Champions League Betting
Every team in Europe dreams of winning the Champions League trophy and millions around the world follow the thrills and action-packed drama as the competition unfolds each year. With the most exciting teams in Europe playing for high stakes it’s the most exciting football tournament to bet on. With plenty of varied betting markets to choose from and spectacular gameplay to watch, football enthusiasts will be betting avidly throughout the season.
If you are new Champions League betting you can read this guide to be up to date with everything there is to know about this classic football league. By the time you have finished reading, you’ll know how the league works, and it’s history, you’ll also discover the different bets you can place and some great tips to start your betting off with a fantastic advantage.
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Teams in the UEFA Champions League 2019/2020
The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted football leagues around the world including the UEFA Champions League but we do hope to see a conclusion to the 2019/20 season at some point this year.
The 32 teams that qualified for the 2019/2021 Champions League are Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Tottenham Hotspur from England’s Premier League. Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Valencia from Spain’s La Liga. Atalanta, Inter Milan, Juventus and Napoli from Italy’s Serie A. Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and RB Leipzig from Germany’s Bundesliga. LOSC Lille, Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain from France. Lokomotiv Moscow and Zenit from Russia. Benfica [Portugal], Genk (Belgium), Salzburg (Austria) and Shakhtar Donetsk from Ukraine.
Understanding How The Champions League Works
As well as being the most prestigious European tournament where the biggest teams can pit themselves against each other to see who is the best it is extremely lucrative. The winning club gets 19 million Euros in prize money and there is plenty of other money involved throughout the progression of the tournament.
The qualifying rounds begin in June and the competition ends the following May. Most football bettors don’t pay much attention to the qualifying round and start the betting action when the group stage begins with just the creme de la creme of European Football teams.
The group rounds start when all the qualifying round play-offs have been won and the 10 winners join 22 directly qualified teams that are not required to play in them.
To begin the 32 teams are placed into four ‘pots’ no team is allowed to play another team from the same association. Pot 1 includes the Europa League and Champions League titleholders from the previous season as well as the champions from the top six European leagues determined by a UEFA club coefficient. The remaining 24 teams ranked on the UEFA club coefficients, go into the remaining 3 pots. So teams ranked 9 to 16 go into Pot 2, 17 to 24 Pot 3 and 25 to 32 Pot 4.
Next, a team is randomly drawn from each of the four pots to make up 8 groups of 4 teams [A-H].
Over six games each team will play each other home and away. Points are given similar to other leagues with three for the winner, 1 for a draw, and 0 points for the loser. The winners and runners up of this round continue to the next 16.
The final 16 enter the knockout phase of the tournament and they are split between two pots one containing the winners of the 8 groups and the other for the runners up.
One football club is taken from each pot to decide who will play who in the next matches. There are certain restrictions: winners and runner ups who played in the same group can’t play against each other. Neither can clubs that share the same domestic league. These conditions aren’t in place for the draws for the quarter and semifinals and any team can play each other.
The quarter and semi-finals are played over two legs with a home and away match.
The remaining two teams will play the final at a neutral stadium that is usually decided a couple of years in advance. If the score is a tie at the end of normal time the game will go into extra time. If the score still remains level the Champions League winner is determined by a penalty shootout.
History of The Champions League
Originally just known as the European Cup it was first held during the 1955/56 season. It was initially conceived as an initiative to bring European countries together after WW2. Originally only 16 teams competed and it played as a knockout cup over four rounds; a first-round, quarter-final, semi-final, and final. The first winner of the tournament was Real Madrid who beat Reims 4-3 and has continued to dominate the league to this present day.
A few years later in 1960, an additional round was added to the tournament, and the teams competing doubled to 32, otherwise, the competition stayed the same. The tournament that we love and are familiar with today began in 1992 when it changed its name to the UEFA [Union of European Football Associations] Champions League. They got rid of the first round and introduced a group stage instead.
Since it began in 1955 just 22 clubs have managed to lift the prized European Cup. The biggest winner has been Real Madrid who has won it the most times with 13 wins under their belt. AC Milan is in second place with 7 wins and Liverpool isn’t far behind with 6 wins in total. The last team to win that wasn’t a club from one of the big four European Leagues was the Portuguese team Porton that won in 2003/2004.
Last year’s winner was Liverpool after 5 years of Spanish domination. Things are always changing in the thrilling arena of European Football but current favorites to win the cup are Manchester City, Barcelona, Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich.
The last 10 winners are;
- 2009/2010 Inter Milan
- 2010/2011 Barcelona
- 2011/2012 Chelsea
- 2012/2013 Bayern Munich
- 2013/2014 Real Madrid
- 2014/2015 Barcelona
- 2015/2016 Real Madrid
- 2016/2017 Real Madrid
- 2017/2018 Real Madrid
- 2018/2019 Liverpool
How To Bet On The Champions League
You’ll have no trouble finding a sports betting site where you can wager on the Champions League as it’s the biggest tournament in European sport every year. With the hundreds of football betting sites available to choose from it’s not always easy to find the best. If you want to experience the top sites with the best offers and promotions as well as the biggest variety of markets for Champions league betting we suggest you choose one of our recommended bookmakers chosen by our team of expert football bettors.
If you are a football enthusiast in Saudi Arabia and wish to gamble you should understand that it is illegal and high risk. You should keep your gambling private and try to leave a small footprint as possible when you bet online. A VPN will be needed so that your information is routed through another country’s network. The funding of your account is best done as anonymously as possible, using payment methods such as eWallets like Skrill or Neteller, Prepaid cards, or cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Once you have covered your tracks then signing up is straightforward, you will just provide the site with your personal information such as name and email address and then you can use your preferred payment method to fund your football betting site account.
If you are new to betting online we will discuss how the odds work and the different types of bets available next.
Champions League Odds
Odds are basically what the chances are of something happening or not. If you bet on the Champions League this could mean wagering 33/1 that Lionel Messi will be the top goalscorer during the tournament. If you bet £1 you would receive £34 back which would include your profits and initial stake.
Odds will be decided on a whole range of factors including past performance and will be dynamic throughout the competition. A team that starts the competition as an outsider at 100/1 who suddenly has a string of wins beating a few favorites will have its odds lowered as it stands a bigger probability of winning the competition.
This can also occur if you have a bet on a live game, for instance, let’s say Manchester City are playing Paris Saint-Germain at home and the odds for Man City are 3/1 to win. PSG against all probability manages to score 2 goals within the first 20 minutes of the game. Those odds are going to take a tumble and you won’t be getting 3/1 at this point in the game.
The odds are determined when you place the bet though, so if you had bet 3/1 before the game started that is the return you would get if Man C turned the tables and won.
Bookmakers will also always give themselves an odds advantage, so as well as gathering data on the probability of something happening they will skew the percentage slightly in their favor. This ensures that they stay profitable and win more than they lose. While this gives them an advantage it doesn’t mean they always win.
Types of Bets You Can Place on the Champions League
With the irresistible combination of top quality European teams going toe-to-toe, the occasional shock outcome, and all the data available on how the teams have performed in the past being readily available it’s not hard to understand why football bettors love the Champions League. With the domestic league matches usually played at weekends, it also adds additional opportunities to bet midweek.
For this bet, you have to predict the outright winner for the tournament. Over the last 4 years, there have only been two winners Liverpool winning it once and Real Madrid the other three times. Both those teams would be on our shortlist but sometimes it can get exciting and an underdog can upset the tournament and go on to win. With so many titans of European football taking part a surefire winner is never guaranteed! While you can bet on the outcome of the final anytime during the competition the best odds will be at the tournament start. So if you have an outsider that you fancy could win then place that bet early when the odds are at their most favorable.
Over 2.5 Goals
Over/under 2.5 goals is when you wager on a team scoring two goals or under or 3 goals and over. The Champions League is well known for having plenty of goals scored in its matches. It has been estimated that in the last five seasons over 50% of matches resulted in three goals or more so the over 2.5 goals could be a wager to explore.
Combining bets to make an accumulator cranks up the excitement as well as the potential for a bigger payout. For instance, you might place a bet that Juventus, Real Madrid, and Man City are all going to win their games. The combination of all three bets, assuming they won would give you a higher payout than single bets.
Over the length of the tournament, there are plenty of other markets to try out. You can bet on winners of groups, top goal scorers, half-time and full-time scores, corners, and cards given the list is huge.
Champions League Betting Tips
Do the Research – While it’s fun watching the games on TV or online, to bet successfully on the Champions League requires research. The internet makes finding statistics, the latest news, and team history very easy with many sites dedicated to the Champions League. Over a long season with teams playing in other leagues there will be many changes. Being aware of new managers and players, injuries, watching recaps of previous matches all this information will help you make better betting decisions. As they say, knowledge is king!
Bankroll Management – You don’t want to blow all your cash before the end of the season so money management is key. It’s very easy to get carried away when the tournament starts placing lots of bets and suddenly find your finances depleted during those high-octane knockout rounds. Setting yourself a total budget over the season or a monthly amount you’ll spend and sticking to it is a good strategy. Most bettors lose out by chasing their losses or they bet too much you should increase your wagers as you win not when you lose.
Don’t Bet Emotionally – Having a favorite team is great and it makes the game all the more exciting if you place a bet on your special team from time to time. But don’t be ruled by emotion, just because you like the team doesn’t mean that they will win and throwing money at them when it’s obvious they aren’t playing at their best is a decision you’ll regret. Pick your bets based on logic and research and you’re more likely to win.
When does the Champions League take place?
The qualifying stages of the tournament begin in June when less well known squads battle it out to secure a place in the group stage. The group stage of 32 teams begins in September and runs through to December. There is a short winter break and then in February, the knockout stages commence. The final takes place at the end of May at a neutral stadium.
Who played in the first European Cup Final?
In the first final in 1956 Stade Reims played Real Madrid with the Spanish side winning 4-3.