Over in Europe, there’s no bigger annual competition in the world of sports than the UEFA Champions League (UCL), wherein only the best clubs from across the continent compete for soccer supremacy.
However, understanding how the league works could be quite confusing for the American audience. We here at NitroBetting are glad to be back with another nifty guide on what you need to know about the UEFA Champions League, as well as how to bet on UCL matches from the most prestigious European competition there is.
If you need a more general betting know-how, don’t hesitate to read on our soccer betting guide.
How the UEFA Champions League Works
Before getting a lowdown on how to bet on UEFA, it would be great to establish an understanding of the structure of the UEFA Champions League.
A total of 32 teams can qualify for the UEFA Champions League competition every year. 26 of those teams will instantly qualify for league play if they meet any of the following criteria:
- UEFA Champions League holders
- Europa League holders
- Top four teams from associations ranked first to fourth
- Top two teams from associations ranked fifth and sixth
- Champions from associations ranked seventh to tenth
That being said, a good number of the best soccer clubs from their respective leagues will come from the associations ranked first to fourth, with the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga making up half of the entire field of 32.
The Group Stage and the Knockout Phase
Once all 32 teams have qualified, they’ll be split into eight groups of four teams apiece, with the higher-seeded clubs being split amongst one another to take on other teams with lower seeding upon qualification.
Each team will face all teams from within their group twice; one at home and one away. Once all six games have been played by each club, the top two teams within the group standings will advance to the next stage of the competition. More often than not, teams of higher seeding move on to the following round.
The knockout phase begins with the group winners being re-seeded and the eight runners-up from the group stage scheduled to face one of the group winners that does not share the same association or was in the same group from the previous stage.
From there, teams play two matches against their designated opponent – one home and one away. The club with the highest aggregate score from the two matches will advance to the next round. This will continue until there are only two teams left in the Final stage, wherein the two remaining clubs will play one last match to decide the league champion.
How to Bet on UEFA Champions League Soccer Games
Betting on UEFA Champions League matches is just as easy to get into like its other counterparts in professional sports. A myriad of ways to place stakes on the intense UCL action is available for everyone:
Moneyline, Spread, Point Total Lines
For each Champions League fixture, bettors are given a number of choices for betting lines to wager on.
The most common of which is the moneyline bet. When learning how to bet on UEFA Champions League, the moneyline is among the basic concepts anyone can start with.
In moneyline betting, players are asked to predict the winning team in a given match. One team will be considered as the favorite in that match, while the opposing team will serve as the underdog. The payout for winning bets for the favorite will often pay out less than winning bets for the underdog. Bettors can also choose to make a bet that the game will end in a draw, with draws having odds of their own.
There’s also goal line betting, wherein the team favored to win needs to cover a certain number of goal differential beyond just winning the match on its own. Meanwhile, bets on the underdog can still win that bet if the favorite fails to cover the goal differential needed for it to win. Bets against the spread (ATS) are more commonly used in high-scoring sports, but handicaps are always being offered for soccer matches regardless. Goal line betting is also similar to run line betting in baseball and puck line betting in hockey.
The totals betting line, otherwise known as the “over/under”, asks players to bet on whether or not the total number of points scored by both teams in a particular match will be over or under the given betting line. Players who believe that the game will be an offensive shootout will likely bet on the over, while those who predict that the game will be a low-scoring affair will likely bet on the under.
UEFA Champions League betting action goes beyond just the league’s individual matches. Sportsbooks would often have what’s called “futures”, wherein there are betting lines for predictions on several outcomes even before the competition begins.
Some examples of futures odds involve predictions for the season’s eventual UCL Champion, as well as the top-scoring player just to name a couple.
Where to Bet on UEFA Champions League Soccer Games
Players can start placing stakes on UEFA Champions League matches here at NitroBetting. Create an account in just a few minutes and get started with the soccer betting action in an instant!
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