Europa League Odds: What Does the ‘Little Brother’ Have in Store?
Europa League odds are a strange phenomenon. Few teams actively want to participate in the competition, which makes things a little trickier. When you also take teams from lower-ranked associations into consideration, you have a who’s who of underdogs and ragtag squads. To be able to properly win, you have to understand the qualification process, as well as the transition point when third-placed CL teams go into the EL. Only verified tipsters should concern you. Once you’ve mastered the inner workings of the competition, Europa League betting odds will be in the palm of your hand.
Even though Europa League odds almost always play second fiddle to their Champions League counterparts, it’s high time that you reconsidered this undeserved status that they somehow reached. While top-tier teams may not be filling out every group, this competition is a hotbed for all sorts of excitement and unexpected results. This results in Europa League odds sometimes being unusually high.
Do we think you should pounce on Europa League odds? Certainly! However, there is much more to this football betting niche than meets the eye. That’s why we decided to break down the competition formerly known as the UEFA Cup and give you some essential pointers on how to bet properly and win frequently. Once you’re done with this guide, you will be a true master of Europa League odds.
The Inner Workings: Mechanisms That Impact Europa League Odds
Started in 1971 as the UEFA Cup, this competition was created with the purposes of making international club football more inclusive on the Old Continent. Ever since the European Cup, now known as the Champions League, was founded, many clubs and football associations criticised the format for only including the best of the best.
Teams that didn’t finish in the top 3 were basically being sentenced to languishing within their countries borders, even though their quality wasn’t significantly lower when compared to their division-winning counterparts. With the creation of the Europa League, many lower-ranked countries got a chance to send teams to an elite competition, which resulted in further revenue and an increase in overall football quality.
While the Champions League is definitely the flagship product of European football, the Europa League is seen as the competition that is most beneficial to the overall development of football as a whole. To understand Europa League odds properly, as well as the way they are posted and moved, we have to analyse the qualification process. Here’s the crux of it:
- The Europa League is comprised of 48 teams, which is unlike the Champions League setup of 32 squads. Initially, the number of teams was smaller, but UEFA wanted to bring European football to new and previously unexplored markets and regions. There are twelve groups of four teams at the beginning of each season.
- When it comes to placing teams into groups, it is done by placing teams that have qualified into tiers, according to the UEFA coefficient of the country. Usually, every country has three berths, with the exception of the lowest-ranked countries, such as Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar, and Liechtenstein. Because of their low UEFA coefficient, they don’t get a place in the group stage, but have to start from the first round of the qualification tournament. This stage is full of enticing Europa League odds, so you should start paying attention before the groups are set.
- The next step in understanding Europa League odds involves the qualification process. In the biggest leagues, two teams after the top four get an automatic berth, while the third berth comes in the form of place in the third round of the qualification tournament. Domestic cup winners from these leagues also receive an automatic place in the group stage, but only for associations ranked 7-9. If a team that wins the domestic cup has also had a high enough league finish to qualify for the EL or the CL, an additional berth is awarded to that country. The qualification process is key to grasping Europa League odds, as you can rank teams based on the difficulty of their path to the group stage.
- Now, this is what makes it tricky. The group stage involves a double round-robin system, with each team playing the other three twice. For every victory, three points are awarded, while a draw yields only one. The top two teams from each group get to advance through the knock-out stage. If two clubs have the same number of points, goal difference and head-to-head performance are used as tie-breakers. 24 total teams advance, but they are also joined by 8 teams who finished third in their respective CL groups. The round of 32 is considered to be a hotspot for high Europa League odds, as it’s difficult to predict how a lower-tier CL team will perform in that particular EL season.
- Afterwards, you get a treat in the form of four knockout rounds, each being two-legged. The final is a one-off match and it always takes place ten days before the Champions League final. While this game attracts the most attention, you won’t find the best Europa League odds at this stage. There is a lot of information available and surprises aren’t that common once the semifinals are done.
When you look at the crux of things, Europa League odds aren’t that different from other international competitions. However, the qualification is a bit more complex than usual. The best way to approach the whole thing is to track the teams, both from the big leagues and from the smaller ones. If you’re knowledgeable about a team’s qualification process, you will know their strengths and weaknesses and, thus, be able to predict the outcome correctly.
Which Stage Offers the Best Europa League Odds?
Even though there are betting tips for all stages of the competition, not all Europa League odds are the same. We at Betting.com prefer something that’s called the gradual approach, which is a specific method used to improve your bankroll over a longer period of time. The first stage involves betting on the qualification stages. In most cases, there will be lopsided matchups, so the best way to capitalise on lower Europa League odds is to look for compelling bookmaker offers. Because you’re betting with free money, you’ll be able to offset the minimised winnings with a good bookmaker bonus. This is where you build the foundation of your budget for the later stages of the competition.
When it comes to the group stage, the first thing you ought to do is to follow a verified tipster or two. They will be able to supply you with tips for various types of Europa League odds. This info can later be used for cross-referencing with your own research. NEVER trust a tip without doing your own research and running the tip itself through your betting algorithm. You can only place a bet once everything checks out.
Once you’ve reached the knockout stages, things get a bit more interesting, and we consider this the stage with the best odds. While we know a lot about Europa League betting odds for the teams that went through, the incoming CL cast-outs will probably mess things up a bit. This when you should focus on a strong accumulator bet for each matchday.
In conclusion – the highest odds are definitely during the rounds of 32 and 16, mostly because there are a plethora of teams still vying for the trophy.
Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of Europa League odds, as well as the strategy you can use, it’s time to focus on the details. Now, before you bring out your betting calculator, you should know that most of these factors are, in fact, intangible. You can’t convert them to numbers to use them to better understand your betting stats.
We at Betting.com take pride in approaching Europa League odds in a meticulous manner. The following tips are a result of years of research and testing, ever since the current EL format was introduced:
- While most experts may not agree with this approach, you should always look to pinpoint a team’s motivation to win. For example, if Sheffield United are vying for a top spot in the Premier League, while also competing in the Europa League, they’re probably going to field weaker teams for Europa League fixtures. Weigh the squad’s options in all competitions they’re in. Once you’re sure that a team is actually prioritizing the EL, you can place a bet on them.
- Pay special attention to Europa League odds on teams that have been in the Champions League during the first half of the European season. If they were doing okay but were derailed by a strong group they were in, you can place an outright bet on them winning the league.
- Don’t rely solely on Europa League odds to boost your bankroll. Combine your knowledge about other leagues and only go for bets you think you can win. Risks are always welcome, but you shouldn’t base your accas solely on them.