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Champions League Betting Trends

The countdown to the Final has begun, and sports bettors are preparing in earnest. Here are the leading trends in the CL’s betting patterns that operators should be aware of  

The countdown has begun for the Champions League Final, which will take place this Saturday in Cardiff UK featuring Juventus (Italy, Torino) and Real Madrid (Spain, Madrid). It was a hectic season, and a very busy league for sports bettors and operators alike. To gauge what operators can expect around the Final, we looked at betting tendencies around the Champions League Finals for the 2015-2016 CL tournament. The metrics are based on data from six leading European sport brands.

Number of Bettors

The CL Final attracts more bettors than any other CL match. The graph bellow shows the portion of unique bettors per match for each level of the tournament, compared to the Final.

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The semi- and quarter-final matches attract between 78%-83% of the number of bettors who bet on the Final. These earlier tournament levels are more attractive to multi-tickets bettors (those who like to place bets on more than one match), as they consist of a couple of matches occurring over two consecutive days. An interesting finding is that the quarter finals attract more bettors than the semi-finals. This anomaly is related to two parameters: the fact that the quarter-finals consist of more matches and match days with more options for cross-betting, and the fact that they involve more competing countries and therefore a larger number of emotionally involved bettors.

Probability to Bet on the Final

For bettors who placed bets on earlier CL games, what is the probability to join the Final betting game? This number increases as the tournament progresses. While only 7% of bettors who participated in the group stage will place a bet on the Final, that number goes up to 35% for bettors who waged on the semi-final. The time lapse between the first bet placed on the CL and the Final is the prominent parameter here: the more time that goes by between the initial bet and the Final, the less likely a bettor is to bet on the Final. in addition, as the tournament progresses and the number of teams decrease, the bettors that stick around show a higher commitment to the tournament itself, rather than to specific teams or countries.

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It’s also interesting to note that for the 2016 season, where both semi-finals sported a Spanish team and the Final was played between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, the number of Spanish bettors who placed bets on both the semi-finals and the Finals rose to 45%.

Probability to Bet on Next Stage

On a similar topic, here are the probabilities for each of the competition level bettors to place a bet on the next stage in the tournament.

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As mentioned in the previous graph, 35% of bettors who bet on the semi-finals bet on the Final as well. However, among the quarter-final bettors, a significantly larger number – 47% – also bet on the semi-finals. We propose that the reason for this seeming anomaly is the duration of down time between levels, in this case 13 days between the last quarter-match to the first semi-match, compared to 54 days between the last semi-final match to the Final. (A similar trend occurs for group stage bettors – the round of 16 took place 69 days after the final group stage game, leading to a drop in percentage of next stage bettors).

The Final game shows an increase in other game metrics: the number of bets per player increases by 18% for the Final compared to any other CL match, and the percentage of live bets out of all bets is also highest for the Final. while throughout the tournament the average ration of in-play best is 17%, that number rises to 28% for the Final. it’s interesting to note that when comparing the mobile activity ratio between the Final and other CL games there is no significant change.

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