Sky Bet Championship Matchday 22 Odds & Picks: Brentford vs Bournemouth, Swansea vs Reading & Birmingham vs Derby

Emiliano Marcondes falls

Brentford’s Emiliano Marcondes, top, and Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle challenge for the ball during the EFL Cup soccer match between Brentford and Newcastle United at Brentford Community Stadium in London, England, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. (Adam Davy/Pool via AP)
  • 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

Matchup Home Draw Away
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.

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.

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)

2021 English Premier League Odds Tracker

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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