Premier League Betting & Other Popular Football Events
Gone are the days where bookmakers offer only a handful of fixtures from the major leagues to bet on each weekend. Nowadays, you’re given the chance to choose from a great number of cups and competitions from all around the world, and we aren’t just talking about the main European Leagues. From Premier League betting, to betting on the German Bundesliga and the Italian Serie A down to the Estonian League, the Paraguayan professional division and the Saudi First Division, the best bookmakers really do have all the bases covered when it comes to catering for your favourite leagues – no matter how unknown or obscure they may be.
Paddy Power has once again come out on top in our recommendation for the best betting site for Premier League betting. As explained over on the main football page, they offer a very large number of betting markets per fixture, there is a great selection of special bonuses to used, and the avearage payout prices are up there with some of the best.
While paying close attention to the popularity of FA Cup betting in the UK, as well focusing on the most popular leagues and competitions in world football such as the La Liga, the Champions League and the Europa League, the following page will go into full detail and outline all the different competitions you can expect to find at the top betting sites.
UK National Leagues
In the following section we’ll be paying close attention to the different divisions in the UK Football League system. The Premier League is by far the most lucrative and most televised competition in the British Isles; betting on the Premier League therefore takes precedence at most bookmakers. This said however, Championship football betting, FA cup betting and betting on the remaining national leagues is also extremely popular. There are 24 teams competing in the Championship and each of the national leagues below the Premier League, which means that there are plenty of betting opportunities to be had. With this in mind, we’ll be sure to review each competition individually and give it the attention it deserves.
Premier League Betting
Every bookmaker out there, regardless of how long they’ve been on the market or how many different leagues they offer will always prioritise betting on the Premier League. The huge number of international stars and big-name clubs has given the Premier League a serious domestic and international following, and has thus made it one of the most popular football betting events in the world. There are 20 teams in total competing in the English top flight. The teams that finish in the top 4 spots at the end of the season all go through to challenge in the Champions League, and the last 3 teams at the wrong end of the table get relegated down to the Championship. The Premier League has produced 6 different winners since it was founded in 1992; Manchester United currently have the most titles to their name with 13, while last season a new team added its name to the list of Champions as underdogs Leicester City managed to pull-off one of the biggest surprise victories in the history of English football as they finished the season at the top of the table.
Championship Football Betting
Despite not having quite the same international following as the Premier League, Championship football betting is still one of the most valuable markets in the UK. Most Bookmakers pay significant attention to the Championship, although not quite as much as the Premier League. You’ll always have the opportunity to bet on all the fixtures, however the number of bet types available per fixture, as well as the odds prices are normally a little lower. At the end of the season the top two teams are automatically promoted to the Premiership. The teams that finish from 3rd to 6th enter into the play-off round where the team in position 3 plays the team in position 6 and the team in 4th place plays the team in 5th. These semi-final games are played over two legs, and the winner of each then goes through to the final deciding match at Wembley. Whoever emerges victorious from this game gets promoted to the top flight.
- Premier League92.31 – 98.59%
- Championship91.72 – 95.77%
- League One89.01 – 95.37%
- League Two89.36 – 95.41%
- Payout (%)
The graph above shows the average payout prices for the top four tiers in the English Football League system. For some more detailed information on how we calclaute the odds prices, be sure to head over to the home page and check out the mathematical formula for yourself.
Football League One Betting
League One was founded 12 years ago and is the second highest tier in the English Football League structure. You can expect to find pretty much the same number of bet types available per game as the Championship, as well as a number of fixtures available for in-play betting. The same play-off system between the teams that finish between 3rd and 6th place used in the Championship is applied here, and the teams in the bottom four positions are relegated down into League two.
Football League Two Betting
Football League Two is the third highest division in the British football league system. The structure is slightly different from National League One; instead of three teams going up to the league above at the end of the season four teams are promoted, and the bottom two teams are relegated down to the National League. Due to the fact that Football League Two doesn’t quite draw the same nationwide following as the Premier League or the Championship, you’ll often find that not all bookmakers support match betting. You’ll always be able to place outright bets on who you think will win the league, or who will be promoted, however only the best football betting sites will allow you to wager on individual games.
Betting on the National League
Below the English Football League is the National League (formerly known as the Conference National). Unlike the English Football League in which all the clubs are fully professional, the National League is mixed between clubs that operate on a full time and a part time basis. The team that finishes top automatically wins promotions to the EFL Two; they are then joined by the winner of the second-place play off. The same practice that applies to National League Two also applies here. Only the top football betting sites allow for individual match betting, and in the cases where it is allowed, the number of betting markets available will be considerably lower than the Premier League.
Europe is undoubtedly home to the strongest, most competitive leagues in world football. Great footballing nations such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain can each boast to having some of the most exciting leagues that feature most of the best players in world. In football betting terms then, this inevitably means that there are some fantastic gambling opportunities to be had, with all the top bookmakers going to great lengths to ensure that they provide good coverage of all the top flight European Leagues. For some really outstanding payout prices, we reccomend heading over to BetVictor where you’ll find the best overall odds for football. Keep reading through the sections below to discover all the most exciting tournaments across the continent.
The Spanish La Liga
The Spanish league is home to the two most successful club teams in football history: Real Madrid and Barcelona. Historically, these two teams have been known to attract the best players in the world – hence why La Liga betting is so popular outside of Spain – and between them they form one of the most intense and most widely viewed Derby games known as the El Clásico. For the last 87 years both teams have dominated the Spanish league, winning an impressive 56 titles between them. The top 3 teams at the end of the season automatically qualify for a place in the Champions League, while the 4th place team enters into a play-off round which grants them access to the group stages of the competition should they win. Every year the three teams with the least number of points go down into the Segunda Division – also extremely popular when it comes to sports betting – and the top four teams from the second tier are promoted to the top. The fifth and sixth place teams are joined by whoever emerges victorious from the annual King’s Cup and progress through to the Europa League.
The German Budesliga 1
Here we come to the Bundesliga, the top flight German division. There are 18 teams competing for the ‘Deutsche Meisterschale’ trophy every year, although Bayern Munich are by far the most dominant and most popular team in the league, having won the title 25 times throughout the its 53-year history.The teams that finish the season in the top 3 places automatically go through to the group stage of the Champions league while the team in 4th place goes through to compete in the play-off round which decides whether they progress to the main competition or the Europa League. The Bundesliga is widely renowned for being one of the strongest leagues in Europe, often producing some of the most technically gifted players in world football with the two most successful teams (Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich) often reaching the final stages of the Champions League. It is also the League with the highest attendance in world per game average while Borussia Dortmund has the highest attendance of any club in Europe.
The Italian Serie A
The Serie A is the premier football league in Italy that was first founded back in 1929. There are 20 teams competing for the top prize overall (Lo Scudetto) as well as for places in the Champions League and the Europa League; the bottom three teams get relegated into the Serie B. Despite there being a slight dip in the performance of Italian clubs in the Champions League in recent years, history has shown that teams from the Serie A often make the last four of the tournament. A.C Milan are the second most successful European team when it comes to number of Champions League titles won, while Juventus and Inter Milan are among the top 10 most successful teams. The Italian Derby (AC Milan Vs Juventus) is one of the most intense rivalries in football and also one of the most bet on fixtures in Italy.
- Premier League92.31 – 98.59%
- La Liga90.88 – 95.82%
- Bundesliga90.61 – 96.49%
- Serie A90.03 – 96.49%
- Payout (%)
The graph above provides an overview of the average payout prices for the most popular domestic leagues in Europe. With average odds of 92.31 – 98.59%, the best value for your money is found on the British Premier League, while the least best value is on the La Liga. This is a little suprising seem as though La Liga betting is hugely popular in Europe, however average prices of 90.88 – 95.82% are still more than respectable.
The Champions League
The Champions League is the premier tournament in European football. It’s the most prestigious, most coveted prize in the club game and the arena where legends are made. Sports betting-wise, it provides some of the most exciting opportunities for punters to hedge their bets as the best teams in Europe go head-to-head. The tournament itself consists of 32 teams split into groups of four. The top 2 teams in each group automatically go through to the next round, the 3rd place team goes on to compete in the Europa League and the 4th place team is knocked out of both competitions.
The group stages are played between September and December and the knock out stages commence in February. The knock-out stages are played over two legs, which means that each team needs to play a home fixture and away fixture against the opposition. This allows for even more betting opportunities, as if a team loses the first away leg, you can always place a second bet if you think they’ll have the rub of the green in the return home fixture (or vice versa). The grand final is one of the most televised, and most popular betting events in the footballing season and normally takes place in May.
The Europa League
The Europa League is the second biggest European club championship trophy after the Champions League. After a significant amount of restructuring and rebranding since the 2009-2010 season the competition has taken on a different format. There are now 48 teams competing (8 more than before) in the group stages. The teams are split into 12 groups of 4 and there are 4 rounds of knockout fixtures played over two legs, and the final is played at a neutral ground normally a week before the Champions League final takes place.
Due to the high number of games played per year for clubs that qualify in Europe, teams are often forced place more focus on tournaments on which they are more concerned with winning. This is often the case in England where clubs are competing for the Premier League, the FA Cup, and perhaps even have players concentrating on international fixtures all at the same time. To deal with the work load many teams choose to place less emphasis on the Europa League and will sometimes use these fixtures as a chance to give some of the players in the development squads some game time. This is something you should consider when betting on the Europa League.
National Cups are all the special football events that are specific to a certain country such as the Coppa Italia in Italy or the King’s Cup in Spain. With the best interest of our readers in mind, the following sections will only focus on national cups based in the UK, the oldest and most prestigious of these being the FA Cup.
The FA Cup
The FA Cup was first founded 145 years ago in 1871, making it the oldest single football event in the world. It is the only competition of its kind which allows any club from all 10 tiers in the English football league system to enter. Teams that have competed in the FA Trophy or the FA vase the season before are eligible to enter; teams outside this criterion are able to compete subject to successful application – in 2015 there were over 90 successful applicants that joined the tournament from the 10th tier of the English pyramid system. The first rounds are played in August, September and October for the lower league teams while the clubs in the top 4 tiers begin their fixtures in November.
The final was traditionally held every year at the Wembley Stadium, however during the years the venue underwent reconstruction it was played at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. Since the stadium has been rebuilt in 2007 the final has returned to its proper home where crowds of over 80,000 attend the final every year. FA Cup betting has proven to be extremely popular over the years as it’s one of the few competitions where any team has a chance of winning; it’s also one of the few tournaments where you can cash in on some really staggering odds prices, particularly for outright bets. Underdogs in recent years that have gone on to win include Wigan Athletic in 2012-2013 and Portsmouth in 2007-2008, however the most succesful teams in FA Cup history are Manchester Utd. and Arsenal who both have 11 titles apiece.
The EFL is another British favourite that includes all 92 teams in the top 4 tiers of English football. It operates in a knockout format right from the first round, with the exception of the semi-finals which are played over two legs. Like the FA Cup, the final is traditionally played at Wembley Stadium, and due to the far reaching participation of the teams, there are again plenty of betting opportunities to be had.
All the passion, emotion and excitement felt as people support their club teams throughout the regular domestic seasons almost pale in comparison when it comes to international football events. International competitions are where players become national heroes and where supporters unite under one flag to support their nation. The ultimate prize in world football is undoubtedly the World Cup, however there are a number of other prestigious international tournaments on which you can find great odds at the bookies. For some really great odds prices, we suggest heading over to one of our top rated bookmakers, Betway.
The World Cup
As previously mentioned, the World Cup is the most valued prize in world football, and also one of the most popular international betting events. It takes place every four years and features the 32 best teams in the world that made it through the qualifying rounds. Brazil are the most successful team in world cup history, having won the tournament 5 times. Italy are tied with the current champions Germany who both have four titles to their name.
UEFA European Championship
The UEFA European Championship (also known as the Euros) is a competition which features the best national sides on the European continent. Like the World Cup, the tournament is held every four years in a pre-chosen location, and the teams progress through to the group stages once they’ve made it through the preliminary qualifying rounds which take place two years before the tournament begins. The most successful teams in the tournaments history are Spain and Germanys who have each been crowned champions on three occasions.
African Cup of Nations
The Africa Cup of Nations is the most high-profile, most exciting football event on the African continent. The tournament is held every two years instead of every four as 16 teams compete for the main prize. Like most international competitions, the location of the tournament is decided prior to the event and is held in a different location every time.
This is the oldest international football competition in the world and the premier prize for Latin American nations. There are 32 matches played between 16 teams over a period of around 1 month. After a considerable amount of restructuring, it was decided in 2011 that the tournament will take place every four years instead of every three. The most recent tournament this past summer was held in the USA – the first time it was hosted by a country outside of South America – and the next tournaments are scheduled to take place in Brazil and Ecuador.
We hope after reading this page you now have a good idea of the vast range of football events that are covered by betting operators today. We’ve only gone so far as to provide an overview of all the most popular events that generate the most interest, however if you dig a little deeper you’ll find a much greater pool of leagues and competitions – many of which you’ve probably never even heard of! In order to avoid getting too overwhelmed, we advise that you first focus on the competitions that we’ve listed here. Watch the games, take some time to note the best teams and the best players and maybe get a bit of background insight to the history of the competition before you start wagering. Once you have a bit of experience and gained a bit of confidence then you can start to build up to some of the other tournaments.
If you have any questions about football leagues & tournaments, or anything else contained on this site, please feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why Do Bookmakers Offer Less Bet Types for the Lower Leagues?
The more interest a certain league attracts, the more bet types the bookmaker will offer. For instance, top fixtures in the Premier League or in the La Liga will generate a huge amount of interest and revenue to all bookmakers. It is therefore well worth the bookmaker's while to offer as many bet types as possible. However for less popular fixtures in the National League that will probabaly only generate local interest, bookmakers will only offer a selection.