Championship playoffs: How to watch, schedule, odds, predictions

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The Championship playoffs are here, and it’s going to be a heck of a battle to see which team grabs the final spot in the Premier League for the 2021-22 season.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

One of Barnsley, Bournemouth, Brentford or Swansea City will be in the Premier League next season, joining Norwich City and Watford who were promoted automatically after the gruelling 46-game regular Championship season.

But now comes the finale to England’s second-tier, so often a mad, absorbing and agonizing league. Once you’re in the Championship, it is very tough to get out, and these four teams have a shot at the riches of the Premier League, with an estimated $150 million-plus jackpot going to the winner of the playoffs through PL promotion.

Barnsley and Bournemouth have surged into the playoffs late in the season, while Swansea and Brentford were the favorites for many to get promoted automatically both have to be content with a spot in the playoff lottery. Both Brentford and Swansea missed out in the playoffs last season, while Bournemouth are looking to join Norwich and Watford with instant promotion back to the top-flight.

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With USMNT youngster Daryl Dike leading Barnsley’s unlikely charge after an incredible loan move (he’s scored nine goals in 19 outings) for the striker since January, plus Swansea being American-owned and young USMNT center back Cameron Carter-Vickers playing for Bournemouth, there is a lot of American interest in these playoffs.

It’s safe to say with or without Barnsley getting promoted, Dike will be playing in the Premier League next season as a transfer from Orlando City in MLS is very likely to happen.

Below is everything you need to know ahead of a possible three games which could define these clubs for many seasons to come.

How to watch, stream Championship playoffs

When: Monday, May 17 and 22, semifinals
TV Channel/Stream: ESPN and ESPN+
Live updates, stats: Online via NBCSports.com

Schedule

First leg
Monday, May 17: Barnsley v. Swansea City – 3:15pm ET
Monday, May 17: Bournemouth v. Brentford – 1pm ET

Second leg
Saturday, May 22: Brentford v. Bournemouth – 7:30am ET
Saturday, May 22: Swansea City v. Barnsley – 1:30pm ET

Final
Saturday, May 29

Championship betting odds – Provided by our partners Pointsbet

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

First leg
(+118) Barnsley v. Swansea City (+275). Draw: +195
(+170) Bournemouth v. Brentford (+175). Draw: +205

Predictions

First leg
Monday, May 17: Barnsley 2-1 Swansea City
Monday, May 17: Bournemouth 1-1 Brentford

Championship playoffs: How to watch, schedule, odds, predictions originally appeared on NBCSports.com