Boasting 48 teams in the group stages, the Europa League— formerly known UEFA Cup— offers football bettors a wide range of betting opportunities to enjoy on a Thursday evening. Of course, this vast array of betting options can be overwhelming for first-time punters, so let us run you through the basics to give you a head start on this year’s competition. We’ve even handpicked the top Europa League betting sites, so you can compare bookmakers, pick out a favourite and get ready to place your bets.
When does the Europa League action start?
The Europa League begins as early as June for some clubs, but the real action begins in September, at the start of the group stages. From September to December, football bettors can feast on a mammoth amount of pre-match and in-play betting opportunities from the 144 games that are played in the group stages.
The group stage is followed by a winter break, which ends in February. This is when the knockout stages commence, and the run up to the final match begins. With over 200 matches in the tournament, there are thousands of individual betting options, which means there’s plenty of opportunity to win big during this tournament. Let’s take a closer look at some of the bets you might make during this competition.
Who should I back?
This might not be as straightforward as it first appears, especially for inexperienced football punters. Certain football teams value the Europa League more highly than others, so whilst you’ll have a sprinkling of big names in the groups, you shouldn’t be swayed on name alone.
Depending on how a team values this competition, they’ll take different approaches to the formation of their team. This means you’ll need to do your research before placing your Europa League bet. Which contenders have named a full-strength squad, and which are putting out their academy players? Has the team performed well in other leagues, and are there any new signings or injuries to consider? Keep an eye on the managers’ comments in the news, as some will openly admit that they’re prioritising domestic football leagues over this competition- comments like this can be a red flag to bettors.
Europa League betting markets
When it comes to betting on the Europa League, it’s often best to take a game-by-game approach- especially in the group stages. This will allow you to be more flexible with the bets you place and adjust your strategy accordingly. With this in mind, these are a few of the top betting options that hold the best value for football punters.
- Match result
This isn’t necessarily the most exciting betting market, but football punters can strike it lucky if they’ve done their research to find out how each team is approaching the game. Bets on heavy favourites won’t have the best odds, but they’re less risky than some of the other betting decisions you can make.
- Over/Under goals
In this market you’ll place a bet on whether a football match will contain three or more goals, or two or less goals. The odds for this market are poor, unless you bet over/under 3.5 goals on average. This means you have a few options: find the games you predict will rain goals, or pick a handful to build a steady over/under 1.5 accumulator. In-play betting can be a great way of maximising your over/under bets if you feel your luck might take a turn for the worst.
Statistically, certain teams will perform better in one half than the other. In general, more goals tend to be scored in the second half of football games as the players begin to tire. Betting on the results of specific halves of the game is a great way to take advantage of better odds, and is often more interesting than a simple outright win punt. In this situation, a little pre-betting research can help you out. Which teams tend to come flying out the blocks, and which save their energy for the second half? These factors can impact the bet you make.
Compare and bet!
Now that we’ve run through some of the best Europa League betting opportunities, you’re probably keen to give it a go. Take a look at our list of the top Europa League betting sites to compare, find your favourite and sign up today! With some sites offering fantastic no deposit welcome bonus deals and free bets, you’ll be able to kick things off with a fantastic bankroll boost.