The Eliteserien was founded in 1937, with the name Norgesserien, or League of Norway. There were regional leagues that were aligned into eight districts, and eleven clubs from each district played each other in a robin round, with the victor in each district then advancing to a playoff where the league winner was determined. Fredrikstad, a southern Norwegian club, won the first Norgesserien after beating Lyn 4-0 on aggregate in a two-legged final. They went on to defend their championship in the following year, but then the league was suspended in 1940 due to the outbreak of the Second World War.
The league recommenced in 1948 and Freidig, a Trondheim based club, won the title. In 1949, the league was rebranded as the Hovedserien, or the main league. The Hovedserien was structured so that it consisted of 16 teams that played in two groups of eight, with the two group winners facing each other for the title. Frederikstad dominated the league in the 50s, winning 6 more titles by the end of the decade, and won a 9th league title in 1961. Larvik Turn gave Fredrikstad the biggest competition in the 50s, beating Fredrikstad twice in the finals. Skeid, an Oslo based team, also reached three finals, but failed to win any of them. In the late 50s, Viking and Lillestrom also won their first titles. In 1962, Brann won their first title in what would be called the Maratonserien or Marathon league. The season stretched out to an unprecedented 15 months, as an experiment was made to try to have all the 16 top flight clubs playing in one group. The 16 teams played in a double robin round, and at the end of the season the bottom half of the league would be relegated to the 2 divisjon. The previous seasons were shorter and the match weeks were held between autumn and the following spring. In the 1962 competition, the season start was moved back to the summer, but there ended up being 30 match weeks, as opposed to the 10-12 in the previous structure.
From 1963, the league was relaunched as the 1 divisjon and it contained 10 teams. The season start was pushed back to spring, and would be held for 18 weeks through to autumn. Brann successfully defended their title in the first league after the relaunch to become second time winners. Valerenga and Rosenborg won their first titles in the 60s, but the competition was quite open, with no particular team dominating the league until the 70s. Viking, a team based in the southern city of Stavanger, won four successive titles from 1972-1975. In 1973, the top flight was finally opened to northern clubs that had not been allowed promotion up until then. Lillestrom ended Vikings impressive run by winning their second and third league titles in 1976 and 1977. Viking won two more titles in 1979 and 1982 to extend their league title tally to 7. Valerenga, Rosenborg and Lillestrom also increased their number of league wins in the 80s, and Moss FK won their first title in 1987.
Norsk Tipping, a company that to this day runs the national lottery and is owned by the Norwegian government, became the main sponsor of the league in 1990, and the league was renamed to the Tippeligaen. The 90s were the decade when Rosenborg put themselves forwards as the dominant team in the league. They managed to win 9 league titles out of a possible 10 in the decade, with Viking the only other team that won the title. They continued their run into the 2000s, winning all the leagues from 2001-2004. In 2005 Valerenga broke Rosenborgs record setting run in the league, but the Trondheim based team returned in 2006 to win their 20th title. Brann and Stabaek won the title in 2007 and 2008, and then in 2009 Rosenborg won two more titles in a row.
In 2011, Molde won their first title with former player, now manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They won another title in 2012 and 2014 as well. Stromsgodset won their first title in 2013, after managing to stay ahead of Rosenborg. Rosenborg won two more titles in 2015 and 2016, before the league was rebranded.
In 2016, the league was named the Eliteserien, taking out the sponsors name from the title. By this time, the league had increased to have 16 clubs playing in it and was extended to be played over the course of 30 weeks. Rosenborg won two more titles in 2017 and 2018, before Molde won their fourth title in 2019. In 2020 and 2021, a northern club called Bodo/Glimt won the competition. When they won their first title, they beat Molde by an impressive 19 points. In the following year, there was only 3 points between the two teams.
The Eliteserien season starts in the spring and ends in the winter. The precise dates when the competition starts and ends have changed many times in the past few years, starting in April, May or June and ending in either November or December.
The 16 teams in the league play each other in a double robin round and at the end of the season, the team that wins the league qualifies for the second qualifying round in the Champions League. The teams that finish second and third qualify for the Europa Conference League second qualifying round.
The two teams at the bottom of the table are relegated to the First Division, the second flight of Norwegian league football, and the team that places in 14th place will have to play in a relegation playoff.
The Eliteserien champions are awarded two trophies. There is a big trophy that has all the names of the winners after 2012 engraved on it. This trophy belongs to the reigning champions, but if another team wins then it has to move to them. The other trophy, which the winners are allowed to keep, is smaller and made of silver.
Seventeen clubs have won the Norwegian top flight, including Rosenborg who have won the division 26 times. Frederikstad with 9 titles, Viking with 8 titles, Lillestrom and Valerenga with 5 titles each, Molde with 4, Bran and Larvik Turn with 3 each, Bodo/Glimt, Lyn, Start, Stromsgodset with 2 each, and Fram Larvik, Freidig, Moss, Skeid and Stabaek with one title each.
These are the most straightforward bets as they relate to the outcome of a single game. In a match between Rosenborg and Molde, a punter can bet on Rosenborg to win, Molde to win, or for the game to end in a tie.
With handicaps punters have some control over the their level of risk. Using the same example as above, a punter can place a negative handicap on Molde, which the team will have to overcome for the bet to win. This will lengthen the odds. Alternatively, if a positive handicap is set on Molde, the handicap will be added to their number of goals at the end of a game. This will make betting on them less risky, however it will also shorten their odds.
These are bets on how many goals will be scored in a game. A betting line is provided and then punters bet on whether the match will finish with over or under that number of goals.
Game props are more detailed than the bets mentioned above. These can include correct score, winning margin, which team will score first, and many more bets. There may be player related props such as will a player score during a match, will they give an assist, will they score the opening goal, and many more.
A huge selection of live bets will be available for each match in the Eliteserien. As well as offering all the bets mentioned above, there will be specific bets on the next events in a game, such as which team will score next, will the next goal come from open play, and more.