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The League Cup Explained
Alongside the Premier League and the FA Cup, the League Cup is one of the three major honours professional English football teams compete for each year. And just like the other competitions, it’s renowned for thrilling encounters, giant killings and action-packed Wembley finals. As such, it offers punters one of the most exciting betting experiences in English football.
The League Cup, otherwise known as the EFL Cup or the Carabao Cup, is contested by the 92 teams that make up the English Football League. All the sides from League Two, League One, the Championship and the Premier League battle it out over the course of seven rounds for a coveted spot in the Wembley final. Premier League teams enter the competition in the second round, unless they’re involved in any European Competitions, in which case they enter in the third. The competition is played in a knockout format from the outset, with the winner of each tie progressing to the next round which they can do in normal time, extra time or on penalties.
League Cup History
The inaugural League Cup took place in the 1960-61 season with the final contested by Aston Villa and Rotherham United, which the Villans won 3-2. Since then, Liverpool and Manchester City have emerged as the competition’s most successful teams having both lifted the trophy no less than eight times each. Manchester United, Chelsea and Aston Villa have been victorious on five occasions each while Arsenal have the unwanted record of being on the losing side of a final the most times, failing to win in six of their eight final appearances.
Best Historical Odds
Just like the FA Cup, the EFL Cup is renowned for unlikely upsets and the competition has seen its fair share of giant killings in the past. Perhaps its biggest shock came in the 2011 final when Birmingham City defeated Arsenal after an 89th-minute winner from Obafemi Martins. The final has also featured teams from outside the top-flight on more than one occasion, with First Division Tranmere making it to the last two in the 1999/2000 season before being beaten by Leicester City of the Premiership. League Two Bradford City also made it to Wembley in 2013 but fell to Swansea City of the Premier League at the final hurdle.
Other countries have their own round robin domestic competitions. There is the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup, while in Italy teams compete for Coppa Italia and the Copa del Rey in Spain.
What League Cup Markets Can I Bet On?There are plenty of ways you can wager on the League Cup. From simple match result bets to predicting the next goalscorer, let’s have a look at some of the key options available to you.
The match result is probably the most common market in football betting. All you have to do is decide who will win a game after the final whistle. You’ll be able to back a home win, an away win or a draw. One thing to keep in mind when betting on this market is that the match result often only applies to results inside ninety minutes and may not take into account final scores after extra time or penalties. So make sure you check with your betting site to see what is covered by the market before placing a match result bet on a League Cup game.
The correct score market is pretty straightforward — just select what you think the final scoreline will be. The potential returns from correct score bets can be lucrative but this is because it’s typically a very difficult market to predict. If you do fancy betting on this market, avoid accumulators and stick to single fold selections to increase your chances of winning.
The over/under goals market has become a firm favourite amongst football bettors. All you have to do is predict whether there’ll be more or less than a certain amount of goals in the game. So say for example you think there will be fewer than four goals in a game, you’d choose under 3.5 goals and add the selection to your betslip. It’s as simple as that.
Both Teams to Score
Like the previous market, this one is all about goals and is as simple as it sounds. If you think that both teams will score a goal in a game you can select ‘yes’ and if you think one or both teams will fail to score you can back ‘no’. Selecting ‘yes’ in this market is a solid option if you think a game will be evenly contested, but you can’t tell who will come out on top. Selecting ‘no’, however, is good if you can see a bore draw on the horizon or if you want better odds on a team that is overwhelming favourites to win.
Popular Goalscorer Market
The goalscorer markets are ever-popular amongst seasoned punters and first-time footy bettors alike. Most bookmakers offer goalscorer markets on individual games like first, last and anytime goalscorer. You’ll also find top goalscorer markets for an entire competition like the Carabao Cup or Premier League. Make sure to check the form when betting on this market. Goalscorers often go through patches of red hot form where everything they hit seems to find the back of the net and periods when they can’t seem to hit a barn door. So whilst anyone can score, it’s often a good idea to back someone who’s on a hot streak when wagering on this market.
Outright betting allows you to back a team to win a whole competition rather than just an individual game. Whether you’re picking a winner for the League Cup, Champions League or the FA Cup, it’s always interesting to see whether your chosen side can get all the way to the cup final. One of the best things about outright betting is that you don’t have to place a wager at the beginning of the season or before a competition has started. Outright markets stay open throughout competitions. As such, it can be a good idea to wait until the quarter-finals or even the semi-finals to ensure your choice doesn’t get knocked out in the early rounds and has the best chance of lifting the cup. On the flip side, taking the plunge and putting your money on a team pre-tournament can help you lock in some favourable betting odds. Placing bets this early, however, always come with greater risk as there are more opportunities for your chosen team to exit the competition.
Boost Your League Cup Bankroll with a BonusCustomers signing up to a new site will be able to boost their betting funds by claiming a welcome bonus. The best sites will offer a generous bonus amount with minimal restrictions, so make sure you read the terms and conditions before you sign up.
Matched deposits offer some of the biggest rewards that new customers can claim. With this type of betting offer, bookies will match the first deposit of new accounts with free bets by up to 100%. This means if you sign up using a matched deposit bonus and make a deposit of £100 for example, the bookmaker will credit your account with £100 in free bets to use on the site. These offers are typically limited to a set amount and there are often a number of wagering requirements attached to them. Most notably, you may have to play through the value of the bonus a number of times before being able to withdraw any money won using the free bets. Make sure you’re familiar with the terms and conditions of any offer before signing up.
Free bets are probably the most common offers you’ll come across. They usually require a new customer to make a qualifying bet of a certain amount, which will then result in a free bet being credited to their account. Like most bonuses, there are usually a range of different terms and conditions with free bets. These include time limits on how long you can use the funds once you’ve claimed them and restrictions on which markets you can use them on. You may also find that you can only use the funds on odds above a minimum price, so make sure you’ve checked out the fine print before you sign up to a free bet.
Enhanced odds promotions allow new and existing customers to bet on top sporting events like the League Cup, Premier League and Champions League at an improved price. These types of offers can be included as welcome bonuses but are often available as part of ongoing promotions by some of the best bookies. So if you’re on the lookout for the best League Cup odds, keep an eye on your chosen bookie’s promotions page.
Make Sure You Understand Bonus Terms and ConditionsThe terms and conditions of a bonus will affect the value of your promotions and, therefore, how you play with it. We’ve laid out the key terms to keep an eye out for and how they will impact your wagering.
You’ll find wagering requirements in the terms and conditions of many bonus offers and they can make an offer much less attractive than it originally seemed. As such, it’s important to take notice of them. Essentially, wagering requirements require you to bet a certain amount of your own cash before you can withdraw any money won using a bonus. So say for instance you used a matched deposit bonus to claim £100 in free bets and the matched deposit bonus required you to play through the value of the bonus ten times. In this case, you’d have to part with £1000 of your own money before making a withdrawal.
Many bonus offers are restricted by time limits, which will often dictate that there is a certain period of time within which the offer has to be claimed and used. After that time period has passed, you won’t be able to access or play with a bonus. Time limits will be placed on how long you can claim the funds after signing up to the bonus and how long you have the funds for after first using them.
Another thing to take into consideration when playing with a bonus is the maximum amount you can win. You’ll find that the terms and conditions of all bonuses will state the maximum amount of possible winnings, so take note before placing a bet using a bonus. Also, keep in mind that the maximum amount of winnings will still apply even if the odds of a selection offer a much greater return.
Bet on the League Cup as the Action Happens
Withdraw Your Funds Early
Just like placing in-play bets, being able to cash out your bets adds a layer of flexibility to betting and most bookmakers now have a number of different ways you can cash out. The best betting sites now give you the option to fully or partially cash out bets as well as offering an automatic cash-out function. So say for example your bet is winning and you want to lock in some profit, but still fancy leaving some of your stake to run, you could use the partial cash out option to do just that. The automatic cash-out feature, however, allows you to set an amount at which your winnings will be automatically withdrawn.
Make the Most Informed Bet
Check the Form
The most important thing to know when placing a bet, whether you’re backing a team, a player or goals, is the form. Knowing how a team or player is playing can be crucial when deciding who to back, so make sure to check their stats.
Look at how a team is playing at home or on the road and how they usually fare against similar opposition. Likewise, if you’re backing a goalscorer, see how they’ve been doing of late and keep an eye on the kind of opposition they score their goals against. Educating yourself through research is always the best way to make the most informed decision when betting.
Wait for the Lineups
This one is particularly important for the League Cup as managers often use the competition as an opportunity to blood youngsters and rest some of their senior players amidst a hectic schedule. This often means that teams field unfamiliar and weakened lineups which increase the chances of an upset. One way to lessen the risk is to wait until the teams have been announced before placing your bets. If you can’t wait until then, keep an eye on the managers’ comments in the build-up to the game as they may reveal some selection information. But this isn’t always guaranteed as they will like to keep their opposite numbers guessing for as long as possible.
Take Other Competitions into Account
Another thing to take note of is how teams are faring in other competitions. If a team is fighting relegation or challenging for the title in the Premier League, for instance, there’s a greater chance they’ll focus their efforts on those games over their League Cup matches. The way managers treat the League Cup is a controversial subject for some, but with the stakes so high in the Premier League, it’s not uncommon for teams from League One and League Two to reach the latter stages of the cup. Some may even make it to the final like Bradford did when they faced Swansea in 2013, knocking out Premier League opposition in the quarter and semi-finals in Arsenal and Aston Villa respectively.
Bet on the League Cup From the Palm of Your Hand
With the rise of slick native apps and purpose-built desktop interfaces, there’s never been a better time to bet on the football from your mobile. Whether you fancy a flutter on the League Cup or another top competition like the Champions League, Premier League or the Football League, using a mobile app means you can bet anytime and anywhere. Not only do mobile apps give you the freedom to bet on the go, but you’ll also still have access to all the best perks you’d get from a desktop site like the best cup odds, live streams and special promotional offers.
Depositing and Withdrawing Your Betting Funds
Debit cards are amongst the most commonly used payment methods. The vast majority of betting sites accept Maestro, Visa and Mastercard debit cards and usually require a minimum transaction amount between £5 - £20. A potential drawback of using a debit card as your chosen payment method is that it can take a few days for the money to appear in your bank account after you’ve made a withdrawal. The specific amount of time will depend on who you bank with and the processing policy of your chosen betting site but it usually takes between one and five banking days.
E-wallets are an increasingly popular payment method amongst online punters due to their security, ease of use and speed of transaction. Services like Paypal, Skrill and Neteller allow you to make swift transactions from your smartphone, desktop or mobile device without having to share your bank details with the site. Withdrawal times are often much quicker when using e-wallets, with payments appearing in your account within the space of a few hours. One downside to using an e-wallet is that some sites require a slightly higher minimum transaction fee of around £10 - £20. Some e-wallets will also be excluded from certain bonuses, so make sure you have read the fine print before claiming a promotion.
Prepaid cards like Paysafecard are another secure way that players can fund their betting accounts. The cards can be bought in a range of set values, either online or in person, and can then be used to fund an account up to that amount. One drawback is that you’ll have to use another payment method when taking money out of your betting account as Paysafecards can’t be used to make withdrawals.
How to Stay Safe When Gambling
It’s important to remember that betting should always be a fun experience and a source of entertainment. Betting should not be a way to make money. If you feel like betting is no longer fun or that you need to take a break you should consider taking some action. Here are a few things that can help you can stay in control:
Set Deposit Limits
Whoever you bet with, you’ll be able to set deposit limits on your account. These are restrictions that will prevent you from depositing over a set amount within a certain period of time. You’ll have the option to set, daily, weekly and monthly deposit limits on your account that will come into effect instantly.
Take Time Outs
If you feel like you need to take a step back from betting, all gambling sites will give you the option to impose a time out period which will block you from accessing your account for time periods ranging from a day to a number of months. If you feel like you need a longer break or would like to stop gambling altogether, you can also self-exclude yourself for periods of six months or more.
Get in Touch with Charities
If you’ve become concerned about your own, or someone else’s gambling habits, you can reach out to a number of different charities. You can contact BeGambleAware.org over the phone or via an online live chat for free. They’ll connect you with a trained advisor who’ll offer you confidential support and advice to help you stay in control of your gambling.
Ready to Play?
Now you’ve got the lowdown on how to get the most out of betting on the League Cup, you’re all set to make that first bet. If you fancy making use of some of our top tips, head over to our top betting sites page where you’ll find links to the best welcome bonuses currently on offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best markets when betting on the League Cup?
There is no one market that’s better than any of the others, it’s really all a question of risk. If you want to reduce the risk of your bet, choose a selection with lower odds like over 0.5 or 1.5 goals to be scored. If you’d like to take on more risk, you could add multiple selections to make an accumulator or place a correct goalscorer bet. Remember though that the higher the odds of your selection, the less likely it is to win and even bets with low odds have no guarantee of winning.
Can I bet each way on the EFL Cup Winner?
Several bookies give punters the chance to bet on the EFL Cup winner each way. This means that if your pick comes second or third, you’ll still receive a payout, just at a fraction of the odds given (usually 1/4).
Are all the sites recommended on Compare.bet safe to bet with?
We ensure that every site we review on Compare.bet is first licenced and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the UK’s leading gambling regulator. This means that should you bet with them, your personal information will be protected.
Can I place an accumulator on League Cup matches?
Absolutely! Placing an acca on a round of League Cup matches is one of the best ways to bet on the competition. However, as the ties are drawn after each round, you won’t be able to place an accumulator using games from different rounds.
How do I get the best odds when betting on the League Cup?
The best way to ensure you’re getting the best odds is to compare the prices of each market and selection at the time of placing your bet. Keep in mind though that no one site consistently has the best odds as they change all the time.