Champions League Betting

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
11 minute read
Champions League Betting

Winning the Champions League is one of the biggest achievements any European club can reach.

The UEFA Champions League is a truly unpredictable competition, which makes it an interesting tournament for soccer bettors looking for profits.

We’ll break down the tips and strategies for how to bet on the Champions League at online betting sites plus an overview of the betting odds and lines.

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Champions League Betting Odds

Manchester City will face Chelsea in the 2020/2021 UEFA Champions League Final.

The game will take place on Saturday, May 29, 2021, at the Estádio do Dragão in Lisbon.

Get the current 2021 Champions League Final betting odds below:

Manchester Cityvs.Chelsea
+102 (Draw +233)Moneyline+311 (Draw +233)
-0.5 (+102)Spread+0.5 (-117)
O 2.5 (-148)TotalU 2.5 (+128)
Bet On Manchester City vs. Chelsea At

How To Bet On The UEFA Champions League 2024

If you are looking to bet on the Champions League, follow our simple steps:

  1. Select A Trustworthy Sportsbook

    Pick a trusted Champions League betting site from the legit sites we recommend.

    We already did all the homework for you.

  2. Create An Account

    Search for the “Join Now” button. It’s usually on the website’s top menu.

    Use your factual information when filling in all the blanks.

    If you use false info, you won’t be able to withdraw your winnings because every sportsbook asks for proof of ID.

  3. Make A Deposit

    Go to the banking section and select your preferred deposit method.

    When adding money on your first deposit, add as much as you can so you can take full advantage of the welcome bonus.

    Choos your deposit amount and select one bonus available in the banking section. Then hit submit.

  4. Start Betting

    Once the money hits your account, you can start betting on Champions League games.

Best Champions League Betting Sites

Betting on the Champions League makes it all the more exciting to follow along the path of your favorite teams, with a chance to pocket a decent chunk of change along the way, too!

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3 Deposit Bonus 125% Up To $1,250 Bet Now

Champions League Betting Tips & Strategies

Betting the Champions League isn’t any different when it comes to betting rules compared to any other soccer game.

Betting limits will be higher, and markets are usually more plentiful, but other than that, not much changes.

The same betting concepts of line shopping, taking advantage of bonuses, and looking to pay as little as juice as possible all apply here.

One way to do that with soccer is with Asian handicaps, rather than traditional 1×2 betting.

For more betting tips, check out our soccer betting strategy page.

Betting Tip #1Domestic Form Doesn’t Matter…

To use a term from the world of competitive video gaming, it is much easier to “anti-strat” a team you regularly play against and have a lot of data about as they play in the same league as you do week in, week out.

No doubt this is one of the many aspects of soccer which keeps changing as technology and resources develop over time.

But it still remains a fact that teams can look very different playing on the international stage than how they performed in their domestic competitions.

Managers can spring surprises more efficiently, and with 180 minutes to play with, they also have the time to change what doesn’t work.

Betting Tip #2…But The Domestic Position Can Tell You A Lot

Sometimes, nothing can be scarier than facing a team having a pedestrian campaign in their domestic league, as they come into the Champions League looking to prove themselves.

Why, you ask?

The answer is simple – they likely have nothing else to play for, their domestic season down the drain, and written off early, with a deep international cup run serving as their primary focus for the calendar’s remainder.

Especially if you’re looking at a top team with a disappointing once-in-a-decade season, not just an underdog on their way to a memorable showing, their collective experience and desire to prove the doubters wrong could very well push them on to the latter stages of the Champions League.

Experience is critical in high-stakes knockout competitions – but by the same token, a team flying high in their domestic league may be forced to thread the needle and try to rotate in order to remain as competitive as possible across each competition where they are involved.

Betting Tip #3Learn The History Between The Teams

Bogey teams or rivals exist in soccer as well, and teams from different leagues essentially only have a chance to meet in the Champions League (because let’s be frank, when will the same two Europa League sides run into each other in the CL at a later date?).

Since the different sides from the same nation are kept apart by the rules until the last eight of the competition, certain matchups will inevitably crop up over and over again due to the pure luck of the draw.

Teams and managers may change, but deep-held tendencies are nevertheless established throughout these slow-motion rivalries.

If a team has a considerable advantage over their opponents in the lifetime results, you don’t want to count them out even if their present quality doesn’t live up to the glorious past.

Betting Tip #4Consider Past Champions League Results And Experience

Consider Past Champions League Results - Liverpool won the competition in 2019

In the broader context, the more time you’ve spent in the Champions League, the more likely you’ve got a handle on the high-stakes knockout games of the competition.

Beyond the mental aspects, there’s also a “the rich get richer” element to this.

The Champions League is a golden goose and continuous participation will inevitably net you more and more money, creating an ever-growing gap between the successful teams and the ones that couldn’t squeeze into the top sixteen.

The 2019/2020 season was the first one where no teams made it into the knockout round from elsewhere than the five big European Leagues (you know the drill: the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A, the Bundesliga and France’s Ligue 1).

There’s reasons to suggest that the deeper you are in the Champions League, the more credence you should give to the “bigger” team.

Betting Tip #5Home Advantage Still Matters – And So Do Away Goals

Just because it’s hard to quantify doesn’t make it any less real: the familiarity of the surroundings – the size of the pitch, the locker room, the noises, and the sights – seem to add up to something by itself.

And it’s a statistically proven fact that referees tend to favor the home side in marginal decisions instinctively.

This also means that the away goals rule, often considered an archaic device to ensure more attacking play from the teams playing abroad, is still very relevant.

If you failed to keep a clean sheet as the home side, even a massive advantage could potentially be overturned – just ask PSG about the famous ‘remontada’ in 2017.

How Does The UEFEA Champions League Work?

How the Champions League works

Normally, the Champions League draw for the first round takes places in June of each year.

Teams are put into two pots based on their league coefficient, and then highest-ranked sides are seeded.

There is then another draw for second-round qualifying matches in July.

The draws begin the road to the Champions League Final each year.

Over there next few months, there are three qualifying rounds with two legs each. The playoff round draw takes place in early August.

There are then two legs of playoffs before we move onto the group stage.

At the end of August, the groups are drawn. Group stage play takes place four times a month on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and continues until the end of November.

First Knockout Round

After that, sixteen clubs move onto the first knockout round, with each group winner facing a second-placed side from a different group.

The draw for the Round of 16 is held in early December, and then it is played in February and March.

The quarter-final draw is in mid-March, with the quarterfinals played in early April. After that, it’s the semi-final and final draws.

The first leg of the semi-finals is played in early April with the second leg coming in early May.

The Champions League Final is usually played on the last Saturday of the month in May.

Champions League History

Champions League History

The Champions League’s prestigious lineage can be traced back all the way to 1955 when it was called the European Cup, an all-knockout affair with sixteen teams and four rounds of matches.

The first European Cup was won by an organization you may have heard of called Real Madrid with a 4-3 victory over Reims.

Five years later, UEFA expanded the tournament to 32 teams and added an extra knockout round.

The format remained unchanged until 1992 when the competition was renamed as Champions League.

Team With Most Titles: Real Madrid

Real Madrid is by far the most successful Champions League team of all time with 13 titles and three runner-up finishes in the competition’s history.

They were also the first (and so far only) team to successfully defend their title in the Champions League era, going back-to-back-to-back between 2016 and 2018.

With that, they made it four out of five off the back of their 2014 victory (La Decima, their tenth win in the competition): that came off the back of twelve long years of wait going back to 2002.

Other Successful Champions League Teams

Milan is the second most successful Champions League team, with seven wins and four runner-up finishes.

However, only two of the titles are from the 21st century: with no wins since 2003 and 2007 (plus that fateful collapse against Liverpool after leading 3-0 at half-time in the 2005 final), the Italians are one of the great sleeping giants of European football.

The aforementioned English side is in third place, with Liverpool finally returning to the pinnacle in 2019 after a heartbreaking loss to Real Madrid in 2018 final.

Bayern Munich is fourth on the all-time list with five wins and five runner-up finishes, followed by Barcelona (five and three, respectively).

Ajax, Inter Milan, and Manchester United are next on the list, followed by Juventus and Benfica.

These two teams each have two titles to their name from an incredible number of final appearances: the Italians finished as runners-up seven different times between 1973 and 2017 while the Portuguese did so five times (1963, 1965, 1968, 1988, 1990).

Reims, Valencia and Atlético Madrid make up the sad triumvirate of teams that made it to the final more than once but never managed to win.

Nations With Most Champions League Winners

In terms of nations, Spain tops the charts thanks to their golden decade of club football, having 18 winners and 11 runners-up to their name.

England is second with 13 and 9, followed by Italy’s 12 and 16. Germany and the Netherlands close out the list of top five Champions League countries.

Biggest Champions League Comebacks

Barcelona’s “remontada” against PSG in the 2016-2017 season is undoubtedly the biggest comeback, recovering from a 4-0 loss away from by winning 6-1 at home in the second leg, scoring three times at the very end of the game (88’, 90+1’, 90+5’) to record a historic victory.

Manchester United also recorded their first Champions League win in similarly dramatic fashion, trailing Bayern Munich in the 1998-99 final until the 91st minute, scoring twice in added time to snatch the title from the Germans.

Barcelona was also on the other end of some impressive comebacks in recent years, dropping a 4-1 lead to Roma with a 3-0 loss in 2017-18, then a 3-0 home win against Liverpool with a 4-0 defeat at Anfield the following year.

In 2004, Deportivo La Coruña lost by four goals to one against AC Milan but struck back with a memorable 4-0 win in the second leg as underdogs to upset the Italian giants.

UEFA Champions League FAQ

Can you bet on the UEFA Champions League?

Yes, it the most wagered soccer event each year besides major international tournaments, such as the Euro Cup or World Cup. There are a variety of markets for the Champions League, such as futures on the outright winner, top goal scorer, and other markets. Of course, each game also has the normal betting markets that are available for all soccer betting markets.

Which teams can play in the Champions League?

Each UEFA association member league has a “coefficient”, a ranking score based on how their teams performed in European club competitions. The higher this coefficient, the more teams get a chance to play in the Champions League (and the Europa League), with better seeding in the qualifiers or even a direct spot in the group stage of the competition itself. 22 Champions League positions are filled by automatic qualification from the big leagues and by the winners of the previous season’s European competitions.

Since 2009, there’s a separate pathway to qualify for domestic champions and the other teams that finished second, third or fourth in their leagues. Each pathway offers five spots each, rounding out the 32-team field of the Champions League.

When can five teams in a league get a Champions League spot?

Five teams are the most that can possibly play in the Champions League from the same domestic competition. The winner of the Champions League and the Europa League are guaranteed a spot in the next season’s Champions League regardless of where they finish in their own league. However, even the leagues with four Champions League qualification spots are only allowed to have five teams at most in the competition.

If a team outside the top four wins the Champions League or the Europa League, they will be the fifth to qualify from that domestic league. However, if by some miracle both the Champions League and the Europa League winner would come from the same league in a midtable position, it’d mean the team that finished fourth would be dropped down into the Europa League instead.

Can you keep the Champions League trophy?

Until 2009, teams that won the competition five times or three years in a row would get to keep the Champions League trophy and then start a new cycle from scratch.

This rule was changed ahead of the 2008-09 season, and since then, the teams who satisfy one of the two conditions (only achieved by Real Madrid thanks to their back-to-back-to-back wins between 2016 and 2018) are only allowed to keep a replica, though teams with at least five wins in total are given a special badge to display on their kit for their incredible achievements.

Has anyone won the Champions League unbeaten?

Nine teams have done so in the history of the competition, not dropping a single game across the two-legged knockout rounds or any of the group stages. Liverpool (1980-81, 1983-84), Milan (1988-89), Ajax (1971-72, 1994-95), Manchester United (1998-99, 2007-08 – making them the only team to achieve this feat in the Champions League era on two separate occasions), Inter Milan (1963-64), Nottingham Forest (1978-79), Red Star Belgrade (1990-91), Marseille (1992-93), Barcelona (2005-06).

Read Our In-Depth Soccer Betting Guide

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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