We all know that Europe has two big club cup competitions: The Champions League and the Europa League. Today, we will be discussing the latter – a cup which is often referred to as Europe’s second cup.
While it is true that the caliber of the teams participating in this competition isn’t the same as that of Champions League participants, that doesn’t mean that isn’t boring. Not by a long shot, actually.
The Europa League has some thrilling encounters, filled with chances to see players you wouldn’t normally hear about. These matches also present lots of betting opportunities, although they aren’t generally easy to predict. But who wants games which you feel you already know the outcome of?
Europa League Free Bet Offers & Welcome Bonuses 2018
When it comes to the Europa League, UK betting sites are usually focused on English teams. Due to the structure of the competition, most English teams find it easy to qualify for the group stage of the competition, and even exit the group and progress in the knockout rounds.
A few English teams also drop from the Champions League each year, making the EL that much more interesting for UK-based betting enthusiasts. But betting on the Europa League is not only about English teams – there are many other interesting games which provide bettors with hundreds of betting opportunities.
Best UK Betting Sites & Bonus Offers
And bookmakers know about these opportunities very well, too. In fact, they’re out to get as many customers as possible on their platforms, either web-based or mobile-based. In order to do so, they try to stay as competitive as possible when it comes to their bonus schemes.
A good bonus scheme is a combination of more than one ingredient: bonus quality, ease of access, and a good mix between a great signup bonus (to attract new clients) and several bonuses for existing customers (to keep you playing with them).
We all know that bonuses play a big role in choosing your preferred bookmaker, which is why we always analyze this section carefully. If you’re looking for a UK betting site to begin your betting career on Europa League games, you might want to look after the following types of bonuses:
Types Of Betting Bonuses: From Free Bets To Enhanced Odds
Free bets are the most common type of bonus, and come in multiple shapes and sizes. They all work the same, though: in case you lose your free bet, you’ll get your money back. Some bookmakers choose to use free bets as welcome bonuses, while others utilize them more to increase the loyalty of existing customers. They’re especially useful around group stage games and knock-out rounds.
For example, lots of UK bookmakers have given customers a number of free bets before the Europa League group stage last year, which they were obliged to use during the said group stage. This means that all their players had a few free shots at risky predictions, such as betting on underdogs or trying to guess the correct score. Quite a good way to start your betting career, don’t you think?
Sign-up bonuses are another very common type of bonus, but usually only work with new customers. When performing your first deposit as a new customer, bookmakers will opt to give you bonus money, amounting between 50% and 100% (usually) of the deposit you just made, up to a certain limit (a few hundred pounds, tops).
This bonus money cannot be withdrawn immediately and has a few conditions – the most notable of which is the playthrough one. Simply put, you have to place bets valued at a few times the bonus you’ve received, usually between 3 or 5. The larger the playthrough condition, the harder the bonus is to actually use.
Enhanced odds are rarely given out as a welcome bonus – only if you create your account close to big games or finals. They are usually directed towards existing customers and aim to persuade them to place some money on a very high-profile game. They’re mostly used around knock-out games or latter stages of the Europa League, but can also be used for games involving a team sponsored by a certain bookmaker.
If your bookmaker of choice is directly linked to one or more teams, be sure that they’ll offer you enhanced odds on that team’s games quite often. These odds are a great way to boost your account, but always take care and read the fine print as to how the winnings might be used.
Special bonuses and offers involve every other kind of bonus or offer you can think of when it comes to the Europa League. Some bookmakers offer free bets for guessing the winner of the competition or the top goal scorer. Others want you to correctly guess the final standings of each group, and reward you if you do so.
There are way too many kinds of offers and variations for us to discuss here, but there is one thing which all these offers have in common: you have to be sure you understand the terms and conditions of the bonus correctly before opting in for them.
How To Compare The Betting Sites
As stated earlier, however, bonuses only play one part in choosing the perfect betting site for Europa League betting. There are some other things you should consider as well, depending on how much you value different parts of the gambling business. Some players value privacy a lot, while others are very keen of being able to deposit and withdraw money as easily and quickly as possible. Here are a few things which you should consider when analyzing bookmakers:
- License. This should really go without saying. Your bookmaker must be operating 100% legally and have a license to offer you the bets which you want. You shouldn’t settle for anything else.
- Money management can be quite a difficult topic to cover. You should familiarize yourself with how long deposits/withdraws typically last, as well as the options which the broker offers. In this day and time, you should look into brokers which are very flexible in terms of deposit/withdraw options: e-wallets like Paypal, Neteller or Skrill, prepaid cards, and many other options, in addition to the classic debit/credit card.
- Reputation. It’s so easy to read online reviews and get a good feeling about what players think of a specific bookmaker! Do your homework before opening and account.
- Sponsored teams. If a bookmaker sponsors a club, you’ll certainly be in for lots of bonuses and treats around that team’s games. It might not be a deal-breaking detail, but surely can be a “nice-to-have” at the end of your list of observations.
Europa League Betting Markets & Strategies
After this step is done, we believe that your account is setup and gearing to go. You’ll now be prepared to look at Europa League games and create a betting system or adapt one which you already use to best cater to the specific features of this competition. For example, it’s worth mentioning that lots of big/medium-sized teams don’t put lots of emphasis on this cup, and rarely start games with their best eleven.
Moreover, teams from poorer leagues, where players don’t earn great salaries, often treat the Europa League with great importance, as the financial games are quite considerable for teams with budgets below 30 million euros per year. That being said, we want to give our two cents on some of the most common bets which and their connection with the Europa League.
As far as outright bets go, you can’t really avoid them in any competition, can you? Despite this, the Europa League is hardly the best place for these bets – there are lots of surprises back and forth, and many teams find themselves shocked, especially away from home. At least until the knockout rounds, the competition is mostly an underdog one. Additionally, the differences in value can sometimes be too large to warrant a profitable bet. For example, the 5th placed team in the Premier League can be drawn against the cup winner for Luxembourg – and receive odds of 1,08 for a win. That can’t be considered tempting under any circumstances.
Double chance bets are worth looking into, however. Not in the traditional sense, of “ensuring” a bet on the favorites at the expense of some odds, but more so in betting on an underdog. These double chance underdog bets have quite a good track record in the Europa League, and we’re sure that they’ll work this season as well. Similarly, handicap bets also work well in protecting the underdog, possibly even better than double chance bets. With handicap bets, you can even win if your favorite team loses by a goal or two, making them the ideal bets for the Europa League environment.
Over/under bets are also very frequently used, especially around teams which have clashing styles. Typically, we don’t expect great defensive performances in the Europa League, which is why we favor over bets more often than not. Of course, these have to be carefully considered, since 0-0, 1-0 and 1-1 are the most common scores across all games.
Some Stats About UEFA Europa League
Also, there are a few stats and records which we want to share about the Europa League which might just convince you to place some bets:
– Spain are dominating the competition in recent years. They’ve won 11 titles, including 6 of the last 8 ones. Sevilla is the most successful team in the competition, winning all the 5 finals they’ve appeared in.
– The average number of goals scored during the knockout stages was 2,61 per game last season, just over the 2,5 threshold.
– Contrary to popular belief, teams coming from the Champions League aren’t that successful. Only 4 of the last 10 editions were won by a team coming from the CL, although only one (2011/2012, Atletico Madrid – Althletic Bilbao) didn’t feature a single team coming from the top competition
– Knockout rounds are usually decided in the first leg – the team which won the first leg qualified in over 65% of cases over the last 3 seasons.
There aren’t a lot of other statistics which we can provide and be relevant or useful. A lot more can be found out after the group stage is at least drawn up, since most of them are related to the teams participating. The top goal scorer award is also interesting to note – more often than not, the top goal scorer comes from a non-Champions League team, as he has more games to score in (qualifying games + group stage + possible knockout).
That being said, we hope we managed to transmit the fact that the Europa League is hardly a boring competition. It’s exciting, has lots of rivalries, and gives us an opportunity to see teams we’re not very familiar with battle for a gigantic trophy. We loved the last seasons of the competition and are sure you had too, and the 2018/2019 season will surely offer us some great moments to remember.