AS over half the teams in the final 16 of this year’s UEFA Champions League have already been decided, what can Celtic look to take away from the final fixture of their 2022 European campaign?
In Group F, Real Madrid are through, but Leipzig are not yet safe and must at least draw their final group stage match against Shakhtar Donetsk. A win for Leipzig will pile the pressure on the Spanish side who will want to finish top of the group and go through seeded into the last 16.
What promises to be a huge game with an equally impressive atmosphere at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, a draw or worse for Real Madrid will leave room for Leipzig to sneak through in the top spot. Both matches kick off at 17:45 on November 2 and promise a level of nervous excitement we’ve come to expect from the European Cup.
Champions League betting is a unique opportunity to test your specialised footballing knowledge beyond the confines of your country’s domestic league. The bets are quite simple but can be nuanced for the uninitiated.
Full Time Result
Full time result bets are the simplest form of sports betting you’ll encounter but depending on where you live, the information you’ll be faced with may be slightly different. There are three options here: the home team wins; the away team wins or it’s a draw at full time.
In the UK, odds are usually displayed fractionally x/y. A 4/5 favourite – the team that the bookies believe are the more likely to win – will pay out £4 (x) profit per every £5 (y) bet, plus your original stake. This means the bookies believe this team has a 55% chance of winning (divide the original stake, ‘y’, by the total you stand to receive, ‘x+y’ then multiply by 100: 5/(4+5)*100).
The underdogs in the same scenario might have odds of 3/1 – you’ll receive £3 back from each £1 bet because it’s statistically less likely to happen. From the same calculations this represents a 25% probability of occurring.
The third and least likely outcome – according to the bookies – is a draw, which has odds of 4/1 – £4 back for each £1 wagered plus your original stake. x/(x+y) * 100 = 1/(4+1) * 100 = 20% probability.
These three probabilities will always add up to 100% since those are the only possible outcomes – this is known as the overround. A coin toss has two available outcomes, 50% heads and 50% tails which together make 100% of all possible scenarios. If one team’s odds improve, the other team’s odds must worsen.
What you will discover, however, if you add up a bookie’s total odds, it’s likely to equal around 110% or more. This inflated overround is simply the bookie’s markup and how they make money. During big events, bookies are known to increase their percentage since they know punters will bet regardless.
Outside of the UK or at international betting sites, you might come across moneyline bets (the US system) or decimal betting (popular in Europe). These are simply different ways of representing the same information.
Other Betting Opportunities
Betting on the Champions League isn’t restricted only to the outcome of individual matches of course. You can place bets on who you think will be the outright winners of the competition.
You’ll receive favourable odds at the outset of the finals, when all teams are still in with a chance of lifting the cup, but as the competition progresses and more clubs are knocked out, these odds will shorten – become more likely to happen – so you stand to make less profit.
Also known as an accumulator (or acca), combo or multi, parlay bets combine any number of possible outcomes into one bet and require all those wagers to come in in order to win. They can become increasingly complex but are popular among scholars of the sport who stand to win impressive profits if all their predictions are accurate.
Optimism builds as each successful selection comes in until your fortunes hinge on one final result. Due to the multiplying effect of the received odds, accumulator stakes can afford to be low since the returns will still be impressive – but it’s important to remember they’re high risk and require detailed knowledge of the sport.
The Champions League delivers unique opportunities for individual and parlay bets, being able to place wagers on the minutiae of any match: from total number of goals to the precise final score to which player will score first. Live betting, a relatively recent development, allows bettors to update their predictions during a match with the option to cash out early in some instances.
Celtic were the first British – and, to date, only Scottish – side to win the European Cup, defeating Inter Milan in 1967 in Lisbon, Portugal. Unfortunately, it won’t be their year this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t place some exciting bets in the process.