Betting on the Champions League is in full flow as the group stages get underway this autumn – but finding the big winners amongst the dead-cert victors is the real prize for bettors this season.
The 2023/24 campaign was all about Manchester City achieving what the owners of Paris Saint-Germain have failed to realise. That is, to spend your way to success.
City are favourites to win it again this term but the Champions League betting odds aren’t totally in their favour. The likes of Bayern, Real and, yes, Arsenal are tipped to challenge Pep Guardiola’s team come May 2024.
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Here, then, is the ultimate Champions League betting tips and teams guide for 2023/24. Read on to see how the teams stack up on the group stage, who is tipped to win the Golden Boot, and where punters may find the odd upset over the course of the season.
Let’s start with the basics…
How the Champions League works
The Champions League format is a 32-club tournament comprising eight groups of four. The top two teams in each group progress to the last-16 knockout round, and it’s a straight knockout from there until the final.
The third-place team in each group drops into the Europa League knockout round play-offs, to earn a spot in the Europa League last-16.
Clubs earn a minimum €15.64m for reaching the group stage and get an extra €2.8m per win and €930,000 per draw. Reaching the last-16 earns a club an extra €9.6m. The eventual champions can theoretically earn as much as €85.14m if they had the perfect campaign.
Groups in Champions League
Here are the Champions League teams and the groups for the 2023/24 season:
- Manchester United
- F.C. Copenhagen
- Real Madrid
- Union Berlin
- Atl. Madrid
- Manchester City
- Red Star Belgrade
- Young Boys
Champions League dates
Here are the following match Champions League matchdays for the group stage in 2023/24:
- 19-20 September
- 3-4 October
- 24-25 October
- 7-8 November
- 28-29 November
- 12-13 December
Check out these Champions League betting offers and latest odds
Paddy Power Champions League tips
You can bet on the Champions League during every game of the season here at Paddy Power. So much of the focus this season is on Manchester City and whether anyone can catch them. But there are hundreds of football bet options available during each match round, with bets ranging from live odds to where teams will finish in their groups.
Here are some quick Champions League tips to get you started. Bear in mind that all odds are taken from before the first round of group games.
Champions League winner
Manchester City are the pre-tournament favourites to win the Champions League at 2/1. Their closest rivals to the trophy are Bayern (11/2), Madrid (8/1) and Arsenal (10/1). City dominated the competition last season and have since strengthened with more mega signings over the summer.
Bayern, however, have Harry Kane in their arsenal now, while Jude Bellingham is already tearing it up in Madrid. Arsenal, back in the Champions League for the first time in six years, are tipped to impress now Declan Rice is part of the midfield.
The likes of PSG, Barcelona and Manchester United are among the group of second-tier hopefuls for the trophy. Newcastle at 25/1 fall into that category. But it’s unlikely we’ll see an upset in this market. City, Bayern or Real should win.
Champions League finalist
It all depends on how the Champions League draw goes when we reach the spring, but there’s every possibility two of City, Real and Bayern meet in the final. However, this is where the Champions League bets can get more ambitions.
No-one expected Inter to reach the final last season and perhaps we’ll have some dark horses here too. Odds of 6/1 are available on the final being congested between two English clubs.
Champions League Golden Boot
Erling Haaland top scored in the Champions League last season with 12 goals, but that didn’t beat Karim Benzema’s haul the year before, or Robert Lewandowski’s in 2019/20 (both 15 goals). So, there’s a very real chance someone outscores Haaland here.
Barcelona striker Lewandowski is fourth favourite at 9/1, behind Kylian Mbappe at 5/1. Haaland is, of course, favourite at Evens. However, the focus here is on Harry Kane. The new Bayern striker scored twice on his home Bundesliga debut and is a deadly finisher. At 4/1, Kane looks like a smart bet, especially when his odds will likely collapse if he starts scoring from the off.
Champions League group winners
You can bet on the group winners of all eight groups in the Paddy Power Champions League odds, and there are some smart bets to be had here. Groups A and G are possibly the only groups where there’s an expectation of who the top two teams will be. The other groups could all produce wild results.
Arsenal should win Group B but second place between Sevilla, PSV and Lens is tricky to call. PSV at 6/4 to qualify are not a bad shout.
Real Sociedad (11/8) could give Benfica (4/7) a run for second place in Group D, while Celtic (2/1) will hope to edge Feyenoord (13/8) and Lazio (4/6) in the battle to finish runners-up to Atletico in Group E.
The group to avoid is Group F. Newcastle are fourth seeds here but could easily end up winning the Group of Death that includes PSG, Milan and Dortmund. The German side are second seeds but fourth favourites to advance, at 6/4. Newcastle, meanwhile, are a great bet a 4/5 to go through.
Champions League underdogs
The underdogs markets are where punters can exploit the odds if they know what to look out for. This isn’t a case of backing Newcastle to win the Champions League because they’re new-boys to the competition.
It’s about looking at past and current form to find some smart Champions League betting tips. Betting on the underdogs doesn’t usually work in this competition because the big boys are so dominant. But there’s usually at least one against-the-odds upset each week. Here are some to keep an eye on:
- F.C. Copenhagen at home – Danish champions F.C. Copenhagen are competing in their sixth Champions League group stage since 2006. They’ve lost just one home group game in 15, winning six and drawing eight. Parken Stadium is a fortress and even City last year failed to score there. They’re worth considering when playing at home.
- Celtic goals – Celtic, like Copenhagen, are often underdogs in Champions League games. What Celtic Park offers, though, is goals. Nineteen last season (4 for, 15 against), 23 in the 2017/18 campaign (5-18) and 21 the season before that (5-16). Celtic leak goals when games run away from them. You can bet on them to impress at Parkhead but these underdogs sometimes play up to their namesake.
- Berlin solidity – Union Berlin kicked off the new season with three straight wins and have a set-up that champions team unity over individual excellence. They are the unknown entity in Group C alongside Braga, Madrid and Napoli. Don’t be surprised if Berlin’s home record shines through here and they claim at least a draw against the top two sides in the group.
*all odds correct as of 13/9/23