All the Best Football Leagues to Bet on
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 the lowest echelons of the European football leagues to the best English football leagues the best bookmakers really do have all the bases covered. It even gets a little overwhelming once you open the dropdown section of football betting markets. One thing is for sure, you should have no problem, at all, finding the best football leagues to bet on.
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 best football betting sites page, they offer a very large number of betting markets per fixture, there is a great selection of special bonuses.
While paying close attention to how popular betting on the Premier League is in the UK, we will also present facts about the betting markets that the rest of the European football leagues provide. We will take a critical look at the markets for the Champions League and Europa League as well.
English Football 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 UK; laying odds on the Premier League, therefore, takes precedence at most bookmakers.
This said however, Championship betting sites are a big hit with punters too. 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 review each competition individually.
The Top UK Football League: The Premier League
Every bookmaker out there regardless of how long they’ve been on the market or how many different leagues they offer will always prioritize the Premier League markets. The huge number of international stars and big-name clubs have given the Premier League the reputation as one of the most competitive world football leagues.
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 several different winners since it was founded in 1992; Manchester United has the most titles to their name, while even underdogs such as Leicester City managed to pull-off a title-winning season. The unpredictability and the money and fame at stake explain why the betting odds are so good.
Despite not having quite the same international following as the Premier League, The EFL Championship packs intriguing football events followed by many. 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 fixtures from the EFL.
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, so this is something you can bet on too.
The teams that finish from 3rd to 6th enter into the play-off round. All football leagues considered, the EFL still enjoys the favourable view of the top online sportsbooks. If you are a fan, there’s nothing stopping you from placing wagers on the preferred by you meets.
- 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 of the English Football Leagues. For more detailed information on how we calculate the odds prices, be sure to head over to our main page where we demonstrate how to calculate the best betting sites’ payouts yourself.
Football League One
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 playoff 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. All in all, you have one of the leading world football leagues when t comes to football, so reasonable wagering options do exist
Football League Two
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 the future champion, or who will be promoted.
The National League
Below the English Football League is the National League (formerly known as the Conference National). We wouldn’t say it’s among the best leagues to bet on, but it has merit that the pundits appreciate. 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 promotion to the EFL Two; they are then joined by the winner of the second-place playoff. 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.
European Football Leagues
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 being in the elite club of the best European football leagues. In football betting terms then, this inevitably means that there are some fantastic gambling opportunities to be had.
All the top bookmakers go to great lengths to ensure that they provide good coverage of all the top-flight European Leagues. For some really outstanding payout prices, we recommend BetVictor’s sportsbook where you’ll find the best overall odds for football. Keep reading 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 and to attract viewership with their eternal rivalry. For the last 87 years, both teams have dominated the Spanish league.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have also generated some of the best odds in La Liga betting. The top 3 teams at the end of the season automatically qualify for a place in the Champions League, while the 4th place finishers enter a play-off round, the winner of which qualifies for the group stages.
Every year the three teams with the least number of points go down into the Segunda Division, which is also a big deal when football history is concerned. Compared to all football leagues as a whole, Segunda Division presents good betting opportunities like ACCAs and other combination bets.
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 is by far the most dominant and most popular team in the league, having won the title 25 times throughout 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.
Betting on the Bundesliga, which is considered one of the strongest European football leagues, is a golden opportunity to try to line up more than one fixture in your betting slip. The Bundesliga is given a lot of credit by the bookies, which, in turn. is filled by good in-play markets, live streams, and prop bets.
The Italian Serie A
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, people choose to bet on The Serie A all the same. A.C Milan is the second most successful European team when it comes to the number of Champions League titles won.
Juventus and Inter Milan are among the top 10 most successful football 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. Very often it warrants special prop bets and promotions for punters.
- 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 European football leagues. With average odds of 92.31 – 98.59%, the best value for your money is found on the British Premier League, while the least good value is on the La Liga.
This is a little surprising though placing wagers on Spanish La Liga is hugely popular in Europe, however, average prices of 90.88 – 95.82% are still more than respectable. It has to be noted that, this doesn’t denote a decrease in quality, but just that the European sportsbooks are operating on bigger profit margins for certain championships.
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. For punters, betting on the Champions League is the equivalent of getting great value and tough to predict matches at the same time.
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, tense moments, and clutch plays.
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. Betting on the Europa League final is a popular choice and a matter of pride for the experts.
Due to the high number of games played per year for clubs that qualify in Europe, teams are often forced to place more focus on tournaments on which they are more concerned with winning. This adds an extra layer of unpredictability and opportune value bets for you to spot.
To deal with the workload 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, like the FA Cup.
The FA Cup
Commensurate to the top football leagues in the world, 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 a 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. The clubs in the top 4 tiers begin their fixtures in November. To be successful in playing the FA fixtures as a bettor, you need a good football betting strategy Feel free to visit our dedicated to the tournament page.
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.
The potential bets on FA Cup events are always tempting because of a big pool of teams taking part. 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.
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.
World Football Leagues
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 solid odds prices, we suggest heading over to our Betway sportsbook review.
The World Cup
As previously mentioned, the World Cup is valued more than all world football leagues combined. This makes for the most intriguing international betting event. It takes place every four years and features the 32 best teams in the world that made it through the qualifying rounds.
Brazil is the most successful team in world cup history, having won the tournament 5 times. Italy is tied with the current champions Germany who both have four titles to their name. France, Germany, and Argentina are also among the usual suspects when talking about finalists and cup winners.
The last time England won the World Cup was in 1966 – They beat Germany 4-2 at the old Wembley Stadium
UEFA European Championship
The UEFA European Championship (also known as the Euros) is a competition that features the best national sides in Europe . 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.
The most successful teams in the tournament’s history are Spain and Germany who have each been crowned champions on three occasions. As far as betting goes, you can count on a good number of outrights, and double chance wagers. You might need to get a bit creative to get a good multiplier.
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.
This is the oldest international competition among all football events. 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.
You Can Basically Bet on All Football Leagues
We hope that after reading this page you now have a good idea of the best football leagues to bet on. If you dig a little deeper you inevitably 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 football events 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 into the history of the competition before you start wagering.
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.
⚽ What are the football events I can bet on?
It is fair to say that basically you can bet on all football leagues around the world. Maybe little exceptions still exist, but you can be certain that the major football events receive adequate coverage. National cups, championships, The Champions League, The Europa League are in the spotlight of the betting sites.
📉 Why do bookmakers offer fewer 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 for all bookmakers. Championships like the English football League Two, for example, aren't that enticing to viewers and bettors.
🌎 What are the top football leagues in the world?
The top European football leagues feature the best players and the most commercial tournaments. Both unbiased viewers and bettors are fond of watching football from Europe for the simple reason that it rarely gets any better than that. Regardless of the intent, watching or betting on the European football leagues counts as a premium experience.
🥅 What are the English football leagues?
Five tiers can be distinguished in the structure of the English football leagues. Those are the Premier League, The Championship, Football League One, Football League Two, and The National League. Online sportsbooks are more than ready to lay odds on any of the aforementioned leagues.