A quick visit to a site like PointsBet Sportsbook will reveal that in amongst the myriad of bets for Basketball, Ice Hockey and the forthcoming Baseball season, you will also find bets for some less popular sports in the United States.
One of those rising to prominence is soccer, especially with the MLS gaining traction and the USMNT close to qualifying for the World Cup, following in the footsteps of the brilliant women’s team.
While the start of the MLS season is a little way off, there is plenty of great betting action to enjoy in other top competitions, especially in Europe where fans of the top teams can enjoy all the latest action in the continent’s top club soccer competition; The UEFA Champions League.
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What Is The Champions League?
The Champions League is a competition between the top teams from a large number of European Countries.
Many of the top teams that enjoy great support across the United States, such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich regularly compete in the tournament.
After a qualifying campaign and a group stage before Christmas, the top 16 teams from the Group Stage qualify for the knockout phase in the New Year.
We are now at that stage in the current competition.
So, Is This Like The Super Bowl For Soccer?
Kind of, yes. But it is organized in a different way. However, you’ll find it is always the best of the best that compete in this tournament, so in that respect, it is certainly a tournament that team’s want to win just as much, if not more so, than their own domestic league competition.
In World Football, it is viewed as the biggest club competition you can win and is certainly the richest.
Who Is Competing In The Champions League Knockout Tournament?
Sixteen teams qualified for the knockout tournament before Christmas. They were drawn into the following eight games, which will be contested over a two-game series with the aggregate score over the two games used to decide who wins.
Some of the games have already had their first legs contested last week or last night (and those results are shown)
Paris St Germain 1-0 Real Madrid
Sporting Lisbon 0-5 Manchester City
Red Bull Salzburg 1-1 Bayern Munich
Inter Milan 0-2 Liverpool
Chelsea 2-0 Lille (played last night)
Villarreal 1-1 Juventus (played last night)
Atletico Madrid v Manchester United (Playing Wednesday 23rd Feb)
Benfica v Ajax (Playing Wednesday 23rd Feb)
The second leg of the first four ties will be played on the 8th and 9th March, with the second leg of the second four ties being played the 15th and 17th March.
Who Are The Current Holders?
Good question, that is Chelsea who beat Manchester City 1-0 in last year’s final. That was their second triumph in the tournament in the club’s history.
What Happens If The Scores Are Tied After The Second Leg?
So let’s assume Real Madrid beat Paris St Germain 1-0 in the second leg between the two teams in Madrid, that means the aggregate score in this game would be 1-1. How do we break the tie?
Well, first 30 minutes of extra time will be played and if the teams are still level at the end of that then penalty kicks are used to decide the winner.
UEFA have removed the away goals rule that used top be used to decide some tied games from this year.
Who Are The Favorites To Win The Trophy?
PointsBet have Manchester City as the +230 favorites to win the Champions League with Bayern Munich and Liverpool second favorites at +400. Paris St Germain are next at +700 with Chelsea at +800.
What Kind Of Bets Are Available On The Champions League?
You could bet on the Futures market on which team will win the Champions League at PointsBet but for quicker results, you can also bet on the outcome of each game. The site also offers a number of other bets on games too, which are well worth a closer look.
Goalscorer bets are a popular option, with a wide range of different Goalscorer betting markets available such as the First, Last or Anytime Goalscorer markets.
A quick search through the options available will reveal just how many bets are available for each game in the competition.
For Soccer fans, it gets no bigger in club football than the Champions League and if you want to see your European-based favorites in action, then this is the competition to check out.