round 22 takes place on Tuesday (Dec. 29) and Wednesday (Dec. 30)
- Third-placed Bournemouth travel to fourth-placed Brentford in the clash of the round
- We list the odds for all 11 games and preview three, offering our best picks below
Matchday 22 of the SkyBet Championship kicks off on Tuesday with Birmingham vs Derby, and the remainder of the schedule taking place later on Tuesday and on Wednesday.
Norwich currently leads the table, just three points ahead of Bournemouth, but it is an interesting week with third playing fourth and second playing sixth.
Read on to see the odds and our best bets for the week’s action.
EFL Championship Matchday 22 Odds
|Birmingham vs Derby County||+185||+210||+160|
|Sheffield Wednesday vs Middlesbrough||+265||+200||+120|
|Huddersfield Town vs Blackburn Rovers||+215||+220||+130|
|Luton Town vs Bristol City||+135||+225||+205|
|Preston North End vs Coventry City||+120||+220||+240|
|Norwich City vs Queens Park Rangers||-167||+290||+450|
|Rotherham United vs Barnsley||+190||+225||+145|
|Wycombe Wanderers vs Cardiff City||+310||+260||-118|
|Stoke City vs Nottingham Forest||+135||+205||+220|
|Brentford vs Bournemouth||+145||+230||+185|
|Swansea City vs Reading||+110||+225||+255|
All odds taken Dec 28 at DraftKings
Pick 1: Brentford vs Bournemouth
Brentford are the league’s form team – no defeats in their last ten – and come into this one off the back of a fine 3-2 away win in Cardiff.
Thomas Frank’s men are in a good place, having scored 11 times over their last six games while conceding just five; a run that has taken them to fourth in the table, just five points behind leaders Norwich.
Also worth noting is that the Bees have not been defeated in their previous eight home league games.
?♂️ Wing Wizardry from @sergicanos#BrentfordFC #CARBRE pic.twitter.com/dp2u3lK0Q9
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) December 27, 2020
Third-placed Bournemouth did not have a Boxing Day fixture, as opponents Millwall had a COVID outbreak, so they should be fresh coming into this fixture – although last time out they were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw away at Luton.
Defensively, Bournemouth has been excellent as they’ve conceded just three goals in their last six matches, and have also started to fire in the attacking third, with 12 goals in their last six. They also own the highest “goals for” tally in the division.
Yesterday was our fifth clean sheet in a row in the league ✋
That’s our best record since all the way back in 1991/92 ?️ pic.twitter.com/jXFcPqpckl
— AFC Bournemouth ? (@afcbournemouth) December 20, 2020
Interestingly, Bournemouth has not won away in Brentford for six games but, equally, are undefeated in their last five away games, even if the last two have been drawn. So, on that basis, while it will take a huge effort for Bournemouth to win here, the smart money looks to be on the draw.
Pick: Brentford and Bournemouth to draw (+230)
Pick 2: Swansea City vs Reading
Swansea’s 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Boxing Day edged them closer to leaders Norwich, who lost at Watford. The second-placed Swans now trail the Canaries by just four points and have been propelled up the table by an outstanding defense, which has conceded just 12 goals in their 21 games. The Swans are also unbeaten in their last seven home league games and have turned the Liberty Stadium into a fortress.
? @AyewAndre heads home the opener and his eighth of the season ?
? Highlights ? https://t.co/27ALU2rvmO
? Extended Highlights ? https://t.co/DqFCReYxmh pic.twitter.com/qV7DSKkxSb
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) December 27, 2020
Reading also comes into this game off the back of a Boxing Day win, after beating Luton 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium, but after a flying start to the season, an inconsistent run of results has seen them slip to sixth in the table. Injuries to key players have affected the Royals’ momentum but with some big names returning they are hopeful of maintaining their promotion challenge.
? Into the final 15.#REALUT | 2-0 pic.twitter.com/CL2fcL71Jy
— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) December 26, 2020
But Reading has a terrible record against Swansea – no wins in 13 games since September 2008 – and it is hard to see them getting anything here against the division’s meanest defense. With the Swans in plus money for the home win, there is still some value.
Pick: Swansea to win (+110)
Pick 3: Birmingham vs Derby County
Birmingham City’s goalless draw with Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day left them 17th in the Championship, just five places and seven points clear of their opponents, Derby County, who currently reside in the relegation zone.
Goals have been a problem for Aitor Karanka’s men all season – just 17 scored in their 21 games – but defensively they have been okay with 23 conceded; only just over a goal per game.
A solid point on our travels yesterday afternoon. ?
? Derby County. pic.twitter.com/fHhouAjGmr
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) December 27, 2020
The Blues home form has been especially problematic – no wins in their last six at St Andrew’s – and the pressure is gradually growing on Karanka. A win here is vital for him.
Derby also had a disappointing Boxing Day, losing 1-0 at home to Preston in which they were reduced to ten men. But there is a feeling among Rams fans that the appointment of Wayne Rooney as temporary manager has had a positive effect. While they still remain in the drop zone, there is a renewed belief that they can pull clear and achieve mid-table safety.
[email protected] spoke to the Press a short while ago following the last-gasp defeat to Preston North End this afternoon.#DCFCvPNE pic.twitter.com/x9VQnfBWwH
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) December 26, 2020
Birmingham’s recent home record against the Rams is a poor one and we have to go back to March 2013 to find the last home win for the Blues in this fixture. Derby is the favorite for this one, but only just, so, for me, the +160 on offer for a Rams win represents decent value.
Pick: Derby to win (+160)