Sky Bet League Two: Best bets and season overview for 2018/19 campaign

Our best bets for the 2018/19 Sky Bet League Two season

EFL expert Tom Carnduff picks out his selections for winner, top-seven finish, top goalscorers and relegation in Sky Bet League Two.

Recommended bets:

4pts Notts County to win League Two at 13/2

2pts e.w. Kristian Dennis to be top scorer at 12/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4)

1pt e.w. Kane Hemmings to be top scorer at 16/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4)

2pts Crewe to be relegated at 10/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record

Sky Bet League Two is set for another exciting season. EFL expert Tom Carnduff picks out his selections for winner, top-seven finish, top goalscorers and relegation.

Last season's beaten play-off semi-finalists Notts County have strengthened significantly in the off-season, while Lincoln continue to build under the Cowley brothers.

The EFL welcomes back Tranmere and Macclesfield to the 72, although both are expected to face a battle to avoid the drop straight back into non-league.

MK Dons drop down to the fourth tier of English football, although EFL title sponsor Sky Bet make them just 13/2 to bounce back as champions.

Former Leeds and Liverpool star Harry Kewell prepares for his second season in charge of Crawley, yet many are predicting a relegation scrap for his side.

Sky Bet are offering four places instead of three (1/5 the odds) on all outright bets placed until August 4 and they also have a number of daily EFL price boosts lined up for those looking for pre-season positions.

The transfer window will shut on August 9 this year, rather than the end of the month, which gives us a better indication of how teams will shape up at this point.

Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets from Sky Bet League Two.


Notts County boss Kevin Nolan

They were beaten play-off semi-finalists last season, but Notts County's very impressive transfer window should see them sit top of the tree come May.

The Magpies have welcomed ten new faces to their line-up for the 2018/19 season - with a number of players having proven to be key figures at this level in the past.

Kevin Nolan has added Enzio Boldewijn to his ranks from Crawley, and the 25-year-old is one of the most exciting wingers in this league.

Despite Town's mid-table finish, Boldewijn still managed to post ten goals and eight assists last season and he'll undoubtedly be a key part of this Notts side going forward.

Jonathan Forte, who struck ten goals in all competitions during the 2017/18 campaign, may have departed for Exeter, but County have upgraded on their attacking options with the signings of Kristian Dennis from Chesterfield and Kane Hemmings from Oxford.

Dennis managed to net 21 times for a Chesterfield side who were relegated out of the EFL last season, while Hemmings' loan spell at Mansfield saw him post 15 in League Two alone.

The fact that Dennis was on the verge of a move to League One in January sums up the quality he brings to this side, and I'll touch upon his ability a bit more when looking at top scorer players.

David Vaughan (right) in action against Arsenal

David Vaughan's signing from neighbours Nottingham Forest is probably the most eye-catching of the lot - which is saying something given the strength of their business.

The 35-year-old has a wealth of experience at international level, winning 42 caps for Wales, and has established himself as a bit of a stalwart in England's top two tiers throughout his career.

He'll be looked upon to provide the leadership to this side from his role in midfield, whilst also being a regular in the starting XI as the season progresses.

Vaughan may be in the latter stages of his career, but the Magpies' ability to bring in a player of his quality at this level should be applauded, regardless of his age.

Nolan is someone who may be recognised more from his playing days at West Ham, Newcastle and Bolton, but his previous 18 months in management will gear his side up for a positive season.

In his first full debut season in the dugout, he managed to guide County to fifth in the standings, seven points off the automatic promotion spots.

Given the drastic improvement in the playing squad during the off-season, Notts are the best-placed side in this division to lift the trophy at the end of the campaign and rate a strong fancy.

Recommended bet: Notts County

Top-seven finish

John Sheridan was appointed Carlisle boss over the summer

Sky Bet League Two always provides good entertainment value come the closing stages of the season given the fact that there is an extra play-off place up for grabs, and Carlisle are capable of putting themselves in the mix this season.

United finished 10th last term and are preparing for life without Keith Curle after he ended his four years in charge of the club.

However, they have a manager in John Sheridan who is capable of taking them to that next level.

His last spell in management saw him drastically improve Fleetwood's fortunes in League One, before being replaced by the inexperienced Joey Barton, guiding them to the safety of 14th in the standings.

Sheridan has also experienced success at this level in the past, leading Chesterfield to the title in 2011 and following that up with EFL Trophy glory the season after.

The other intriguing thing about Carlisle this season is the youthful additions that they have made to their squad.

Crewe 0-5 Carlisle United: 2017/18 season

The likes of Adam Collin and Gary Miller have been signed to provide further experience to the side, but a number of younger loanees have joined with the aim of establishing themselves as the next big EFL star.

Regan Slater has made the temporary switch from Sheffield United for his first spell away from the club. Despite being just 18, he has already made three senior appearances.

Defender Macauley Gillesphey has made the permanent move from Newcastle while defensive midfielder George Glendon has come from Fleetwood, and both are youngsters aiming for more regular first-team football.

It's a young side, but a team balanced with experience where required as well. Having a manager in Sheridan can help to bring out the best of their emerging talent and close the 11-point gap to the play-off spots.

Recommended bet: Carlisle

Top goalscorer

Kristian Dennis has joined Notts County

As promised when talking about Notts County as winners of this division, Kristian Dennis could also find himself on top of the scoring charts.

He may have played for a side who were relegated from this level last season, but his 21 goals shows that he is a top talent in this league.

The best price of 12/1 available on him scoring more than any other player is considered incredible value, considering the quality of player and the team that he will play in.

It wasn't just a one-season either, as he struck 24 times for Macclesfield Town in 2015/16 as they finished 10th in the National League standings.

If he can be prolific in teams who aren't competing at the top, one would imagine he'll step-up to the next level in a side who are fancied win Sky Bet League Two this season.

In all honesty, he's a striker who should be playing in the league above - as he nearly did when Bradford tried to sign him in January.

Should things go to plan, he'll be leading the line for County in England's third tier come August 2019.

Kane Hemmings during his Oxford days

If it's not Dennis bagging the goals, then his new team-mate Kane Hemmings could be the one to deliver the goods and he's worth having on-side too.

The new Dennis and Hemmings duo highlights Notts County's new strength in attack, and they have two strikers who are capable of competing against each other for the top scorer battle.

Despite signing from League One side Oxford, 27-year-old Hemmings has spent time at this level with Mansfield. During a loan spell there, he scored 15 league goals across the 2017/18 campaign, contributing a further two assists.

Hemmings clearly knows where the back of the net is, and he'll be firing throughout the course of the season all being well.

Recommended bet: Kristian Dennis

Recommended bet: Kane Hemmings


Crewe manager David Artell

They've spent consecutive seasons in the bottom-half of League Two since finishing last in the League One standings in 2016, and little suggests that Crewe can improve on that this time around.

It's no secret that they aren't the richest club in the EFL pyramid, and their transfer activity leaves a lot to be desired from David Artell.

Crewe 15th-placed finish in 2017/18 was actually their first upturn in league position since 2012, but that was a marginal two places above their efforts in 2016/17.

A best price of 10/1 looks great value on them to drop out of the EFL altogether given what we've seen over recent seasons.

Morecambe find themselves as the favourites to go down, and with just two relegation places in League Two, Crewe can probably be thankful that there will be other candidates to occupy the other spot.

The biggest concern though is that they've done little to reassure that they are a side capable of steering themselves away from trouble.

Jordan Bowery and Chris Porter managed to net 12 goals each last season, but there remain question marks about the pair's ability to replicate that form this time around.

Bowery has only scored 24 goals in 141 games at this level, averaging a goal every three-and-a-half appearances while Porter is in the latter stages of his career yet will continue to be relied upon to produce.

Alex Nicholls has been brought in to help their attacking threat, but his one assist from right wing last season makes you question the impact that he can make.

As ever, Crewe are relying on youth in their senior squad, but it could be too big of an ask given the competitive nature of the division.

Yeovil look to have strengthened their squad having welcomed six new players already while Macclesfield have seen ten come in as they aim to survive their first season back at this level.

The teams around them have done well to improve, whereas Crewe are in danger of being left behind and may suffer as a result of their lack of action in the market.

Recommended bet: Crewe

Updated at 1515 BST on 31/07/18.

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