Why, of all leagues, is the Dutch Eredivisie one of the best ones to get into? Having watched the league for the past 10 years, Football-Oranje’s Michael Statham explains.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike

This article has also been published on the website of Pinnacle Sports.

Dutch football – a brief history

One of the first things that come to many people’s minds when Dutch football is mentioned is the rich history of football success in the country. Many generations of great football players have developed in the country, but none more so than the Ajax and Netherlands teams of the 1970s – with the sheer influence of Johan Cruijff living on today.

It seems that every decade gets its own legends though – Ruud Gullit lit up the 1980s with Feyenoord, and there are the greats of the 1990s including Dennis Bergkamp, Marco van Basten, and the Brazilian Ronaldo. History lives on today, with several prominent players becoming coaches. For instance, Ruud van Nistelrooy is coaching PSV’s academy, and Edwin van der Sar and Marc Overmars are Chief Executive and Director of Football respectively of Ajax.

Eredivisie betting strategy: Over 2.5 goals

The Dutch Eredivisie is a league for those who wish to make smart money. Betting on ‘over 2.5 goals’ is almost a no-brainer when it comes to betting on football in the Netherlands. The Eredivisie has a high number of goals per game, with many sides adopting an attacking approach to football – defending and clean sheets are not the priority in this league.

As you can see, more often than not you’re likely to win a bet when you go for goals in this league.

Eredivisie seasonAverage goals
20/213.06
19/203.08
18/193.47
17/183.14

Technical football = goals?

Dutch football is widely acknowledged to be entertaining, but also highly technical. Players in all positions are expected to pass the ball and build up attacks from defence; there are very few mentions of ‘long ball’ tactics in the Netherlands! Wingers are commonly converted into flying full-backs, and a 4-3-3 formation is very common, with all three attacking players pushed high up the pitch in search of goals.

Passing completion within the Eredivisie stands tall at 78%. This is in line with averages for the European ‘top five’ leagues in 2021, with the Dutch top-flight actually bettering the average for completed passes in the Bundesliga and La Liga.

There are also many tricks and flicks seen around the penalty area, and attacking players feel less pressure than most other countries since risky attacking play is applauded. ‘Total football’ – as made famous by Ajax in the seventies – is still alive in the Netherlands.

Scoring goals and entertaining the crowds are core principles of Dutch football players, so betting on both teams to score when the sides are evenly matched is another way of potentially gaining an edge. There are no defensive sides in this league.

Eredivisie Future Talents

Arguably one of the best reasons to start watching Dutch football on a regular basis is the young talent that develops each year. Dutch clubs reinvest money from selling their best players back into their academies, which makes clubs sustainable and able to continue to punch above their weight in the Eredivisie. Everyone seems to know Ajax’s famed academy, but AZ Alkmaar’s young players are coming through stronger than ever, plus there are clubs further down the table such as Heerenveen and Sparta Rotterdam who continue to produce stars.

It is so satisfying to watch the emergence of world-class football players such as Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie de Jong. This season, some of the top talents include PSV’s Donyell Malen, AZ’s Teun Koopmeiners, and Ajax’s Ryan Gravenberch. Gravenberch is an 18-year-old who is already standing out in Ajax’s midfield and has just made his Netherlands debut.

You could gain an edge on the market by discovering and following the latest young stars, and knowing these players ahead of the bookmaker can sometimes reward your European football betting – Ajax’s run in the 18/19 Champions League is a classic example – providing bettors with plenty of long odds wins.

Quality increasing at the top – Eredivisie Asian Handicaps

The quality of football within the league is improving. In the last four years, Ajax’s long runs to the Europa League final and the Champions League semi-final have meant an injection of money into the club. Ultimately, that has led to bigger transfer outlays. In time, the money from the team’s success in European competition will filter its way down to the smaller Eredivisie clubs.

More and more players, who are in the prime of their careers, are choosing to come and play in the Netherlands. For example, World Cup winner Mario Gotze is playing for PSV, whilst Sebastien Haller and Dusan Tadic both switched in their mid-twenties from the Premier League to Ajax.

The progression is also clear to see when it comes to Dutch teams performing on the European stage. According to the UEFA league co-efficient, the Eredivisie is now the seventh strongest league in Europe; the Netherlands hasn’t been ranked this high since 2006.

What does this mean then for the league’s betting value? The top of the Dutch Eredivisie is growing stronger with each passing season, meaning there are greater margins of victory for those at the top. The strengthening of teams such as Ajax, Feyenoord, and PSV – as well as the meteoric rise of AZ Alkmaar into a top-four club – mean there are some great value Asian Handicaps on Pinnacle.

For example, betting on a -1.5 Asian Handicap this season on Ajax’s home matches against sides ranked seventh and lower would have won the Handicap bet eight out of nine times this season. PSV also have an incredible home record, having healthily won all matches in their own stadium against sides ranked sixth or lower in the current campaign, and they’re unbeaten at home against sides outside of the league’s historic top four in over seven years.

Bet on every Eredivisie match with the best Eredivisie odds at Pinnacle.

Here at English-language website Football-Oranje.com, we provide match reports from each Eredivisie game, give you podcasts which analyse the league, and host interviews with players currently in the division.




Michael Statham (584 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.