The Super League, otherwise known as Super League 1, has been Greece’s top level of football since 2006. It replaced the previous system, the Alpha Ethniki.
Currently, the Greek Super League is ranked 17th by UEFA according to its coefficient rankings. Despite this relatively lowly rating, teams from the country have historically done well in European competitions.
Not too many domestic stars have come from this league recently, but many good players have begun their careers here. These players move onto better things around Europe and gain experience. It's this experience that culminated in Greece winning Euro 2004 in Portugal, beating the hosts in the final.
How Things Work in the Greek Super League
The Super League features just 14 teams, playing each other once at home and once away. The season runs between August and May, which means a relatively short 26-game season. This is a new format after the authorities shortened the top league from 16 teams, adding a Super League 2.
Promotion, Relegation and Europe
Regardless of who tops the table at the end of 26 games, the top six enter a championship play-off round. The winners of that mini-tournament are crowned the Greek champions for the season.
The top two can go into the Champions League qualifiers, while another three go into the qualifying rounds for the Europa League.
Similarly, those filling positions 7-14 enter the relegation play-off round at the end of the season to decide on who goes down to Super League 2. The bottom two after the play-offs face the drop, being replaced by the top two from the Super League 2 promotion round play-offs.
Greece’s Top Teams
Greece’s original top-level league was formed in 1927, then called the Panhellenic Championship. Only six individual clubs have ever been crowned champions with just two areas of the country dominating things.
The biggest success by some way has been achieved by the big three clubs from Athens:
- AEK Athens
While PAOK (current champions) and Aris, both from Thessaloniki, are next best. Only one team from between the two big cities, Larissa, has managed to break the dominance at one stage.
Olympiacos are considered the biggest team in Greece. They have won 44 top-level titles. However, given that their best performance in the Champions League is a quarter-final defeat in 1999, major rivals Panathinaikos would claim otherwise.
Panathinaikos have 20 domestic titles to back up a European Cup final appearance in 1971 and two semi-final appearances at the top table of Europe in both 1985 and 1996.
Things do change in the Greek Super League. And Greece may have a new super force, POAK. The current Greek champions, they are challenging Olympiacos at the top of the regular season table. They also once have grand plans to go much further in Europe. Thus far, they appear to be meeting their ambitious goals.
The Best Betting Markets to Play in the Greek Super League
The steadily declining quality in this league over the last 10-20 years and the extreme heat often facing players in Greek Super League matches are issues. The league remains one of the few major European leagues producing cagey games which are not always the most high-scoring affairs.
That is something to keep in mind. Many punters these days like to bet on total goals and on markets involving both teams to score. But, while they are not really viable propositions for us here, one statistic remains very solid.
Super League 1’s record of around 50% home wins is higher than the average around Europe and significantly higher than some high-scoring leagues. We can’t rely on too many high-scoring games, especially when they don’t feature the top two or three teams. However, we can trust the home favourites to get the job done for us making these the markets to concentrate on:
- Match Betting: home win/draw/away win. Should a team be a strong favourite at home, they are generally a safe bet in this league as away teams generally do not do overly well here.
- Match Betting Accumulators: Allied with the above, should two or three strong home teams be playing lower opposition, they are safe to throw into accumulators.
Bet on Greece’s Reliability
With away teams struggling here, those who like a nice safe bet could do worse than pick a few solid homers with any of our recommended online bookmakers.