Common errors to avoid when betting on the Champions League

Common errors to avoid when betting on the Champions League

Common errors to avoid when betting on the Champions League
Autor betsonly 28 Nov 2018

Before placing a bet on the Champions League competition, it is wise to understand a little about the competition itself and common errors to avoid.

The Champions League is regarded as the elite competition for club teams in the world, and features some of the biggest stars in football, not only from Europe, but also South America, Africa and many other countries as well. Naturally, it also offers very attractive betting possibilities, but, before you rush to place a bet on the next round of matches, it is wise to understand a little about the competition itself and common errors to avoid.

What is the Champions League? Originally designed just to be a competition between the champions of the respective leagues in Europe, it has since been expanded to include the leading teams from the 5 leagues considered to be the most prestigious in Europe – England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. Two or three of these qualify by right each year, and another team from these leagues will complete for a place in the League with other teams from Europe, to determine the final field of 32 teams.

These 32 teams are then split into 8 groups of 4 who compete on a mini-league basis, each playing each other home and away. The top two in each group advance to the knock-out phase of the competition; the team finishing third drops in to the Europa League, the secondary cup competition, and the team that ends up bottom of the group is eliminated. Teams are seeded according to their record to avoid top sides facing each other too early in the competition, and to try and ensure that the final stages features matches between the very best clubs.

This format is completely different to the format adopted by national leagues, so the biggest initial mistake people make is to regard them as the same when it comes to betting, with similar rules and guiding principles applying. This is not the case, however.

The first problem is that many of the teams taking part may be unfamiliar to you. Clearly you will know all about the teams from your local league, and you may also be familiar with some of the big names like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus. But some of the other teams taking part you might struggle to locate on a map, let alone know anything about their team, squad, strengths and weaknesses. That means that, if you are going to bet on a match involving them, you may need to do a significant amount of homework first. If you can’t be bothered, or you do not have the time, best stay away from them.

Secondly, in Europe, outcomes can differ in significance. In a national league, if a top team draws at home, that might be considered a disappointment. Not so in the Champions League where a draw between two top sides can be considered a good result for both. Consider this before placing your bet. In other circumstances, a draw may be useless to one side – and, therefore, a good option for a bet. This is particularly true in the knock-out phase where one side has an advantage over the other going into the second match. The team trailing has to go for it in the second leg – any result other than a win automatically eliminates them.

This then brings us onto another way in which the Champions League differs from domestic competition. In a local league, if one team scores more than the other in a match they win. By contrast, in the Champions League a team can lose a game, and draw the tie overall, but still progress, courtesy of the rule that away goals count double. In other words, if one team wins the first leg by a single goal, and then loses 3 – 2 away, they will advance in the competition thanks to the two goals they scored on their opponent’s turf. This makes it important to study the teams involved carefully – do they have proven goal scorers, does one side nearly always score, and how strong are the relative defences?

And, if you are one of those people who like to bet on the number of yellow and red cards in a match, then you might need to adjust your thinking when it comes to predictions. Not only are some of the games very competitive, leading to more cards, but the standard of refereeing is different too. This is particularly true of teams from more physical leagues like England and Germany who find that a challenge which, domestically, would merit just a word from the official will almost certainly earn a card in Europe.

Finally, remember that, although it calls itself the Champions League, at the end of the day, this is a cup competition. You can predict the winner and the order of the teams in the group phases, but there are no prizes – and no market – for coming second, or in the top four. There is also no relegation. Once the final has been played in May, it will start again the following September, and at least some of the teams competing will be new.

If you want to bet on the Champions League, make sure you understand the competition first and avoid some of these common mistakes.