Betting on European Championship Qualifying offers many great opportunities. Before we get into that, it’s time for some basics. 24 countries are participating in the European Football Championship, and the EU has 27 member states. The maths is easy: all EU countries are participating in the European Championship, except for three countries that happen to be busy doing something else.
Nothing could be further from the truth however. As of 2016, UEFA has 55 members* potentially eligible to perform on the continent’s highest football stage. An EC qualifier is being played to determine this. With the ever-increasing number of UEFA members, this qualification is becoming increasingly complex.
The same goes for betting on European Championship qualification matches. Reason enough to take a closer look at the current state of affairs. What changes can we expect in the future? Anticipating is creating opportunities. Mobile Wins tells you all about the set-up, participants and betting markets of the upcoming European Championship qualification series.
*Given the current situation in Ukraine, Russia has been expelled as a member and UEFA has 54 members.
Betting European Championship Qualifier | Format Qualifying Tournament
Qualifying series usually start as soon as the last match at a main tournament has been played. The same holds true regarding the 2024 European Football Championship.
When the players return from the World Cup in Qatar at the end of December, they may turn up for the first qualifying matches for the European Championship in March 2023. Then, the betting on European Championship qualification can begin for you. Regular qualification runs until November 2023. In March 2024, there are some play-off rounds for the last tickets.
The format of the qualifying tournament will be similar to that of the 2020 European Championships. This means that the 54 UEFA members will be divided into 10 groups.
Six groups will have five teams and four groups will have six teams. The reason for this division is because the knockout matches for the Nations League will be played during the first round of the qualifying tournament.
The countries participating in these are therefore divided into the groups with five teams, so they play one less round. The draw for the groups will take place after the Nations League group stage, on 9 October 2022.
After ten (or nine) rounds of play, the numbers one and two in a group automatically qualify for the European Championship. Betting on European Championship qualifiers only gets more interesting now, as the top four numbers three meet in a play-off round for the final ticket.
Then there is another route to qualify through the Nations League, where the top 12 countries play for three tickets. They can’t make it any easier, but they can make it more fun!
Unsurprisingly, the participants consist of UEFA’s 54 member countries. Unlike the Eurovision Song Contest, no stray Australia turns up here.
While we are not going to mention all 54 member states that make up the European continent, it is worth mentioning that this group of countries includes states such as Lichtenstein, San Marino and Gibraltar. Countries you are not likely to bet your money on when betting on European Cup qualification. Provided they play against each other, of course.
Oddsmakers for qualification
Nothing is what it seems. Certainly not in football. UEFA builds in safeguards to ensure that the 24 most attractive football nations are at the tournament.
During the ‘draw’ on 9 October, UEFA ensures that all major countries (contenders for the title) are at the EC.
Countries within the same division do not meet in qualifying matches for the European Championship. Whereas in the Nations League the aim is for countries to play attractive football against opponents of equal strength, in the European Championship qualifiers the aim is to pit strong countries against weaker brethren as much as possible.
So the contenders for qualification are automatically the countries from Divisions A and B in the Nations League.
Outsiders and playoff candidates
The trick is to identify countries from the D division of the Nations League that are performing above par. They can trounce the C division countries (normally the No 3 in the qualifying group) via the play-offs.
If you want to bet on European Championship qualification, these are the countries you should focus on. Think of a North Macedonia in 2020.
Betting European Championship Qualifier | betting markets
European Championship placement
UEFA may try like a master of puppets to predetermine qualification already, but there is always a dark horse that refuses to play by the rules and performs beyond expectations.
Betting on European Championship qualifiers and placement requires much more football content knowledge than betting on the European Championship itself. Your knowledge will be rewarded with odds that pay off.
Use the Nations League to place a bet on the unlikely placement after the draw on 9 October 2022.
Betting on handicap matches
Bags of money don’t score and a match is played on the pitch, not on paper. These words of wisdom should be your guide for the European Championship qualifiers.
Because of the format of qualification, it is obvious that scores will be higher than in matches at the final tournament. Under and over handicaps are ideally suited for betting on European Championship qualifiers. England – San Marino is not an interesting pot, but when you put the goal difference at +5 for the Netherlands, the odds are suddenly a lot more favourable.
Betting European Championship qualification | Combi boosts
Another way to get out from under low odds on predictable matches is by using combination bets. When you bet on the outcome of not one, but two, three or four matches, you make use of a multiplier.
This is not recommended for teams that are evenly matched, but it is advisable when the big boys are taking on the lesser gods. However, the European Championship qualifier lends itself perfectly to this.
Moments like Iceland’s historic qualification for Euro 2016 and Scotland’s late goals to secure their Euro 2020 spot showcase the drama of the qualifiers.
Because the teams playing against each other are often of a different level, it is important to bet with a handicap or with a combination bet. Always be careful not to overshoot, but the European Championship qualifiers are one of the few places where you can take a bit more risk with betting.
UEFA has 54 members all participating in the European Championship qualifiers. Of the 54 countries, 24 will go to the final tournament. The qualification will be played in 10 groups. Six groups of five teams and four groups of six teams. The countries playing the final round of the Nations League are automatically assigned to the five-team groups.
Rivalries like England vs. Scotland or Netherlands vs. Germany create passionate matchups that fans eagerly anticipate during qualifiers.
The play-offs, often involving teams from different groups, provide an extra chance for nations to secure a place in the UEFA European Championship.