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League One: Dates, teams, history & betting odds

League One is England's third-tier domestic league and is a rebrand of the old Second Division, having come into existence at the beginning of the 2004–05 EFL season.

Each season 24 teams battle it out in a bid to be crowned champions with the top two teams earning automatic promotion to the Championship.

The four teams that finish the season between third and sixth then battle it out in the play-offs for the final promotion spot, with the successful trio replacing the three relegated sides from the second tier, effectively known as the Championship.

The quartet that fill the bottom four places in League One endure relegation to League Two, the fourth-tier in the English Football League, and the format makes for a season full of excitement and intrigue.

What2023/24 League One
WhereVarious grounds across England
WhenAugust 2023 - May 2024
How to watchSky Sports
OddsDerby 9/2, Bolton 8/1, Barnsley 8/1, Peterborough 9/1, Reading 9/1

What is League One?

League One is the second highest division of the English Football League and the third tier overall in the English league system, after the Premier League and the Championship.

There are 24 teams involved each season and every campaign there are eight different parties, involved with four relegated sides from the Championship and four promoted teams from League Two taking part in the fun.

Each club plays everyone twice (once at home and once away) and three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss.

At the end of the season, once each team has played 46 games, the final league standings are determined to decide which two teams will be promoted, which four teams end up in the play-offs and which four teams are relegated.

There are eight former Premier League clubs set to compete in the division this season, a list which includes Barnsley, Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Derby County, Portsmouth, Reading and Wigan Athletic.

When does the 2023-24 League One season begin?

The 2023-24 League One season is set to get underway on Saturday 5th August.

The season-ending League One play-offs will once again finish off at Wembley Stadium and the final is scheduled for Saturday 18th May 2024.

The fixtures for the new campaign will be released for all 24 League One clubs on Thursday 22nd June at 9am.

When did League One start?

League One has had a number of names down the years and between 1958 to 1992 it was simply known as Division Three.

But as Division One turned into the Premier League in 1992, League One became Division Two until it was given its own rebrand in 2004.

Some 19 years ago in 2004, it was introduced as League One, which remains the third-tier of English football, and that is how it stayed ever since, albeit regularly changing for sponsorship purposes.

Which teams have won League One the most?

Due to the structure of League One and the fact that the teams involved change by the season, no one team can dominate the division.

But last season’s League One title winners Plymouth Argyle are the most decorated club in third-tier history, having now won the silverware on five occasions.

Bristol City and Hull City - both now in the Championship - Doncaster Rovers, who are currently in League Two, and Wigan have each been crowned third-tier champions on four occasions.

Following last season’s relegation from the Championship, Wigan have a chance to move level with Plymouth on five third-tier titles. 

The Latics have already been docked four points for salary breaches, though.

Who are the favourites to win the 2023-24 League One?

Having finished seventh in League One last season, only one point outside the play-off places, Derby are 9/2 to win the title this time around.

With doubts surrounding the relegated trio, especially as Wigan have already suffered a four-point deduction, Bolton are second in the market at 8/1.

The Trotters finished fifth in 2022-23 and were beaten by Barnsley, who are also 8/1, in the play-off semi-finals.

Peterborough, another play-off representative from last season, are 9/1 along with Reading, who fare the best in the betting of the three teams relegated from the Championship.

Elsewhere, Portsmouth are 10/1 and Blackpool and Charlton, who are available at 16/1.

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