The Champions League is one of the pinnacles of the game. It’s the spectacle that most people look out for throughout the season and generally decides who’s the best club across the major European leagues.
But, it’s notoriously difficult to bet on, with many professional punters opting to steer well clear and simply concentrate on other, easier leagues.
Whilst this is fair enough, I often like to challenge myself with betting on leagues or tournaments such as the Champions League and I wanted to share with you my train of thought when I go to create a Champions League acca.
Find the best bookmaker
The easiest way to maximise your winnings with these sorts of bets is by getting the best price. It’s the one thing we, as punters, can control and I know I harp on about in pretty much all my articles on site, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to get the best price possible.
There is no excuse for punters these days to not have at least two bookmakers – preferably 5+ – that they can jump in between to make their bet. The pricing structure for accumulator bets can be huge, so make sure you check out where’s best to bet before placing your Champions League acca.
Don’t believe me? Well, I simply whacked in 5 random games from the upcoming weeks fixtures to highlight the difference in price.
The list shows the best priced bookmakers in the industry for that bet. As you can see, the difference between best priced Marathonbet and Boylesports at the back of the line is huge. That’s £13 more for every £1 you bet just for using the right bookmaker. On a £10 bet that’s £130! £130!!!!
*If you only do one thing or only take one thing from this article, let it be to make sure you compare the best price for your bet. I beg you!*
Where’s best to bet?
I can’t really tell where is going to be best to bet for each acca that you make. Well, I will if you follow my betting tips!
But, I use bet365 as one of my go-to bookmakers for Champions League betting and these guys just never let me down. I use them for the statistics section and the ability to use the cash out feature as well, which is an essential piece of kit if you ask me!
Whilst they aren’t always best price, I know they will be there or thereabouts making them a safe bet at worst.
I just want to fire in a quick disclaimer and state this is how I go about forming my Champions League accumulator bets. I realise there are many, many ways to skin a cat, if you will, but this is my approach, so hopefully you can take something from this.
Avoid: Win-Draw-Win market
Basically, I almost never bet on the results market for Champions league matches. This is for 2 reasons:
- Games are so god damm competitive that it’s often tough to know who to back
- Prices can be massively unfavourable, with stack of short priced favourites
Let me elaborate a little on this.
Point 1; the Champions League is designed to be the best of the best. I get that. These teams have won or finished very highly in their respective leagues and as a result, they get the privilege of this great tournament.
But, that doesn’t help me as a bettor. Choosing between PSG v Arsenal for example, I mean I could literally flip a coin and I probably wouldn’t be massively aggrieved at the outcome. For me to really get into the W-D-W market I need to be able to have some sort of concrete evidence that stretches further than a hunch and more often than not, I find this tough to achieve.
Also, the thing with this market is that there is often very little to no pervious head to head form between the two. I see two teams in Basel and Ludogrets that have both won their respected Swiss and Bulgarian leagues and whilst my – limited- knowledge of each league would suggest that Basel were favourites, does a price of 1.66 really reflect their dominance in this game? It’s these types of questions that leave me stumped and just generally why I tend to look at other markets.
Point 2; the pricing structure for a lot of games just stinks! Totally and utterly stinks! I have absolutely no desire to back Barcelona to beat Celtic at odds of 1.1, even if I am adding them to an accumulator bet.
There are so many examples of these massively short priced favourites and whilst I have no doubt there is a gulf in class, they are all playing against teams that are winners, albeit it lower standard leagues.
When I look at these prices I just think what’s the point and promptly move on.
Target: Over 2.5 Goals
So you now know which markets I don’t like to bet, and now we move into which markets I do like to bet on.
Many of the followers of my free tips service via email will know that I like to bet on the over 2.5 goals. A lot! I’ve had great success with it and found that it works with pretty much any and all leagues or cups.
The Champions League is no different for me. But, you need to know what to look for and this will hopefully highlight that. As a quick overview, I did a little research on how the Champions League panned out in the 2015/16 and found that from the 112 games (Group games + knockout, minus final) that 54.46% of games had over 2.5 goals.
Compared with the Premier League, which is another favourite market to use for this bet, In the 2015/16 I found that 53% of games were over 2.5 goals, which is a sign straight away that we are looking good.
Age old classic: Poor defence, strong offence
For this bet we are looking at teams being poor at the back and good going forward. The problem arises from the fact that the data on offer from Champions League game will be limited due to team playing much fewer games than their domestic league.
To overcome this I simply add the domestic data into my bet. If you can add Champions League games or even head to head games, then all the better.
A quick example….
Above is a table of upcoming games in the Champions League. Note the pricing that I mentioned above, particularly Barcelona, Bayern Munich and even Man City, all prices that I couldn’t want to back less. Anyway, I digress….
Let’s look a little closer at the top game, Barcelona v Celtic, and simply open up the stats section within bet365. For this fixture we actually have some previous head to head data, which is rare, so cling on to this like it’s gold dust.
As you can see, 4 of the last 5 games they have played together have had over 2.5 goals. Great start!
If this isn’t available to you or you want more evidence to suggest the bet will be over 2.5 goals (which you do!) then next I look at the next part, which are previous results of both teams.
Here we can see that 3 of Barcelona’s last 5 games have had over 2.5 goals, with 3 Celtic’s last 5 also have over 2.5 goals. Not a perfect match, but still, combined with the head to head data, I’m pretty happy at this point.
The next part of my process is to simply go and look at the price for the bet.
1.28 for over 2.5 goals! Immediately I know that I won’t be taking this bet at this price. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a likely scenario, but I need more value from my bets. Odds of 1.28 do not interest me at the slightest and I’m happy to move on and find some that do.
After looking through all the matches, I’m going to show you a bet I will be backing. This game comes in the form of PSG v Arsenal.
As you can see, not much head to head data, but the data that we do have shows over 2.5 goals, so we will take that.
Previous games show that 4 from 5 PSG games and 4 from 5 Arsenal games have all finished with over 2.5 goals. Another tick!
It’s now where I look to try and seep out any more info that I can, just to back up my bet even more. For this I turn to last seasons competition and simply look through past results for both teams.
For Arsenal 6 of the 8 games they played in had over 2.5 goals. PSG only had 5 from 10 games that they played in, but again, this combined with the other data that I already have for both teams, is enough for the bet to go to the final step; the price!
Boom! 1.80 is about my limit for these bets, but I’m more than happy to apply this bet to my accumulator and then hopefully fetch home some decent returns for my efforts.
The Champions League is often one of the hardest competitions to call for punters, mainly down to its competitive nature. The games are closely fought and all there are very few/no easy games.
The WDW market is just a no-go most bets and the over 2.5 goals is the only one to consistently be able to back each week. Don’t forget that as the competition starts getting the knockout stages, you may need to start adjusting your bets and research slightly to accommodate this.
If you have made it this far, then thanks for reading and if you want to join my mailing list where I send out free accumulator betting tips (Champions League games will be included) then simply click here to sign up.