Handball remains a minority sport in much of the world but for many European sports fans and a growing number of UK players its fast, frenetic nature and exciting play make it hugely popular. Certainly the bookmakers are taking notice and more and more online betting sites are featuring handball among their odds, especially for premier events such as the Champions League. Read on as we take a look at the outright betting for this season’s Champions League and offer the best available odds via our live odds comparison, as well as our tips and betting predictions for who will be crowned handball kings of Europe in the 2015-16 season.
Barcelona are the defending Champions League champions, as in football, and they will be looking to retain their crown in this, the 56th edition of handball’s Champions League. The season is well under way now, having commenced at the start of September and the Velux Ehf Final4 will be held at the start of May to decide the ultimate champion from the remaining four teams.
Barcelona once more lead the way in the outright betting, with Bet365 offering the Catalan kings at a tempting price of 7/2. At the time of writing Barcelona are second in Group B, having won four and drawn one of their six games. They trail Vardar who have five wins and one defeat from their opening fixtures and with only the top side from Group B assured of making the quarters, Barca have a little catching up to do.
In what is an open tournament, Vardar, from the handball hotbed of Macedonia, are among the sides who will feel they are capable of causing an upset, even of the bookies don’t necessarily share that confidence. The Skopje outfit can be backed at odds of 20/1 with Unibet in the outright market but it’s hard to see them troubling the better-financed teams above them in the betting.
One such team is certainly PSG, who can be backed at tempting odds of 4/1, again with Unibet, and have to be respected given the ability within their squad. PSG Handball lead the way in Group A and whilst the season remains young, the fact they are already showing their ability is a worrying sign for their rivals. PSG have won five of their six games, losing to German outfit Flensburg-Handewitt in Flensburg in a high scoring and exciting encounter.
The Germans currently have a 4-2 record in Group B and are priced at odds of 13/1 in the Champions League outright betting but will need to improve defensively and avoid injuries if they are to have a real chance of going all the way. That said, the 2014 Champions League winners and 2015 German cup winners have to be respected and certainly have the experience to make the Final4.
The two main rivals to PSG and Barcelona are, however, THW Kiel, another German side with bags of experience and Veszprem. Kiel have, amazingly, won the strong German league in 10 of the last 11 years and have also won or finished second in the Champions League six times since 2007 (winning three). They have class in all departments and a great off-field structure and at odds of 7/1 with Unibet they may be the value pick in what is a very tight competition.
Hungarian giants Veszprem, who made the Champions League final last year and the semis before that, are available at odds of 4/1 with Bet365 in this year’s outright market. With 22 national titles and 23 national cups, they are one of the most decorated sides in Hungarian handball but we suspect they may just come up short against clubs with more money on the wider European scale.
Realistically there are eight clubs with strong chances of winning this year’s Champions League and whilst it’s close to call, for us the value lies with Kiel and as such they are our outright betting tip.Google+