Why Champions League fixture overhaul can expand the tournament’s betting value

Why Champions League fixture overhaul can expand the tournament’s betting value

Thursday, March 1, 2018 Posted by Joseph Streeter
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Europe’s most sought after club competition will undergo radical changes

This week UEFA announced that from next season, Europe’s most sought after club competition will undergo radical changes, which will have an impact on the betting value of the tournament.

European football’s governing body outlined that from next season, the kick off times for games in the tournament will no longer be at 7:45pm. But instead will be staggered in a similar way to the Europa league, with the first set of games kicking off at 5:55pm, followed by a second set of games kicking off at 8pm.

Betway’s Alan Alger told TotallyGaming.com: “The staggering of Champions League matches, like most changes, has some positive and some negative implications. While it gives punters the opportunity to follow a greater number of matches in-play, it also slightly raises concerns over whether people will be home in time to settle and watch the earlier games.”

Joe Petyt, Sky Bet’s Head of In Play Football, revealed that he thought the news was “positive”, however detailed that it may be tough for traders from an operational point of view.

He told TotallyGaming.com: “We’ve seen in the Europa league that the kick off time doesn’t really have an impact on the stakes taken, the quality of the teams involved and the position of the tie are far more important. If the most interesting games are being played at 5.55pm people will always find a way to watch and in turn place their bets.

"The early starts will become routine in no time. If the football fan can now watch two high quality games back to back I’m sure we’ll see the benefit of that.”

Elsewhere there was good news for English clubs, with four automatic group stage places now being allocated to the Premier League, with the clubs that finish fifth and sixth automatically getting a route to the Europa League group stages.

Totally Gaming says: Whilst the staggering of kick off times could hamper fans watching the games, it will expand the opportunities for in-play betting with punters now having two opportunities to bet on in-play football. Nonetheless, the new kick off time may have a detrimental effect on the popularity of Champions League accumulators.  

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