Football Betting: How to bet on the Champions League

The Champions League is without a doubt the most lucrative and prestigious club competition in the world. It attracts the best players where the best teams compete for Europe’s highest prize.


Photo by UEFA Champions League / CC0 1.0

Beginning life back in 1955 as the European Champions Clubs Cup it brought together the winners of all the European leagues into one competition.

Rebranded and expanded in 1992 to allow more than one team from some of Europe’s biggest leagues, it became the behemoth that it is today.

How it works

The Champions League comprises teams spanning Europe’s top domestic leagues. The biggest leagues such as Spain, England, Italy and Germany have multiple teams qualify for the competition, usually comprising those who finish in the top three or four places of their domestic leagues.

Teams from Europe’s smaller leagues, even if they are champions in their own respective country sometimes have to participate in one or more qualifying games ahead of when the actual tournament gets underway in September.

Once all the teams have qualified for the competition the group stage draw happens where all 32 teams are placed into 8 groups of four. The biggest teams are often seeded so they avoid each other, and teams from the same country are kept separate.

The teams who finish in the top two places qualify for the knockout stages which take place after the winter break from February to May.

With so many matches and such a high level of interest, there are many betting markets and odds on offer.

If you’re thinking of betting on the Champions League the best way to make the most of your bet is to visit who compare and rank new betting sites.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways to bet on the Champions League.

Betting on the match

Like with all football competitions, betting on individual matches is the most popular way to bet on the Champions League. From the pre-tournament qualifying stages to the final there’s plenty of action on offer.

Betting on the match winner is the simplest form of betting on the Champions League. It’s possible to pick from three outcomes: a home team win, a draw or an away team win often written as (1X2).

The odds for the group stage are often lower than they are for the knockout stages where teams are more evenly matched.

There are often two ways to raise the odds if you’re betting on the match winner. Betting on who will be the winner of both halves is a great way to raise the stakes. It involves betting on who will be ahead of both at half time and at full time.

Another way to heighten the odds when betting on the match result is handicap betting. Particular in the instance of where there is an obvious favourite to win the match, by starting the favourite with a deficit goal margin you can increase the odds.

Outright betting: long term bets

It’s not just possible to bet on individual matches. Many punters enjoy placing long term bets which is a great way to test your wits and knowledge across the whole competition.

The most popular form of outright or long term betting on the Champions League is to bet on who will win the competition.

Since its inception back in 1955, the tournament has been won by a total of 22 clubs, 12 of which have won it more than once. The most successful team is Real Madrid who have won the Champions League a record 13 times.

The odds for the outright winner of the Champions League are often released early before the season has started with a few key favourites listed but change throughout the season.

The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United are usually among the favourites to win the competition. There is also usually a second group of top teams who are often in contention with odds that have more slightly more value.  

A great way to maximise the odds if you’re betting on the favourites is to wait until the competition is underway. If one of the favorites gets their campaign off to a bad start the odds can often spike.

Another popular outright bet to stake on is which country the winner will be from. Although with the winners rarely coming from outside the top four leagues, the odds are often quite low. You have to look back to 2004 for the last time a winner didn’t come from Spain, England, Italy or Germany.

A shorter term form of outright betting that comprises the first half of the competition is to bet on the group winners. It’s possible to bet on a single group or to combine bets to stake on multiple groups, which increases the odds but also the risk.

Betting on the top scorer of the competition is another popular form of outright betting that doesn’t involve betting on a team’s potential success.

There are often two considerations to take into account when it comes to betting on the potential top scorer of the competition. Not only will you have to look at who are the best attacking players playing in the Champions League, but also what teams they play for. The further a team advances the more games they will play and the greatest chance a player has of scoring goals.

Feel free to comment this article

About the Author


Tesla is the football betting analyst and tipster. I'm in this more than 17 years, so you can follow my FREE football betting tips and predictions and make a good decision before you place your bets.