Betting Belarus: A Brief Guide to Vysshaya Liga
Finding live soccer at the moment is somewhat difficult, with Nicaragua, Taiwan and Burundi among the very few countries that has continued playing in April. In Europe, the only league still in operation is Belarus’ Vysshaya Liga. The competition has just got underway, with teams four games into the 30-game season.
As one of the few live sports taking place at the moment, we thought we would take a quick overview of the top competition in Belarus and see what it can offer punters in terms of betting opportunity.
The season runs from March to December, with 16 teams playing each other home and away this year in a standard format. We say “this year” because it does change; just 11 teams competed in the 2012 season. The champions get placed in the Champions League qualifying rounds, whereas second and third spot offers a shot at the Europa League. The bottom two teams at the end of the season get relegated to the First League. The team finishing 3rd from bottom must face a relegation play-off game.
Anyone following the Champions League and Europa League qualifying rounds over the years will have come across BATE Borisov, and they have popped up in the group stages now and again. Their dominance makes France’s Ligue 1 look positively open by comparison, with BATE winning 13 consecutive championships from 2006-2018. However, they were finally dethroned last season by Dynamo Brest, and it is Brest who will enter the Champions League qualifying for the 2020/21 season. The main rivalry is between Dinamo Minsk and BATE, with the former dominating the league in the 1990s.
The New Season
BATE, Minsk and Brest have all started sluggishly, but the trio will be hitting the panic button just yet. Torpedo Zhodino top the league at the time of writing, leading Energetik-BGU Minsk on goal difference. Even at this early stage of the season, all teams in the division have experienced at least one loss. Belshina looks most likely to get cut off at the bottom of the table. Dinamo Minsk, currently in that relegation play-off place, will hope to start digging upwards soon.
As you might expect, BATE lead the way, with a price of 5/4 offered to lift their 14th championship in 15 years. The dethroning of BATE last season has clearly rattled the markets, however, and you can see the value in backing Brest at 17/10. Dinamo Minsk are much further back at 25/1. Shakhtyor Soligorsk (9/2) and current leaders Zhodino (18/1, all odds supplied by MansionBet UK) might also take some money in the outright markets.
The Belarussian Premier League tends to sit in the middle of the road when it comes to things like goal scoring trends. For example, the 2019 season saw an average of 2.62 goals per game, making it similar to France’s Ligue 1 this season but behind high-scoring leagues like Germany (3.25 goals per game). 1-0 or 0-1 scorelines made up almost a quarter of all results in the 2019 season. There isn’t a huge discrepancy between home and away performances across a season, although we can cite some slight statistical advantage for teams playing in front of their own fans.
We don’t recommend blindly betting on any sport when you don’t really know the protagonists at play. However, if you choose to bet on the Belarussian Vysshaya, you should use the statistics to inform your decision. Going with teams you have heard of is not the way forward, especially with sides like BATE in a period of transition. In addition, be aware that other facts can play a part. For example, the likes of Brest and BATE could be playing European qualifiers across the late summer, and they may see their resources stretched after making trips across the continent.