The Austrian Football Federal League, known as the Austrian Bundesliga, is the top tier of league football in the country.
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The Bundesliga, not to be confused with its larger German counterpart, began back in the 1974-75 season. It has produced some footballers of note such as Hans Krankl and, more recently, English Premier League star Marko Arnautovic.
With just twelve teams taking part in the regular Bundesliga season, Austria recognises that there is a dearth of quality in their relatively small country. They keep the league small meaning a higher concentration of quality, ensuring the league remains competitive.
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The Austrian Bundesliga format
The regular season in Austria sees the twelve Bundlesiga teams play each other. They each play once at home and once away, which is standard for a 22-game campaign.
At the end of those 22 games, played between July and mid-March, the league splits into two. The top six play in the Championship Round and the bottom six take part in the Relegation Round. Games are usually held on Saturdays and Sundays.
The six Championship Round teams then play each other home and away again until the champions are known. Only some of their points are retained from the regular season. The same format happens to the bottom six sides.
Relegation and Europe
In the relegation round, whoever finishes the 32-game season at the bottom of the final table is relegated to the Austrian Second League. The next three up retain their Bundesliga status for the following year. While, oddly, having finished in the bottom six, the top two from this mini-league go into Austria’s Europa League play-offs.
- The winner of the Championship Round is naturally crowned champion, going into the UEFA Champions League.
- The runner-up goes to the qualifying rounds for the same competition, the third-placed team enters the Europa League.
- Teams 4 and 5 move into the Europa League play-offs.
- The sixth-placed team achieves nothing, making it better to finish 7th or 8th and face weaker opposition in order to reach the Europa play-off stage.
In the play-offs teams 4 & 5 from the Promotion Round and teams 1 & 2 from the relegation round play-off to ultimately decide Austria’s last participants for the following season’s Europa League.
Austria’s most successful teams
Rapid Vienna, a very recognisable name on the European football stage, is Austria’s most successful Bundesliga team. They have achieved 32 titles and been runners-up on 26 more occasions.
Austria Vienna isn’t too far behind on 13 wins, but things are changing now as in recent years. Red Bull Salzburg (formerly Austria Salzburg) has flown the flag for Austria, winning eight of their 13 Bundesliga titles since 2010. The Red Bull team has also reached the last-16 of the Champions League on several occasions.
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Austrian Bundesliga betting markets
We have to be a little specific in this rather strange league set-up. Generally, the Bundesliga is going at around 40-30-30 in terms of home/draw/away results so that’s not a great split for a gambler. It’s too even, meaning we can’t rely on home teams in accumulators.
An average-looking goals-per-game ratio of 2.8 doesn’t fill us with joy either. Especially when that includes the two strongest teams in the league.
However, taking out those easily moving clear of the rest and concentrating on the middle to lower teams, we still see a poor showing for home wins at around 35% but the total goals moving up to 3.03.
With that knowledge and keeping in mind what we’ve learned from the Europa League play-off system here, these are the best betting markets:
- Total Goals – in the regular season and ignoring any runaway leaders such as Red Bull, backing ‘over 2.5 goals’ can pay off. Don’t confuse this with ‘both teams to score’, as this rarely pays off enough in Austria.
- Match Betting – 1X2. Towards the end of the regular season only, betting against the 5th and 6th placed teams can be fruitful as frankly, they’d rather finish 7th or 8th and face an easier task in the play-offs to get into the lucrative Europa League.
- Handicap Betting – at any point in the season, taking the away side with a goal head start is wise when the price is right as home teams do not have the strongest record in this league.
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