When it comes to club football, it doesn’t get any bigger than the Champions League.
An annual feast of football that brings together Europe’s elite clubs as they battle through the season to be crowned the champions of Europe.
With the Champions League being one of the flagship events in the world of football, it’s also unsurprisingly one of the most popular sporting events to bet on.
A huge market, the Champions League offers a wide array of bets to place a wager on through the season, from in-game bets to outright winners for the whole competition.
This guide will break down how to go about betting on the Champions League and explain why betting online is easier than betting in physical betting shops.
Traditional Champions League odds, and football odds in general, are often split into two different categories: outright betting and match betting.
Outright betting involves a bet placed on the outcome of the Champions League tournament. Bets can be placed ahead of the competition starting or during it, with odds changing accordingly throughout the tournament, and with winning bets then paid out after the tournament has produced a winner.
For example, in the Champions League, you can look to bet on, among others, the winner of the tournament, who will be the group winners, which team will reach the final, and which player will finish as the top goalscorer in the competition.
If Manchester City is priced at 4/1 to win the Champions League and you place a £10 bet ahead of the tournament, if City goes on to lift the trophy you will win £40 (£50 if you include your original stake).
As for match betting, this involves a bet placed on the outcome of a specific Champions League match. Bets can be placed ahead of the match starting, or during it, with football betting odds changing accordingly throughout the match and with winning bets then paid out after the match has produced a winner.
For example, in the Champions League, if Manchester City is playing Paris Saint-Germain, you can look to bet on, among others, the result of the match, the correct score, how many goals will be scored, which players will score first, how many corners there will be, and which players will be carded.
If Manchester City is priced at 3/1 to beat Paris Saint-Germain and you place a £10 bet ahead of the match, if City goes on to win the game you will win £30 (£40 if you include your original stake).
A different form of betting that takes place in football and in the Champions League is that of football handicapping, which bettors can use to improve their chances of winning a bet.
As well as potentially improving their chances, bettors also enjoy football handicapping as it’s fun and it enables you to weigh up a team’s performance rather than just the outcome of a single match.
Handicap betting is also often referred to as ‘point betting’ or ‘line betting’ and is used by sportsbooks to balance the playing field between two teams who may not be evenly matched.
A sportsbook assesses the quality of the two teams facing each other and hands an advantage to the perceived weaker side and a disadvantage to the perceived stronger side via handicaps.
For example, if Manchester City were playing Club Brugge in the Champions League, as the stronger team City may have a handicap of -1.5, with Club Brugge on +1.5.
This means that City is starting the match with a 1.5 goal disadvantage. As the perceived weaker team, Club Brugge now has the edge over Manchester City and is a more appealing bet.
If you bet on City to win, they would need at least two goals for you to win, while if you bet on Club Brugge, they would need to win the match, draw, or concede by a single goal for you to win.
As detailed, there are a whole host of bets available to bettors looking to place a wager on the Champions League – from pre-tournament outright betting to in-play match betting to handicapping betting.
As a result, it’s therefore important to ensure you pick the right bets when betting on the Champions League to maximise your chances of winning the bet and not wasting your money on one that might be less likely to come in.
Not every bet is the same and there are certain times where it makes more sense to pick one market over another.
Below we run through some of the popular bets to look out for when betting on the Champions League.
An accumulator is a bet that involves at least four selections but can include many more.
For example, in the Champions League when a number of fixtures are taking place at once, you could opt for Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Juventus all to win their respective games and you would need all of the teams to claim the victory for your bet to payout.
Your winnings are based on the combined odds for each match you have bet on.
Another popular bet in the Champions League is the first goalscorer market. It’s a simple but popular bet where you are betting on the player you think will score the first goal in the match, with each player having their own relevant odds.
For example, Raheem Sterling may be favourite for Manchester City to score given he plays in attack, but Ruben Dias would likely have bigger odds as he is a defender and is less likely to score.
Sometimes betting on the result of a Champions League match may not provide the best odds and biggest winnings, so the half-time/full-time bet is often a favoured alternative as it is still simple but provides better payout potential.
You simply need to predict what the score or result will be at both half-time and full-time, such as Manchester City winning against Paris Saint-Germain at half-time but drawing at full-time.
Alongside betting on which team will win the Champions League, another popular outright bet is which player will win the Champions League’s Golden Boot, essentially who will finish up as the tournament’s top scorer.
For example, you could place £10 on Robert Lewandowski to win the Golden Boot at 3/1 and win £30 if he ends up doing so (£40 if you include your original stake).
When it comes to goal-line betting, this involves predicting how many goals will be scored in a game and is another popular market in the Champions League.
For example, you can look to bet on whether there may be over/under 1.5 goals in a game, over/under 2.5 goals, over/under 3.5 goals, and so on.
If Manchester City is playing Club Brugge, then you may feel there will be plenty of goals, in which case over 3.5 goals could be the way to go.
Knowing which bets to bet on and when is important, but it forms just one part of football betting. Crucially, it’s vital to have a proper football betting strategy in mind when deciding on what bets to place.
The preparation ahead of making the bet is just as important as placing the bet itself to ensure you’re giving yourself the best opportunity of maximum payout potential and not wasting your money with a throwaway bet.
Rule number one in football betting strategy is to make sure you study the form book before placing any bets.
If you are looking to bet on a certain team, how well do they usually fare when they face their upcoming team?
Is their away form as strong as their home form? Have they been lucky to scrape results lately with their fortune set to change?
This is all-important research that can help you predict how a certain match may pan out, rather than just expecting the favourite to win.
It’s all very well betting on the team that is favourite to win, but if they are not offering much value then is it better to look elsewhere for better payout potential?
That can certainly be the case sometimes. For example, if there’s little value in backing the favourite, the draw is often a good alternative and may be worth the risk is given the better winnings on offer if you feel it has a chance.
If you’re doing an accumulator, backing for the favourites is fine but you may want to include a less obvious result in your selection to really drive up the odds and your potential winnings.
One strategy that is always an important one to abide by is staying impartial when betting and avoiding placing a wager with your heart.
Placing bets based on your emotion, rather than detailed analysis, could result in a lost bet. For example, you may fancy the team you support to be capable of upsetting the league leaders, but realistically is that just your heart speaking over your head?
Always stay smart with your potential bets.
While it’s important to have a good football betting strategy in place, those wanting to delve a little deeper can look to implement advanced football betting systems, which can again give you a chance of securing a payout.
It can be possible to work out a team’s value heading into a match by following a particular method, which involves working out what percentage you feel the chances are of a side winning the game.
Once you have this percentage, multiply it by the decimal price on offer in the market, and any result of 1.00 or bigger means the side has value to them and is worth considering placing a bet on to win.
Many advanced football bettors may have a number of accounts with bookmakers, which enables you to add some flexibility to your approach given rival bookmakers’ odds can often vary when it comes to markets for football.
For example, most bookmakers may have Manchester City to win the Champions League at 9/2, but if you look around there may be one offering odds of 5/1, enabling you to gain some additional value to your bet.
Always seek out the best odds before placing your wager by comparing them first.
Lay betting often plays a big role in advanced football betting, with bettors taking this approach to bet on an outcome not to happen.
For example, you could place a bet on a team not to win a game, enabling you to back your belief and bet that something won’t happen.
However, with this approach, your overall risk can be greater if your selection that you predicted to lose actually wins, so there’s a balance to be had.
Placing a bet on the Champions League can be a simple process.
While bettors can traditionally walk into a betting shop to place their bet, it can be easier and more efficient to do so online, where there can also be better value odds and promotions offering free bets.
Once you have registered an account with an online bookmaker and found the type of bet you are after, the process next involves you adding the bet to your bet slip before placing your bet.
Here are five easy steps to follow to do just that:
While the Champions League is the ultimate club competition in the football calendar and the biggest market for betting when it comes to club football, it’s the World Cup where things really come alive.
The World Cup is the biggest football spectacle on the planet and with the excitement that the tournament brings comes a flurry of betting odds and unique betting markets.
With 32 teams competing in the tournament, it means there are 64 games spread over just a month with a host of matches taking place each day, ensuring there is plenty to bet on through the days and weeks – from outright to in-play markets.
With the next World Cup set to take place in Qatar next year, there will be plenty more betting opportunities coming up just around the corner to get stuck into.
Just make sure you’ve had a good read of the above and are fully prepared first!