Europa League and Champions League Betting Trends
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Away from the domestic action, continental competitions are easily one of the most enjoyable by football fans all over. From a betting perspective, there’s a reason they are popular among bookmakers as well.
Of course, we know the Champions League is club’s top tier competition but the Europa League is not far off as well.
The Europa League is the secondary tournament to the prestigious Champions League. Formerly known as the Fairs Cup and UEFA Cup, teams from all over Europe battle for silverware in both group and knock‑out stages. There are 12 groups and then eight teams from the Champions League (those who finish third in their groups) join to create a knock‑out stage with 32 teams battling it out to lift the trophy.
It may be seen as a lesser tournament and the top teams do tend to play weakened sides. However, the importance of this competition cannot be denied. It's amazing how club managers show added interest in the latter stages. Why? Well, the winners of this competition gain a place in next season's Champions League and that could be worth millions of pounds to their club.
In this article, we will be comparing both competitions and looking at betting trends to follow when making picks in either competitions. Some of these trends are stuff betting sites and prediction analysts already take into consideration while compiling the best tips.
Predictable Straight Wins – More Dominant in the Champions League…
Without mincing words, it’s safe to say that the Champions League brings more predictable straight wins than the Europa League. It shouldn’t come as a surprise as well.
Firstly, the clubs that qualify for the Champions League are usually the top ranked sides in their respective leagues compared to the Europa League where there are other criteria that can see clubs qualify. For instance, the winner of the FA Cup in England gets a spot in the Europa League irrespective of his league position.
This means teams put out their strongest lineups from the very onset in the Champions League and it’s one of the reasons the competition is well loved by bookmakers and betting sites alike.
But Goal Markets are More Dominant in the Europa League
If you’re looking for the one competition to try out the goal markets, it should definitely be the Europa League. For some reason, it’s proving to be a very high goal‑scoring competition.
Despite the fact, the bookmakers still give decent odds on offer for some reason. Most times, it’s common to see teams in the Europa League play each other for the first time, especially in the group stages. That could be one reason for the high goal‑scoring affair and it could also be because of excessive difference in quality between clubs. We will explain this further in our next point.
Whether it’s the both teams to score market or number of goals option, the Europa League is a more likely place to try out your luck in this regard.
There is no clear reason why this has been the case but the reason below could yet explain the goal market rush for the Europa League to a great deal.
Betting against the Favorites is More Common in the Europa League
The Europa League famously brings more surprise, shock results and upsets in general. The reason is not so far‑fetched. Some betting sites will say the Europa League is the league of the unpredictable and there’s a reason that happens.
Unlike the Champions League, most of the top tier teams sort of use their ‘second’ teams in the Europa League. This is because they see it as an ’inferior’ league and top clubs will rather prioritize league action over the Europa League.
The fact that it’s on Thursdays means teams might not have enough time to travel back, settle and prepare for their next game at the weekend.
When you put all of that into consideration, an Arsenal or a Tottenham side might be favorites on paper to beat a team from a low‑tier league but will end up fielding mostly youngers or a second string side. It’s already common for betting sites to give supposed ‘lesser’ sides the handicap option because of the possibility of them wining or getting a result from that game.
For the teams not tagged the favorites, they are aware of the so‑called ‘big sides’ putting out weakened sides and they in turn respond to that by sticking with their best teams. In fact, bookmakers can drastically change the odds of a game just before it starts in the Europa League. This usually happens after the lineups have been released and it’s not what we expected.
In summary, there are good bargains to be utilized in the Europa League and betting against the favorites is a trend that’s playing out more often.
This is not to say any competition is superior over the other from a betting perspective. We just took a look at recurring trends to give a better idea of events that have greater potential of playing out in the Europa League or Champions League. From the above, one can see each of them has its advantages or disadvantages if you would call it. Some betting sites would not tell you this but of course we’ve made it as simple as ever to understand some differences that could come with betting on the Europa League and Champions League.