The two teams that are at the top of the EFL Championship table have a huge opportunity Friday.
Norwich City, which leads the division, can clinch promotion to the Premier League, if results go its way earlier in the day. They face Sheffield today. Even if those results do not, the Canaries can take a six-point lead with three games to go into Monday’s next match day.
Leeds United is in the second automatic promotion place, but the gap between it and Sheffield United could be erased by game time. Leeds seems to have corrected a little bump it hit. It has some tough matches on the horizon before the final day game against relegated Ipswich Town, so a win today would be imperative.
Since the start of the new year, Bolton has won just four times in 20 matches, have been locked out of it training ground because players and staff were not getting paid, and turned into a mess. Aston Villa, on the other hand, has won eight on the bounce, and sits firmly in the playoffs with four matches to go. A win Friday would give Villa at least a five-point cushion with three matches left.
Preston North End takes on last place Ipswich Town, and should take care of business.
Bolton (+750) vs. Aston Villa (+250), draw (+380), 10 a.m. (ESPN+)
Aston Villa ML (-250)
Aston Villa -1 first half (+360)
Aston Villa -1 (+100)
Leeds United (-250) vs. Wigan Athletic (+700), draw (+370, 10 a.m. (ESPN+)
Leeds ML (-250)
Leeds -1 (+110)
Preston North End (-160) vs. Ipswich Town (+500), draw (+280), 10 a.m. (ESPN+)
THE PICK: Preston ML (-162)
Norwich City (-200) vs. Sheffield Wednesday (+550), draw (+333), 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)
Norwich City ML (-200)
Norwich City to win and both teams to score (+220)