Champions League Odds, Picks & Projections For Tuesday’s & Wednesday’s Quarterfinal Matches

Champions League Odds, Picks & Projections For Tuesday’s & Wednesday’s Quarterfinal Matches article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Bayern Munich standout Thomas Muller.

  • The first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal round gifts us rematches of the 2020 final and 2018 final.
  • With odds set for all four matches Tuesday and Wednesday, how should bettors be approaching these lines?
  • Soccer analyst Brad Cunningham breaks down his projections for each matchup below.

Champions League Odds

Manchester City+200
Bayern Munich+375
Paris Saint-Germain+700
Real Madrid+900
Borussia Dortmund+2700

The Champions League returns this week for the first legs of the quarterfinal round, and boy, do we have some amazing matches on the docket.

In case you missed it, here are the matchups for the quarterfinals:

  • Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund — Tuesday
  • Real Madrid vs. Liverpool — Tuesday
  • Bayern Munich vs. Paris Saint-Germain — Wednesday
  • Porto vs. Chelsea — Wednesday

The biggest games are obviously rematches of last year's final between Bayern Munich and PSG, as well as of the 2018 final between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Manchester City and Chelsea are big favorites to make the quarterfinals, but Porto and Dortmund are capable of pulling off upsets.

This is the first time in a long time Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo won't be playing in the quarterfinals, but either way it should be an incredibly entertaining week of Champions League action.

Champions League Pick

Manchester City and Bayern Munich are still on top of the oddsboard to win the league, but Liverpool and Chelsea have leapfrogged PSG due to the French champions drawing Bayern Munich.

I actually see some value in Real Madrid at +900 (DraftKings), due to the fact its path is a lot easier than the other side of the bracket. It has to get past Liverpool, which it should be able to do because of the Reds' defensive issues this season.

Real Madrid would get to play Chelsea or Porto next, then would likely face Manchester City, PSG or Bayern Munich in the final, but the final could be a perfect hedge opportunity if you get them at +900.

Now, without further ado, let's get into the projections.

You can use the following projections to identify betting value on the current lines, and follow me in The Action Network App to see any bets I make throughout the week. 

Note: These projections do not take injuries into account. The injury news highlighted below is for players who would regularly be in each team's starting XI.

Manchester City vs. Dortmund Odds

Manchester City-295
Over/Under3.5 (+140 / -175)
TimeTuesday | 3 p.m. ET
Odds as of Monday afternoon via DraftKings.

Manchester City vs. Dortmund Projections

Manchester City has been the most dominant team in the world since the calendar turned to 2021. They've suffered only one loss, which came against their rivals Manchester United back in March. But other than that, Manchester City have been incredibly dominant.

Since the start of 2021, the Cityzens are 16-0-1 in the Premier League and have outscored their opponents 45-9. They also cruised by Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Round of 16, beating them 4-0 on aggregate and didn't even allow them to sniff the goal.

The reason for Manchester City's run is their defensive dominance. Pep Guardiola made a change at both center back positions back in December, putting John Stones and Rúben Dias beside one another. The two have now played together for 17 matches, combining to allow an absurd 0.62 xG per match.

The other reason for their improvement is because Pep Guardiola switched them from a 4-2-3-1 to a traditional 4-3-3. The switch has produced fantastic results, as the Cityzens are averaging 2.00 xG per 90 minutes, while allowing only 0.93 xG per 90 minutes when playing out of the 4-3-3.

Dortmund may be sitting in fifth place in the Bundesliga table, but they are way better than that position. They are third behind Bayern Munich and RB Liepzig with a +20.27 xGD and are averaging 1.91 xG per match.

Dortmund can take solace in the fact that they have one of the best strikers in the world in Erling Haaland. The 20 year-old is a matchup nightmare for most defenses given his unique mixture of power and speed. He's averaging a ridiculous 0.80 xG per 90 minute scoring rate in the Bundesliga, which is second to only Robert Lewandowski.

His talents were on full display against Sevilla in the Round of 16, as he scored four of Dortmund's five goals and provide the assist for the other.


— Champions League on CBS Sports (@UCLonCBSSports) February 17, 2021

It's perhaps too big of a mountain to climb for Dortmund in this tie against Manchester City, but if the Cityzens can't keep Haaland in check, then Dortmund has a chance.

Injury News

  • Manchester City: None.
  • Dortmund: Jadon Sancho (RM) and Axel Witsel (CM) are out.

Real Madrid vs. Liverpool Odds

Real Madrid+170
Over/Under2.5 (-129 / +105)
TimeTuesday | 3 p.m. ET
Odds as of Monday afternoon via DraftKings.

Real Madrid vs. Liverpool Projections

This is a rematch of the 2018 Champions League final, when Sergio Ramos injured Mohammed Salah early on in the match, allowing Real Madrid to capture their third straight Champions League title.

Things are a little different this time around as both squads are dealing with injury issues.

Real Madrid has been on a great run in La Liga even since the calendar turned to 2021. Los Blancos have won 11 of their 16 matches in all competitions and  have put up a +14.67 xGD in the process.

Zinedine Zidane's 4-3-3 system has been completely overwhelming teams this season, as Los Blancos are scoring 1.84 xG per 90 minutes and only allowing 1.00 xG per 90 minutes when playing out of that formation. Additionally, Karim Benzema has been the man in form, scoring at a 0.67 xG per 90 minute rate in La Liga this season. He'll be a very difficult matchup for Liverpool's centerbacks.

Real Madrid will have to get by Liverpool without their captain, Sergio Ramos.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is set to miss both legs of the quarter-final against Liverpool after suffering a muscle

— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 1, 2021

However, the loss of Ramos may have been a bigger deal in 2018, but the defender is now 34 and has spent most of the season on the sidelines. Real Madrid is very used to playing without him, so I don't consider it a huge loss for Los Blancos.

Liverpool came out of the international break firing on all cylinders, beating Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates. However, things haven't been going great for Jürgen Klopp's men, who since the beginning of February have created just 1.41 expected goals per match, compared to 2.07 xG in its first 14 fixtures of the season.

The Reds have a major tactical problem at the moment. Usually, Klopp plays an all-out, high press that gives teams fits. Liverpool's high line at the back also keeps teams from playing long balls up the field, causing most opponents to spend less time on the ball since they're forced to make quick passes.

With Liverpool's top three center backs out for the rest of the season, it has had to back off its high press so its fill-in defenders aren't exposed. Zinedine Zidane knows this and will likely have Real Madrid sit back and look to hit Liverpool on the counter, over and over again.

Injury News 

  • Real Madrid: Sergio Ramos (CB) is out.
  • Liverpool: Virgil Van Djik (CB), Joe Gomez (CB), Joel Matip (CB) are out. Jordan Henderson (CM) is questionable.

Bayern Munich vs. PSG Odds

Bayern Munich-108
Over/Under3.5 (+143 / -180)
TimeWednesday | 3 p.m. ET
Odds as of Monday afternoon via DraftKings.

Bayern Munich vs. PSG Projections

Bayern Munich and PSG meet for a rematch of last summer's Champions League final. Bayern Munich walked away with a 1-0 victory on that day, but they come into this meeting a little shorthanded. The German champions are going to be without their all world striker Robert Lewandowski, which is a huge loss since the Polish front man is averaging 1.12 xG per 90 minutes — the best scoring rate among Europe's top five leagues.

OFFICIAL: Robert Lewandowski ruled out for four weeks by Bayern Munich with sprained ligaments in his knee—he'll miss both legs of the Champions League quarterfinal against PSG

— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 30, 2021

Even though Lewandowski is going to be out, Bayern Munich has been dominant over the past three months, as they've won 14 of their 16 matches in all competitions.

Bayern's controlled high press gave PSG fits in the final last summer, as PSG wasn't able to build up their attack from the back and by the second half were forced to send the ball long off of goal kicks. In addition, 76% of the match was played in either the middle of pitch or PSG's third. The French champions also turned the ball over 14 times in their half of the field compared to only turning over Bayern four times in their half.  So even though Lewandowski is out, Bayern's high press should still be effective against PSG.

The French champions stumbled in a huge match in Ligue 1, losing to Lille at home over the weekend. The loss wasn't that surprising since PSG has struggled against the top teams in France, going 2-5-1 against the top six teams in Ligue 1 with a -0.69 xGD. So, its not a forgone conclusion that they are going to get by Bayern Munich.

Injury News

  • Bayern Munich: Robert Lewandowski (ST) and Douglas Costa (CAM) are out.
  • PSG: Leandro Parades (CM), Marco Verratti (CM), and Layvin Kurzawa (LB) are out. Marco Icardi (ST) is questionable.

Porto vs. Chelsea Odds

Over/Under2.5 (+125 / -155)
TimeWednesday | 3 p.m. ET
Odds as of Monday afternoon via DraftKings.

Porto vs. Chelsea Projections

Porto was the only club outside of the major five European leagues to make it to the knockout stage. They pulled off a massive upset in the Round of 16 beating Italian champions Juventus on away goals.

🤩 Never gets old ⚽ Drama time 🎶

— FC Porto (@FCPorto) April 4, 2021

The reason they are here is because of their defense, which has been a fortress in Primeira Liga play, allowing only 0.94 xG per match. The reason for that is because they play out of a 4-4-2 formation, one of the most defensive formations in soccer.

Tactically, I expect Porto to play very defensive, keeping everything out of the middle and daring Chelsea to beat them by playing the ball out wide. Porto also have some experience at the back with former Real Madrid defender Pepe and former Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba, so they are equipped to handle Chelsea's attack.

Chelsea will be well equipped to take down Porto because they just beat the best defensive team in the world in Atletico Madrid, who also plays out of a 4-4-2. However, Chelsea was embarrassed over the weekend, losing at home to relegation side West Brom 5-2.

Before the West Brom match, Chelsea had conceded two goals in Tuchel's first six matches in charge and are allowing only 0.44 xG per match under the German. They're also creating 1.61 xG per match, so the West Brom match was clearly an outlier.

Tactically, Tuchel changed Chelsea's system to a 3-4-2-1 from the 4-3-3 used by Lampard, which has allowed Chelsea to be more unpredictable. The main objective of the 3-4-2-1 is to completely overwhelm opposing defenses by outnumbering them on the counter attack.

The new formation allows Chelsea some tactical flexibility, to adjust on the fly based on how the match is going. That's allowed Chelsea to dominate possession and keep opponents on their toes. They should be able to dominate possession on Tuesday since Porto is not concerned about keeping a lot of the ball. The change has done wonders, as the Blues have a 1.31 xGD per 90 minutes when playing out of the 3-4-2-1 formation.

Chelsea are heavy favorites to advance to the semifinals, and if they play like they did against Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16, they should make quick work of Porto.

Injury News

  • Porto: Mehdi Taremi (ST) and Sergio Oliveira (CM) are out.
  • Chelsea: Christian Pulisic (CAM) and Ngolo Kante (CM) are out.

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