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2022-23 Champions League Updated Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Projections: Our Best Bets, Featuring Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich

2022-23 Champions League Updated Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Projections: Our Best Bets, Featuring Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich article feature image
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Andrea Bruno Diodato/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Inter Milan standout Lautaro Martínez.

The Champions League is back! On Tuesday, the group stage begins with 16 matches being played over two days.

BJ Cunningham and Anthony Dabbundo are here to take you through this latest set of contests with their best bets on the slate.

The pair, which is part of the Wondergoal podcast crew, will be taking you through the Champions League fixtures, delivering their favorite picks along the way. They’ll also provide their individual model projections for the games.

If you’d like to see picks from Cunningham and Dabbundo during the season for all UCL action and all five European leagues, follow them in the Action Network App.


Cunningham’s Model Projections


 

PSG vs. Juventus

PSG Odds -300
Juventus Odds +775
Draw +450
Over/Under 3.5 (+120 / -165)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
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Dabbundo: Juventus was at the top of my fade list before the Champions League draw came out and I’ll be looking to directly fade the Serie A power in future matches.

However, the price on Paris Saint-Germain is too inflated here for me to bite.

The early returns on this Juventus offense have been absolutely dreadful. The entire attack runs through Dusan Vlahovic. And while he’s a talented young striker, his production alone isn’t enough to sustain the side. The addition of Arkadiusz Milik is supposed to supplement him, but the 28-year-old isn’t on a level to be successful in the Champions.

Juventus has played Roma, Sassuolo, Sampdoria, Spezia and Fiorentina, producing just 5.2 total xG in those matches.


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Manager Max Allegri is sure to set up his team in an extremely conservative manner on the road in Paris and the totals on the PSG attack continue to be inflated.

The Parisians have also really improved their defensive structure under manager Christophe Galtier since he took over for Mauricio Pochettino. The Pochettino system didn’t quite work, but an improved midfield and side less reliant on pressing should be better defensively in the Champions League against better competition.

Lionel Messi and PSG have scored a ton of goals to begin the Ligue 1 season, but this is a good spot for a solid Juventus defense to slow them down and keep this game under the total via the Asian Handicap lines.

I’d play under three goals, but wouldn’t go lower than that in this match.

The Pick: Total Under 3.25 Goals (-120)

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Celtic vs. Real Madrid

Celtic Odds +425
Real Madrid Odds -165
Draw +320
Over/Under 2.5 (-155 / +110)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
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Cunningham: In the Scottish Premier League last season, Celtic finished with 2.6 xG per 90 minutes, but only allowed 0.95 xG per 90 minutes.

The club was in the Europa League last campaign in a difficult group with Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros. In the four matches against Leverkusen and Real Betis, Celtic put up 6.9 xG, but defensively it was kind of a mess.

However, the good news is the side now has the experience playing big-time clubs and didn’t sell anybody from last season’s team. Manager Ange Postecoglou, who has interest from some EPL clubs, is back as well.

The side has been on fire so far, beating opponents by a combined 25-1 score, including a 4-0 win over heated rival Rangers in the Old Firm Derby.

Celtic are 3-0 up against Rangers at HT in the Old Firm derby.

Jota’s chip for their second was so smooth 👌

(via @CBSSportsGolazo)pic.twitter.com/oFa0qoJ4MG

— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 3, 2022

Now, let’s poke some holes in the defending champions. Throughout its entire UCL run last season, Real Madrid had 21.6 xG versus 19 xGA, which includes four matches against FC Sheriff and Shakhtar Donetsk.

However, Los Blancos actually finished with 28 goals for and 14 against, so essentially they over-performed by 11.4 goals. That’s how crazy of a finishing run Karim Benzema and company went on last season. 

Not only were they fortunate in the Champions League, but in the incredible defensive La Liga they allowed 1.23 xG, which was 15th in the league. They allowed 1.3 big scoring chance per match in the Spanish top flight, which was 13th in Spain. So, they are way overvalued on the road here in Glasgow. 

I only have Real Madrid projected as a +105 road favorite, so I love Celtic getting a goal at -108 odds or better.

The Pick: Celtic +1 (-108)

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Frankfurt vs. Sporting Lisbon

Frankfurt Odds +115
Sporting Lisbon Odds +210
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-145 / +105)
Day | Time Wednesday | 12:45 p.m. ET
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Cunningham: Eintracht Frankfurt won the Europa League, but had a -7.3 xGDiff in the Bundesliga last season and just sold its best attacking midfielder in Filip Kostic to Juventus.

Since the start of last season, the club has a +1.41 xGDiff per 90 minutes and its defense only allowed 0.65 xG per 90 minutes domestically. It also kept both of its center backs and all attacking options returned, plus Trincao arrived on loan from Barcelona.  

We have to remember Sporting Lisbon made the knockout stage last season in a group with Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Beşiktaş. Now, the side got pasted by Ajax twice and dominated Beşiktaş. However, over the two legs against Dortmund, the club actually finished with a 2.1-2.0 xG advantage. 

So, I think it’s crazy Frankfurt is a +115 favorite. Give me Sporting getting +0.5 goals on the Asian Handicap at -135 odds.

The Pick: Sporting Lisbon +0.5 (-135)

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Inter vs. Bayern Munich

Inter Odds +280
Bayern Munich Odds -120
Draw +310
Over/Under 3.5 (+120 / -165)
Day | Time Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET
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Dabbundo: Liverpool went to Inter Milan in the Round of 16 last season and closed as an even-money road favorite in the first leg. About seven months later, Inter has added Romelu Lukaku and maintained its excellent form in Serie A.

Now, Bayern Munich is an even bigger -120 road moneyline favorite at San Siro Stadium. To bet Bayern in this match, you essentially have to believe it’s clearly the best team in the world and I don’t believe that to be the case.

Inter had a +1.11 xG differential in Italy last season and the best underlying numbers in its Champions League group that included champions Real Madrid.


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Inter didn’t get results in its high-profile matches against Liverpool and Madrid last campaign, but the performances suggested it deserved far more from those matches. As dominant as Bayern was in the Bundesliga and UCL group stage, Villarreal exposed cracks in its defensive transition ability.

Bayern also lost Robert Lewandowski in the summer transfer window, and while I do think the Bavarians will be able to replace his production, there’s a difference to their attack in the early season because it doesn’t have a clear focal point in the center of the penalty area.

There should be some growing pains to be expected from that, as shown in recent 1-1 draws with Borussia Mönchengladbach Gladbach and Union Berlin.

The Bavarians remain very good, but not good enough to be odds-on at the San Siro. No team except Manchester City could begin to make that case. 

The Pick: Inter +0.5 (+102)

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