As is often the case around Europe, the Bulgarian Premier League can be known by a few different names. If you're placing a bet, keep a sharp eye out for the different terms online betting lists.
Names for the Bulgarian Premier League include:
- First Professional Football League: The official name
- Parva Liga: The colloquial name
- efbet League: The name for sponsorship reasons
The First League is Bulgaria’s top-flight football division. It’s been around since 1924 when it was known as the Bulgarian State Championship.
The days of Hristo Stoichkov, Dimitar Berbatov and even Stilian Petrov appear to be over, for now. However, Bulgaria does have a fair history of producing top-class players. Most of them make their name in this very league before going on to bigger and better things.
Bulgarian Premier League – How it Works
There are just 14 teams in Bulgaria’s top division. As usual for a 26-game regular season, all of the teams play each other once at home and once away.
At the conclusion of this part of the season, points are carried over into a promotion round for the top six teams who play each other home and away from that point. When they’ve played a total of 36 games, the champions are crowned.
When the league splits after 26 games, teams 7-14 play each other in the relegation round.
Who Qualifies for What in Bulgaria
The unlucky teams after the relegation round go down to the Vtora Liga. While the winners of the championship round qualify for the early stages of the UEFA Champions League.
Two spots are given to the First League for the Europa League too, handed out to those finishing second in the promotion round of the league season and to the team winning the Europa League play-offs at the end of what is a very convoluted system.
The last Bulgarian Europa place goes to the Bulgarian Cup winners. But is usually taken up by the next in line in the league standings as the winner of the trophy tends to come from these teams anyway.
Bulgarian First League’s Most Recognisable Teams
The most successful team in Bulgarian Premier League history, and easily the most recognisable to those outside the country, is CSKA Sofia. This team has won the division no less than 31 times.
In terms of league success and squad value, however, they’ve been overtaken. In recent times by Ludogorets, who have been regulars on the European stage without ever getting too far. The Eagles won their 8th domestic title in 2019 but lost in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League. They later got knocked out of the Europa League at the group stage.
Other clubs of note include:
- Levski Sofia
- Slavia Sofia
- Cherno More
This is a tricky league to bet on if you're attempting to pick an easy favourite. At just about 2.5 per game, the total goals in the Bulgarian First League is below where we want it to be, basically eliminating the ‘both teams to score’ and ‘over’ on the total goals markets as they’ll invariably prove to be bad value for us.
Furthermore, only 43% of all games in this division go the way of the home team making simple accumulators difficult. However, if you’re willing to bet in singles and amass your winnings steadily then there is definitely a way:
- Match betting – home/draw/away. In this tight league, bear in mind that about 50% of all matches are drawn and that puts forth to us a real value betting proposition. With draws typically priced up at anywhere from 9/4 to 11/4, taking out the potentially obvious home winners leaves a few games on which we can back the draw at these attractive prices, very often leading to easy profit.
- Handicap Betting – with home teams and top of the league favourites not doing as well week to week as in other leagues, betting on a highly-priced away side with a goal head start can very often lead to a draw and a quick profit, especially as they’ll occasionally go on to win the game anyway meaning whatever the result, in that case, you’ve scored.
Wagering on Bulgaria’s First League
Draws are usually priced up very attractively at first glance but aren’t always a great value in football matches – unless you’re betting in Bulgaria that is! Placing bets on games to finish level in the Bulgarian First league can be done easily with any of our recommended online bookmakers.