UEFA Champions League Betting
The UEFA Champions League or UCL is one of the oldest tournaments in Europe, having started in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs Cup or as it was widely called the European Cup.
According to Jacques Ferran, one of the competition’s founders, the tournament was modeled to the South American Championship of Champions. The tournament later underwent a rebrand, and its name changed from the European Cup to the UEFA Champions League in 1992.
In its first season, 16 teams participated from Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Scotland, Yugoslavia, Netherlands, Austria, Spain, West Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Saar, France, and Hungary.
The first match was between Sporting CP and Partizan, which ended in a six-goal thriller draw. The season ended with Real Madrid of Spain beating the French side, Stade De Reims, in a seven-goal thriller with the Spanish team winning 4-3.
Real Madrid continued to reign supreme until the 1960-61 season when Benfica of Portugal snatched the crown by beating Barcelona, who saw the elimination of Real Madrid. Benfica went on to win the following season’s trophy, beating Real Madrid 5-3 at the Olympic Stadium.
However, Real Madrid remains the team with the most UCL trophies, having won 13 altogether. The team also records the final with the most competition goals going back to the 1960 final against Eintracht Frankfurt that ended in 7-3. Ferenc Puskas scored four goals, and Alfredo Di Stefano netted a hat-trick to give Real Madrid its fifth title.
Over the years, the competition has recorded 22 winners, with Chelsea FC being the most recent winners after edging fellow English club Manchester City by a lone goal. As a result, Chelsea FC became the fourth English team to win the tournament at least two times. Liverpool FC is currently the English team with the most UCL trophy after beating another English rival, Tottenham, in the 2018-19 season.
At the start, qualification was limited to only league winners. But, after the rebrand, teams that finished 2nd to 4th were allowed to participate. Only higher coefficient rankings were allowed direct entry, and teams from lower leagues would need to go through qualification rounds.
The top leagues with automatic qualification include the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, and the German Bundesliga. In addition, two teams from the French and Portuguese leagues have automatic qualifications. At the same time, the other clubs have to go through the qualification rounds.
From the qualification rounds, 12 teams would join the 20 top teams with automatic qualification to complete the 32 teams that make up the group stage. Then, 16 teams qualify for the knockout round, reducing the teams to eight, four, and finally, two teams to face off for the champions league crown. Teams that do not qualify in the group stage but finish third join the lower tier competition called the Europa League.
The competition has seen many rule changes over the years, such as the current champion getting automatic qualification regardless of their positions. Also, the away goal rule was introduced in the 1970-71 season before it was abolished in the 2020-21 season.
Also, in 2020, the format was changed to a one-off knockout match from the quarter-final to the final because of the pandemic. In addition, instead of May, the 2020 final took place in August after the tournament was suspended for five months.
UEFA Champions League Betting Picks
Before and during the regular season, there are many kinds of UEFA Champions League picks that you can make. The more popular options are the single-game straight bets, where you can place a wager on the result of individual games every matchday through the course of the preseason and regular season. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many more picks for you.
You can also place accumulator props bets on different matches, especially during the playoff rounds or the group stage, where there are many games on each matchday.
Your accumulator can include the following options; correct score, both teams to score, over/under goals, first goalscorer, Asian handicap, double chance, total corners over/under, and match-winner. Aside from that, you can place special bets like to score first, anytime goalscorer, and VAR check, to name a few.
Another popular option you can go for is the outright bets, where you predict the season’s outcome. For example, you can bet on which of the 32 teams would win the title come May.
In addition, you can place bets on the team with the most goals, the team with the most clean sheets, and so on. You can also place outright bets on individual players like the highest goalscorer, most assists, take-ons, and others.
Other outright bets you can look at include the winning nation, group winner, to reach the final, stage of elimination, and to qualify from the group. Most of these bet options are available before and during the Champions League betting season.
However, some become obsolete once the group stage is over. So, you need to make sure that you don’t decide on your betting predictions once it is too late.
In addition, you can wager on individual awards like who would make it into the team of the season, Champions League MVP, Defender of the Year, Forward of the Year, and others. Although the results for these picks come after the season has ended, it is pretty exciting watching as it all unfolds.
UEFA Champions League Betting Odds
When you look at Champions League odds, one crucial thing to note is how they work. For instance, when you want to bet on a match between Barcelona and Dinamo Zagreb, the former is the clear favorite, so they get -150 odds, while Zagreb, the underdog, has +125 odds.
If you do not understand what these numbers mean, it is impossible to figure out how to make money betting on UCL or any other sporting event.
Betting odds with the minus sign means that to make $100, you need to wager the amount stated. The odds with the plus sign show the amount you would win if you placed a $100 wager. So, in the instance above, for you to win $100, you would need to put $150 on the -150 odds, or you can win $125 if you place $100 on the +125 odds.
When betting on UCL odds, the most crucial thing to think about is ensuring you get the best possible value for each stake. To do this, you need to use multiple bookies to compare the odds at each betting site for the wagers they want to make.
Doing this will give you the best opportunity to turn a profit in the long run, even though there is little difference in the odds from one sports betting site to another.
You can do the same with point spreads and totals, where a little difference from one bookmaker to the other is the difference between losing and winning.
For instance, one sports betting site might list a club as a handicap 2.5 favorite, while another might showcase the same team as a handicap 3.5 favorite. If that team wins by three goals, playing the handicap 2.5 would win while playing the 3.5 is a loss.
UEFA Champions League Betting Stats
UEFA Champions League stats are your best friend because they give you insight into teams’ strengths and weaknesses. However, efficiently reading and using these stats might seem complicated; therefore, many people end up making misguided predictions. Here is a look at some of the best ways to use NFL stats and why they are better than multiple alternatives.
Most importantly, it would be best if you were looking at statistics such as streaks in the last five games, head-to-head against the same opponent, and goals scored in recent games. Statistics look at the efficiency of each team’s attack or defense.
However, statistics experience fluctuations per game. Depending on the players‘ availability or fatigue, some teams score more goals or concede more per game, so it is worth looking at individual players’ stats.
For instance, you can look at the team’s top goalscorer in the competition or across the different tournaments the club participates in. That way, you can know who is likely to score for the team.
In addition to that, you can tell if the team would have a good game because an absence of their top goalscorer can translate into a lack of goals. Aside from that, you can look into individual player performances in previous matches.
In addition to that, you should look at goal contributions like chances created, xAper90, passes into the final third, and shots to goal ratio. Besides that, you need to look closely at the individual defensive capabilities such as shots faced, set-piece records, and shots to save percentage.
You can even take a look at heat maps to see the work rate of each player. That way, you can tell who is at the heart of everything because a lousy game from such a player can limit the team.
UEFA Champions League Betting Trends
Expert trends bettors reference betting trends when making their picks for each week of UCL action. Trends often give bettors insight into areas where it is favorable to bet on a team or the other in a particular game, despite the statistics or home-field edge not seeming to offer a clear advantage in a specific direction or another. But trends come with good and bad uses, and bettors must be mindful of what trends fall into which class.
An instance of a trend could be how a team performs in the last 10 games. Bettors might see the Champions League Standings that show the team is on a five-game winning run, conceding only two goals on the stretch.
But before bettors can use this information effectively, they need to consider the type of circumstances surrounding the streak. Is it on a bounce of weak teams? What was the winning margin? Did they dominate each game? Answers to these questions will help understand the trend better.
One thing to note is that the UCL almost always has an underdog slaying giants. For instance, in 2019, a young Ajax team dazzled their way into the last four. On their way, they defeated the current champions from the previous season, Real Madrid and Italian giants, Juventus.
Also, we’ve seen the likes of Monaco, Benfica, Deportivo La Corona, and Porto light up the competition against all odds. Bettors might want to put this trend into consideration as well.
Also, the UCL tournament has witnessed different changes over the years. For instance, the dominating teams are different now. In the early 2000s, we witnessed AC Milan, Real Madrid, Juventus, Liverpool, and Barcelona claim the favorite spots.
However, the favorites now are Manchester City, Bayern Munich, PSG, and Liverpool. These teams have the strongest squad set up at the moment. So, as a bettor, you might want to put this into consideration.
How to Bet UEFA Champions League
To bet on the UEFA Champions League is pretty easy. You need to find a top sportsbook that features the tournament, and you are good to go. Fortunately, there are many options since UEFA Champions League is a major sporting event. Once you have that, you are left with setting up a betting strategy to increase your chances and payout.
Keep in mind that the odds you get vary from one bookie to another. Also, it fluctuates as events unfold before the match starts. So, if a key player in the team favored to win gets injured by chance, their chances would reduce as the betting line moves. This can also affect the odds of other markets like over/under goals scored.
It would be best if you came into UEFA Champions League betting with realistic goals. It is near impossible to win every time you place a bet; therefore, you need to find a way to manage each loss. Also, you should keep in mind that the goal is to maintain a substantial bankroll. You should always have a budget, and you must stick to it.
UCL Betting FAQs
Many states let you bet on UCL legally. However, individual state laws will determine where and how to bet on the tournament.
Where you can wager on the UCL depends on your state. Since there are different sports betting laws, you can either bet in-person, online, both, or neither.
To bet on the UCL, join a legal sportsbook in your state. Then look through the betting markets and choose the one you want and the amount you want to risk on each bet.
The best UCL betting market depends on the one you’re most familiar with and can easily predict.
Sportsbooks set a total number of goals they think both teams would score, and you can then bet on if you think the score will be more or less than that amount.
Yes, many states let bettors place online sports bets. But, you have to check with your state’s laws to confirm.
Live betting lets you wager on UCL games after they start. Depending on the game’s progression, the odds are updated, making for interesting wagering opportunities.
It is pretty hard to say which team is the best, but some teams are currently in a stronger position compared to others.
Yes, many legal sports betting sites provide downloadable apps and instant play platforms for you to place bets using your phone.