The three losing playoff teams all have strong credentials to win League Two in 2022-23 season.
Northampton, who are 14.013/1, know that turning one more draw into victory would have won them promotion last season - and the problem overall was a lack of goals (60) compared to their playoff rivals (67+). Experienced striker Danny Hylton's desire to join and extend his career could change that, along with the arrival of Fulham loanee Kieron Bowie.
Jon Brady's men will certainly be desperate to avoid the playoffs again. The second half of the season was not as good as the first, which was the reverse for defeated playoff finalists Mansfield, who are 12.011/1. Last season, a horrible start affected by injuries and Covid turned into a storming run for Nigel Clough's side. Just a few tweaks to the squad have included experienced keepers Christie Pym and Scott Flinders. James Perch, at 36, gets another chance of a final season having fractured his skull at the start of the last.
Tranmere, who are 17.5, matched Northampton's 20 clean sheets last season yet recruitment has largely focused on defence, making them the least attractive prospect to win the title. Neil Byrne (Hartlepool), Ethan Bristow (Reading), and Ben Hockenhill (Brentford) effectively replace the vastly experienced Peter Clarke (38) who rejected a new deal in favour of Walsall.
Mark Hughes has recruited furiously at Bradford, who are 8.27/1, including Kian Harratt on loan from Huddersfield. He netted for Port Vale as they won the playoff final. For me, it's between the two famous names - Clough and Hughes - to battle out the title.
I don't like non-league winners when installed as title favourites, as Stockport County are at 8.07/1. The last team to earn back-to-back promotions was Bristol Rovers in 2016 and they came third. County might be promotion candidates, but are too short for me at 1.84/5 to be considered for a top seven finish.
They have lost striker Scott Quigley, who did well in this division two seasons ago, to League One Morecambe. But Dave Challinor has acquired plenty of experience in Antoni Sarcevic (Bolton), Fraser Horsfall (Northampton) and the manager didn't quit Hartlepool last autumn to go backwards.
None of the relegated sides stand out to go straight back up in the top three, but I feel AFC Wimbledon - 4.57/2 to the finish in the top seven - will not want to stay in this division long. They didn't want to celebrate their return to Plough Lane a year ago with a relegation season. However, like Crewe, Gillingham and Doncaster, they require a watching brief.
Salford at 1.84/5 for the top seven have been annual title favourites and, in their third season, are third favourites at 10.09/1. Yet they have yet to even reach the playoffs. They have been through a succession of managers and now they are taking a punt on an inexperienced one, ex-Manchester United Under-23 boss Neil Wood.
Could Sutton United at 4.57/2 kick on from last season, one in which they reached Wembley in the EFL Trophy? Scorer David Ajoboye's exit (Peterborough) is a negative but they have made a rash of signings this week.
Swindon are 3.02/1 to finish in the top seven and potentially a good outsider at 20.019/1 for the title. Boss Ben Garner upped sticks to Charlton. But the Robins appear to have recruited well, with hungry Ronan Darcy, 21, (Bolton) and Liverpool defender Tom Clayton. Harry McKirdy had a fine 2021-22 season, scoring more than 20 goals. Presumably new recruit Tyrese Shade (Leicester City) will ply the other wing.
Teams with a bit to prove but who could reach the top seven include Crawley at 4.03/1, who have added to their three strikers with League Two top scorer Dom Telford (Newport). Crypto currency owners promise that fans will have the chance to vote on where Kevin Betsy can improve the team. Fun times could be had.
Steve Evans has been recruiting frantically at Stevenage after dispensing with a large chunk of last season's squad. Eleven recruits and counting could take time to bed in and be a two-year project for promotion - which is surely his ambition. Yet they seem to be among the favourites for relegation at about 7.06/1. The former Mansfield and Crawley boss has a decent record in this division and won't have signed up for a relegation scrap.
There are other, more obvious, candidates for the drop. For me the Sulphurites - Harrogate Town - have lost their aroma. They had a great season and a half in League Two but struggled in the second half of their second season and are interesting at 6.511/2.
They might just survive a struggle, but I think Colchester, also at 6.511/2, haven't progressed by appointing serial stand-in Wayne Brown as manager. It doesn't smack of ambition - or of having a decent budget to build a strong squad. The layers also seem sure that Barrow at 4.57/2 will struggle. They could be right, but I'm plumping for the U's.