How To Bet On The Europa League
Betting on the Europa League is incredibly popular, with only the Champions League and Premier League seeing greater volumes of money bet across the course of the football season. Our Europa League betting guide will show you how to approach betting on the second tier of European club football.
Europa League Betting: An Introduction
The Europa League has not always been given the fairest press by football fans. It is very much the secondary competition of European football but that is not to say that it is a poor spectacle by any means. There is a great combination of established European teams and up-and-comers in the Europa League 2016 and some genuinely world class players. It’s also something of a breeding ground for Europe’s best young talent, especially in the early stages. Try and tell Harry Kane that the Europa League is not important.
This Europa League betting guide is going to take you through how the tournament plays out, group stage and knockout phase betting, what sort of betting opportunities it provides and the best ways of taking full advantage of them.
2016/17 Europa League Dates
The 2016/17 Europa League Group Stage begins September 15th and concludes December 8th.
This is followed by the Europa League knockout stage that begins February 16th 2017, concluding May 11th.
The Europa League Final will then be held on 24th of May 2017 at Friends Arena, Stockholm.
- Europa League Tournament Format
- History Of The Europa League
- Europa League Odds Explained
- How To Bet On The Europa League And Win
- Betting On The Europa League Online
- Europa League Live Streaming
- Europa League Betting Tips
1. Europa League Tournament Format
UEFA has long held a secondary continental tournament to complement the Champions League (or European Cup as it used to be known). However, it has only been branded as the Europa League since 2009.
The Europa League was known, in another life, as the UEFA Cup. Officially they are the same competition but the format used for the Europa League now is dramatically different to the UEFA Cup.
How The Europa League Works
UEFA began a shake-up of its continental competitions in 1999 when it decided to scrap the Cup Winners’ Cup. Teams who would otherwise have qualified for the Cup Winners’ Cup were now given a spot in the UEFA Cup. 10 years later, UEFA decided that it would also abolish the Intertoto Cup and came up with the idea of rebranding the UEFA Cup as the Europa League.
That leaves us with the competition that we’ve become used to over recent years. Each year 48 teams are divided into twelve Europa League groups of four. However, before we can get to this stage, there is a drawn out qualification period.
Europa League Qualification Stage
Europa League qualification begins in June for some teams. From the first round all the way to the playoff round of qualification, the Europa League draw is seeded based on the strength of clubs’ 2016 UEFA club coefficient ranking. The lowest seeded teams enter in the first qualification round, with new teams added all the way to playoff round subject to their coefficient and the route via which they qualified. The huge variation in ability of the teams taking part in this early stage of the competition can be seen in their Europa League odds to qualify.
Each of the qualification rounds are two-legged affairs with a home and away game for both teams. The team who wins on aggregate score qualifies for the next round with away goals used to settle ties. If the score is level after applying away goals then extra time and penalties are used.
Europa League Group Stage
Europa League fixtures in the group stages begin in the middle of September and go on until early December. Each team will play six group stage matches (for a total of 12 matches per group) with three points awarded for a win and one for a draw.
The top two teams in each group at the end of the group stage progress to the knockout stage (ties are settled by a number of ordered criteria beginning with goal difference and ending with the teams’ UEFA coefficient).
Europa League Knockout Stage
The 24 teams who qualify out of the Europa League groups stage are then joined by the eight teams who finished in third position in the Champions League groups to make 32 teams. This is a controversial element of the Europa League format as some argue it is unfair for unsuccessful Champions League teams to be parachuted into the Europa League.
The round of 32 is seeded. The top 16 seeds comprise the 12 Europa League group winners and the four Champions League third placed teams with the best records. Furthermore, teams cannot be drawn against teams from their national league or their Europa League group. From then on, there is a draw before each knockout round but there is no seeding and no restrictions on which teams can play one another.
Just like the qualification rounds, each of the knockout rounds are two-legged affairs with a home and away leg. The away goals rule is used to separate ties and any games which are still tied after 180 minutes (that is two 90 minute matches) go on to play extra time and a penalty shootout if required.
The only single-legged round in the Europa League is the final which is a held at a pre-determined neutral stadium.
Current 2016/17 Europa League Group Standings
2. History Of The Europa League
As we’ve seen above, the history of the Europa League is, for official purposes, the same as the UEFA Cup. That’s good news for all football geeks as there are some incredible records to pour over in terms of clubs and individual players. Let’s begin with the clubs.
No team has been crowned Europa League winners more often than Sevilla. The most incredible thing about Sevilla’s record is the fact that all of their five wins have come within the last 10 years. Going into the 2016/17 season, Sevilla are the three-time defending champions.
Three teams have won the Europa League three times – Juventus, Internazionale and Liverpool. Borussia Monchengladbach are the only team to be Europa League runners up more than once.
Europa League (UEFA Cup) Winners
|Zenit St. Petersburg||1||-||2008|
Boosted by Sevilla’s record, Spain are the winning-most nation in the Europa League having provided 10 winners. Italy are second with nine while England have provided seven winners. The last English team to win Europa League glory was Chelsea who triumphed in 2013.
The nature of qualification to the Europa League means there has been a great variety in terms of the teams who have played in the tournament since the 2009 rebranding. Germany have provided 14 different teams while England and Portugal have each had 12 teams compete in the group stages.
The highest scoring game in Europa League final history was Liverpool’s 5-4 win over Alavés (the game was 4-4 after 90 minutes with Liverpool winning via a ‘Golden Goal’).
Now to the player records.
Henrik Larsson is the highest scoring player in the tournament’s history. The Swedish striker scored 40 goals in 56 games for Feyenoord, Celtic and Helsingborgs IF. In terms of the most goals scored in an individual Europa League season, it is hard to see anybody topping Radamel Falcao’s record of 17 goals for some time to come.
Excluding qualifying games, the former Inter player, Giuseppe Bergomi, has made the most appearances with 96.
3. Europa League Odds Explained
The history of the Europa League is varied and interesting but it’s the future that we will now focus. With 48 teams in the group stages and more high class teams added ahead of the first knockout round, you will find hundreds and hundreds of Europa League betting predictions covering a huge selection of markets over the course of the season.
These markets are divided into two main sections. First you have outright markets where you make predictions about long term outcomes, then you have match markets where you are betting on the outcome of individual matches.
Europa League Match Odds
The majority of the Europa League betting tips that you will see this season will regard individual matches. That’s pretty obvious when you think that the options for outright betting markets are limited and that there were 205 matches played in the 2015/16 Europa League.
Like the outrights, the most popular markets for Europa League games concern the match winners but there really is a massive choice. You can bet on statistical outcomes such as how many goals will be scored or how many corners will be awarded. You can bet on the winner of each half and even of 10 minute spells.
You can also get involved in the player markets regarding the first goalscorer and who will be shown a card. There are so many options that you are almost guaranteed to find a betting market to fit the insight that you’ve gained on any individual match.
Ultimately, Europa League match betting offers markets just like any other form of football match betting. The most popular of these are:
- Match Result 1X2: Selecting the result (Home win, Draw, Away win) at the end of 90 minutes plus added time.
- Asian Handicap: Selecting the winner with each competing team carrying a goals handicap.
- Goal Total Over/Under: Selecting either over or under a specified number of goals.
For a comprehensive list and detailed descriptions of football bet types, please read our How To Bet On Football - Football Bets Explained guide.
Europa League Winner Odds
The nature of the Europa League’s format means that this is more dynamic than many other similar markets. One team may be blowing away all-comers in the group stage thus shortening their odds.
However, it's crucial to keep in mind that their odds could well get significantly bigger if a couple of top class teams drop into the knockout rounds via the Champions League.
Most of the biggest bookmakers give you the option to place each-way bets on their winner market. Generally, you’ll be paid out for the place portion of your bet should the team you’ve backed make it to the final.
Europa League Winner Each Way Betting
We can see the each way terms for this market in the top left of the market above. In this case the terms are 1/2 1-2. So how does Europa League each way betting work?
To put it simply, an each way bet on the Europa League winner market is essentially placing two bets. The first bet is the team you select to win the Europa League. The second bet is for your selected team to finish in the 'places'. As stated, the each way terms in for this market are 1/2 1-2. This means that the place part of your bet is for your selected team to either win the final) or at the very least, reach the final but lose, a bet on which you would receive 1/2 (half) your tournament winner odds.
So let's say we want to place £10 each way on Inter Milan to win this year's Europa League. Odds of 17.0 for Inter Milan to be crowned Europa League champions. Our each way bet is therefore:
- £10 on Inter Milan to win the Europa League at odds of 17.0
- £10 on Inter Milan to either win the Europa League or lose the final at 1/2 our outright odds of 17.0
Each way odds are calculated as:
|Each Way Odds||=||((Each way terms) of (winner odds - 1)) + 1|
So in this example, our each way odds for Inter Milan would be:
|Each Way Odds||=||(1/2 of (17.0 - 1) +1|
|Each Way Odds||=||(1/2 of 16.0) +1|
|Each Way Odds||=||8.0 + 1|
|Each Way Odds||=||9.0|
So our £10 each way on Inter Milan is composed of the following two bets:
- £10 on Inter Milan to win the Europa League at odds of 17.0
- £10 on Inter Milan to either win the Europa League or lose the final at odds of 9.0.
Europa League Group Stage Odds
The draw for the group stages brings with it a great range of Europa League group stage betting markets. You’ve got the chance to bet on each of the 12 group winners, which teams you think will qualify for the knockout stage and even which teams you believe are going to finish bottom.
Below is an example of Europa League group winner odds, with odds listed by Ladbrokes for the winner of group A:
There are a number of markets related to Europa League group betting. These include:
- To Qualify For Knockout Stage
- To Finish 2nd In Group
- Tp Finish 3rd In Group
- To Finish Bottom Of Group
- Dual Forecast (pick the two teams to qualify from a group)
- Straight Forecast (pick the two teams to finish1st and 2nd from a group in correct order)
Europa League Top Goalscorer Odds
Another very popular outright option is the top goalscorer market. There are some absolutely top class strikers in the Europa League but also a number of young players looking to grasp the opportunity that is so often afforded to them in the group stages.
Make sure to keep an eye out on these young stars as top goalscorer Europa League favourites may well change quickly and you can clean up if you are ahead of the game.
Europa League (UEFA Cup) Top Goalscorers
|Tomasz Kulawik||Wisla Krakow||8|
|2000/2001||Dimitar Berbatov||CSKA Sofia||7|
|2001/2002||Pierre van Hooijdonk||Feyenoord||8|
|2004/2005||Alan Shearer||Newcastle United||11|
|2005/2006||Matias Emilio Delgado||Basel||9|
|2007/2008||Pavel Pogrebnyak||Zenit St. Petersburg||10|
|Luca Toni||Bayern Munich||10|
|2008/2009||Vagner Love||CSKA Moscow||11|
|Claudio Pizarro||Werder Bremen||9|
|2011/2012||Radamel Falcao||Atletico Madrid||12|
|2013/2014||Jonathan Soriano||Red Bull Salzburg||8|
|2014/2015||Alan||Red Bull Salzburg||8|
|2015/2016||Aritz Aduriz||Athletic Bilbao||10|
4. How To Bet On The Europa League And Win
Now that you’ve got an understanding of the range of Europa League betting markets you’ll find with the bookmakers it is time to give you some insights and strategies to try and make some profit.
Europa League betting is for the most part the same as betting on any other football league or tournament. As with all football wagering, there are a number of fundamentals you can implement so as to ensure you are giving yourself the best chance to turn a profit. The most important of these include:
- Bet only when there is value
- Specialise in certain markets
- Apply a consistent staking method
- Keep detailed records of your bets
- Have accounts with multiple bookmakers
To learn more about the basics of successful and profitable football betting, please read our How To Bet On Football And Win guide.
Betting On Europa League Qualification Stage
Before you even get to the group stage, Europa League qualification odds give you the chance to win big. These matches can quite often throw up a surprise result for a number of reasons.
Firstly, teams may not properly prepare for a game against a so-called minnow, they may not take their opponents seriously and they may be in a very different place in terms of their fitness levels depending on how long they’ve been back in training.
Betting On Europa League Group Stage
It is always important to have a subtly different approach to different tournaments. This is especially true when making Europa League predictions given its unique format.
For example, games in the Europa League tend to be quite high scoring. In the 2015/16 season there was an average of 2.61 goals scored per game, it was 2.67 the year before.
Europa League predictions should also take into consideration the fact that many teams use the group stage of the competition to blood their younger talent and this has a big effect on the outcome. Young and fringe players who want to catch the eye can be a bit naive in their attempts to force their way into the manager’s starting XI. If they are coming up against a more experienced team there are certain opportunities in terms there for you. Think both teams to score, over 2.5 goals or the occasional big Europa League betting odds winner of a match.
Every now and then a less fancied team hits such a good vein of form in qualifying that they make it to the tournament proper. Their Europa League odds to win competition glory may be astronomical but this takes the pressure off of the shoulders of these smaller sides resulting in them having a go, especially against the biggest sides. Again, if you look to some of the less popular betting markets there is profit to be had.
As with other competitions that have a group stage, make sure to take the wider context into consideration before following any Europa League tips. A team may be top of their group and flying but if they’ve already booked their place in the knockout stage the manager could well decide to rest his best players. It’s a long season and managers will make decisions based on their priorities so don’t underestimate how much having nothing to play for can affect a team’s chance of winning.
Betting On Europa League Knockout Stage
When it comes to Europa League knockout stage odds, again, things may not be as they seem. A team may enter the Europa League at the round of 32 from the Champions League with a huge reputation but reputation counts for little compared to current form, confidence and let's face it, desire to win what many larger clubs consider an inferior tournament.
No big team sees their future in the Europa League and to miss out on qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League clearly suggests that not all is well. You have to be careful as teams like Sevilla and Chelsea have won the Europa League in recent years having started the season in the Champions League but there can be some very good value about underdogs taking on favourites who are short on confidence.
Europa League Betting Database
If you're keen to do some number crunching, then the Europa League Betting Database is exactly what you're looking for. Simply choose the two teams you want to compare and contrast, and dozens of statistical categories will be instantly available for your analysis.
5. Betting On The Europa League Online
There’s no point in putting in the research and finding a brilliant Europa League bet only to be let down by your bookmaker. It is vital that you have a variety of bookies with whom to do your betting throughout the season for a number of reasons.
First among these reasons is value. Limiting yourself to just one bookmaker means that you are stuck with their prices. If you see tempting Europa League odds Paddy Power are offering but cannot take advantage because you don’t have a Paddy Power account you are missing out big time.
It’s not just about value though, it’s about choice and depth of coverage. The biggest bookies will offer you many more choices for match betting and outrights than some of the smaller firms. The Europa League odds Ladbrokes quote are not only competitive in terms of the most popular options but also in the more niche markets that they price up. You want to have choices right from the beginning not just the option to profit from the betting tips Europa League final encounters give you.
You also want to consider special extras. Does a bookmaker give you the option to cash out? Do they provide you key stats to help inform your decision? Can you see live stats to allow you to make quick in-play decisions?
Europa League Free Bets Offers
If you believe that you’ve found value Europa League bets, you can give yourself an even better chance of winning big at the bookies compared to simply hunting for value. Europa League betting offers are a great way of both winning bigger and of finding out what a bookmaker can offer you without risking too much of your own betting balance.
Bookies have long since offered new customers enticing free bets as a reward for opening new accounts and, used sensibly, these can provide you with a route to profit. Some of these free bets are generic and that’s fine but often times you’ll find Europa League specific free bets and promotional offers. When these specific offers tally up with a bit of research that you’ve done you are onto a winner.
You should also look beyond the initial free bet. The best bookmakers don’t only give their new customers offers, they have Europa League promotions for their long standing customers at regular spells during the season.
As well as free bets, make sure to keep an eye out on enhanced Europa League winner odds. The bookmakers will offer these from time to time on match markets and outrights both of which can provide a real boost to your betting balance.
What You Should Look For When Choosing An Online Bookmaker?
In conclusion, when selecting your bookmakers for Europa League betting, there are a number of key considerations. The most important to keep in mind are:
- The bookmaker's reputation and media profile.
- The diversity of Europa League betting markets available.
- Europa League In-Play betting markets and Cash Out available.
- Europa League betting odds and bookmaker commissions.
- Mobile betting on Europa League matches.
- Welcome Bonus and Europa League promotional offers.
To learn more about how to choose a bookmaker for football betting, please read our Football Bookmakers guide.
To read detailed reviews of over 50 online bookmakers, please visit our Bookmaker Reviews listing.
For the latest Europa League free bets and promotional offers, please visit our Free Bets listing.
6. Europa League Live Streaming
If you’ve had a bet on the European action, chances are you’ll want to watch the Europa League on TV.
Europa League On Television
Just as the Champions League, BT Sport now has the exclusive rights to broadcast the competition in the UK. That’s not great for people who do not subscribe to BT Sport but they do at least show a selection of the action free to air.
You can also watch Europa League football online with BT Sport. If you want to live stream Europa League final and semi final action, the BT Sport app and YouTube channel is the place to go.
If you haven’t watched the Europa League scores come in and want to catch up on what happened but don’t have BT Sport you can catch all the action on ITV’s highlights show. They will bring you every goal of the tournament and extended highlights from the biggest matches so there is no need to miss out.
Which Bookmakers Offer Football Live Streams?
To see which football leagues are being live streamed this season, please read the live streaming section of our How To Bet On Football guide.
To learn more about bookmaker live streams, please read our bettingexpert live streaming guide.
7. Europa League Betting Tips
Working out where the betting value is, can be incredibly rewarding, not just in financial terms, but also in terms of developing your eye for betting value.
Another way to enhance your betting portfolio is to following the tips of verified Europa League tipsters. At bettingexpert you'll find some of the best Europa League tipsters available anywhere. Not only are these expert Europa League tips profitable but they are free. That's right. Each week of this year's Europa League tournament, you'll be able to following bettingexpert's top Europa League tipsters for free.
Best Europa League Tipsters Of Last Season
Below are bettingexpert's top Europa League tipsters of the 2015/16 season. The proof is in the pudding. Our best Europa League tipsters recorded great profits last season and will be keen to do so again during the 2016/17 Europa League season.
For the latest Europa League predictions, please visit our Europa League Betting Tips page.
To learn more about betting tips, please read our guide to following betting tips.