What is the Indian Super League?
The Indian Super League is one of the two biggest football leagues in India. While most countries have a linear structure where there is a first division, a second division and so on, the ISL currently runs alongside the I-League, which has existed for much longer than the ISL.
The ISL was created in 2013, while the I-League was initially founded in 1996 as the National Football League. Eleven teams make up the ISL, which runs in a short season from October to March. It’s a popular football league and you’ll find plenty of Indian Super League betting opportunities online.
Here, we’ll explain how the ISL works and what the future holds:
ISL vs I-League
The I-League was introduced in 1996 as the premier division for Indian football. It follows a traditional format with 11 teams facing off home and away over the season. The ISL was first created in 2013 and fully launched in 2014. It was originally recognised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as a cup tournament, but in 2019 this was changed to that of a league.
There are similarities between the ISL vs I-League and domestic leagues vs the European Super League first proposed in April 2021. However, there are also some stark differences. For instance, the ISL had approval from its governing body from the beginning. And players can play in both the I-League and the ISL.
Indian Super League Format
If you look at Indian Super League betting sites over the years, you’ll have noticed markets have changed and adapted to suit the evolving format of the ISL. In its current state, the ISL comprises 11 teams, six of whom were there for the first ever season. Many of the clubs involved were created specifically to compete in the ISL, such as Kerala Blasters and Mumbai City. Others, like Sporting Club East Bengal, have migrated from the I-League.
The 11 teams play each other home and away, meaning a minimum of 20 matches per team per season, which gives you plenty of chances for some Indian Super League betting. The highest-ranked team at the end of the league receives the ISL League Winners’ Shield, but there’s another stage afterwards.
The four highest-placed teams enter the semi-finals, with the winners advancing to the final. The winners of the final are awarded the ISL Trophy. Winners of both trophies also qualify for the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup.
AIFF Plans for One League
In 2010, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) put pen to paper on a 15-year contract for television rights. When the contract ends, there are plans for a massive overhaul which could see the I-League and ISL join into one combined league. This controversial plan was mooted for the 2024/25 season and has already been agreed upon by the AFC.
While this idea will no doubt upset long-standing fans of the I-League who may now have to switch allegiances, it also presents a wonderful opportunity in terms of Indian Super League betting odds. A new league means new matches and a chance to spot great odds before the bookies get a full understanding of the market.
How to Bet on the Indian Super League
Even if you’ve never tried betting on the Indian Super League before, it will only take you a few minutes to set up an account and get started. It’s such a simple process you’d almost certainly be fine figuring it out for yourself – but we’re happy to walk you through the steps required.
Here’s how to bet on the Indian Super League:
Features of the Best ISL Betting Sites
When looking for top Indian Super League betting sites, try to look past the aesthetics and find the bookies which offer the best experience for you. If you’ll be using the site often, this will be much more important than some flashy graphics.
Popular Indian Super League Betting Markets
When you first look at Indian Super League betting odds, you may be blown away by how many markets are available. To help you make sense of it all, we’ll walk you through some of the most popular ISL betting markets.
League Winners’ Shield
One of the most fiercely fought battles in the ISL is for the League Winners’ Shield, awarded to the team that finishes top of the ISL league towards the end of the season – much like the Meisterschale in the Bundesliga. Goa were the first to capture the League Winner’s Shield in 2019/20, followed by Mumbai City the following year.
If you’re new to Indian Super League betting, this is a straightforward bet to get started.
If you don’t want to bet on a season-long outcome, there are plenty of Indian Super League betting options that are settled much faster. One example is the match winner.
Simply bet on what you think the outcome will be – home win, away win, or draw. If you back an underdog, you’ll receive longer odds – which means more winnings. For example, if you bet on Odisha to beat Mumbai City and they do, you could expect a handsome pay-out.
ISL Trophy Outright
The ISL Trophy is awarded to the winner of a four-team mini cup competition which takes place after the League Winners’ Shield has been won. The four highest-ranked teams in the league enter a knockout competition, e.g., Mumbai City, ATK Mohun Bagan, Northeast United and Goa.
It’s an exciting option for Indian Super League betting, as matches are always competitive.
Hero of the League
Bet on the Indian Super League: Hero of the League award if you spot a player who you think is destined for the top. The award doesn’t necessarily go to the player who has the best stats, but the one who has been the best player across the board. Iain Hume won the first-ever Hero of the League award back in 2014.
Indian Super League Betting Tips & Strategy
There’s no fool-proof betting plan which will guarantee you money betting on the Indian Super League, but there are some useful betting tips you can follow to improve your chances of winning.
Here are five things to look for when betting on the Indian Super League:
- Head-to-Head Record – Whenever you see an upcoming match, check the team’s previous history. You might find one team consistently beats another. This often comes down to contrasting styles – a team like Mumbai City might be top of the league, but struggle against a very physical team.
- AIFF Plans – The ISL is always in the spotlight, and the AIFF has some drastic changes lined up. As deadlines approach for league-altering updates, monitor the top teams’ form – and those who could be excluded from the league. Uncertainty could lead to unusual results.
- Travel Time – Don’t underestimate geography and the impact travel time can have on players. Kerala Blasters are the southernmost team in the ISL. An away fixture for a team like NorthEast United is a massive trip – the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium is around 65 hours away by car. Even flying by plane takes over five and a half hours. Factor in potential fatigue when betting on the Indian Super League.
- Injuries – When a key player suffers an injury, it can drastically alter the outcome of a match or even a season. For example, Kerala Blasters were without Sandesh Jhingan for the entire 2019-20 season after he was injured playing for the India national team. They even claimed compensation! Use social media and follow respected journalists to get live updates on injuries and use these to make informed bets on the Indian Super League.
- Bogey Teams – When betting on football leagues around the world, there are certain clubs that always seem to beat higher-ranked teams. These are called bogey teams. The ISL is still relatively young, but if you review the history of the competition, you may spot a bogey team with good odds to upset a strong favourite.
If you want to find the best Indian Super League betting sites, you can either research until you find one or simply check the table at the top of this page. Each site on our list has been independently reviewed by our experts and is verified as 100% safe.
For many years, it was legal to bet online in India, including on the Indian Super League. Betting on this league is now more of a grey area, with certain states like Tamil Nadu outlawing online gambling. Using an international betting site, like those suggested on this page, is the safest option for you.
In its current format, the Indian Super League comprises 11 teams. Each club plays the other clubs twice - once at home, and once away from home. That totals 20 games, at which point a league winner is announced. This is followed by a short knockout competition to decide the winner of the ISL Trophy.
When betting on the Indian Super League, spread your bets over different teams ranging from Mumbai City and Goa to Bengaluru and Jamshedpur FC. As the ISL is still in its infancy, there is no single team which has completely dominated the competition.