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Champions League Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions, Best Bets, Expert Tips: Our Staff’s 3 Top Picks for Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions, Best Bets, Expert Tips: Our Staff’s 3 Top Picks for Liverpool vs. Real Madrid article feature image
Credit:

Alex Livesey/Getty Images. Pictured: Liverpool standouts Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino celebrate a goal.

  • Liverpool takes on Real Madrid in Saturday’s Champions League title match.
  • Our Action Network handicappers have uncovered their top picks, including a moneyline play on the Reds.
  • Soccer analysts Jeremy Pond, BJ Cunningham and Nick Hennion deliver their best bets below tied to the title match.

We have reached the end of the European soccer season, with the final match just happening to be arguably the biggest club fixture on the planet.

Premier League giant Liverpool takes on La Liga powerhouse Real Madrid in Saturday’s championship at Stade de France in Saint-Denis. Game time set for 3 p.m. ET and will air live on CBS, as well as Univision, fuboTV, Paramount+ and others.

Action Network handicappers Jeremy Pond, BJ Cunningham and Nick Hennion have unveiled their best bets ahead of the epic showdown taking place just north of Paris. They’ve come up with a mixed bag of selections, but there’s definitely plenty of betting value with their picks.

That said, let’s take a look at their featured plays for this intriguing matchup.


Our UCL Final Best Bets

ANALYST PICK | ODDS BEST BOOK
Jeremy Pond SGP: BTTS — Yes & Under 5.5 (-115) BetMGM
BJ Cunningham Liverpool ML (+110) FanDuel
Nick Hennion Total Over 2.5 Goals (-135) BetMGM

*SGP — Single Game Parlay | BTTS — Both Teams To Score

Get up-to-the-minute Champions League odds here.


Jeremy Pond: Single Game Parlay — BTTS (Yes) & Under 5.5 Goals (-115)

To say the Reds’ offense was electric during its campaign would be a true understatement. Manager Jürgen Klopp watched his side score 94 goals (2.47 per match) on 89.2 expected goals and concede just 26 (0.68/game) on 34.2 xGA across 38 fixtures, according to fbref.com.

The club, which scored at least two goals in 12 of its last 15 matches overall, was just as brilliant in UCL play. Through 12 outings, the Reds notched a 10-1-1 (W-L-D) record and scored at least twice in 11 of those games. More impressive is the fact they tallied at three goals or more in six contests, including a three-goal effort against Villarreal last time out.

Yet, for as good as Liverpool’s offense has been, its defense has been just as strong. The Reds only conceded more than one xG once in six knockout games, which came in a 3-3 draw against Liverpool at Anfield when that tie had already been wrapped up in the EPL side’s 3-1 win in the reverse fixture.

Virgil van Dijk on what winning the #UCL would mean to him:

"This year could feel maybe a little bit more special because it is only my comeback season. That’s how I feel it. It’s been an incredible year." #awlive [lfc] pic.twitter.com/LUhmD2KoXN

— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) May 25, 2022

As for Real Madrid, the leader of the Spanish top flight had another huge league campaign en route to the title. Los Blancos scored 80 goals (2.11 per match) and yielded just 31 (0.82 per outing) in 38 contests. When it comes to the advanced metrics, they were slightly lower (74.3 xG/47.0 xGA) than this weekend’s counterparts.

However, things were a little sloppy in UCL action. Sure, Real Madrid racked up a whopping 14 goals in six knockout-phase events, but its defense was mediocre at best. Los Blancos failed to keep a clean sheet in its last six UCL tilts, plus it conceded 10.8 xGA for 1.8 xGA average across those affairs.

That said, I’m backing the Single Game Parlay pairing Both Teams To Score (Yes) with the total staying under 5.5 goals at -115 odds. I don’t think either side is going to come out overly aggressive, but I can’t foresee either being shut out across 90 minutes of action.

And although at least one team has failed to record a goal in three consecutive UCL finals, I don’t believe that will be the case and actually find value on the total clearing 2.5 goals. However, I like the aforementioned wager even more, with the belief six combined goals happening is quite the longshot scenario.

BJ Cunningham: Liverpool ML (+110)

Liverpool has been playing high-stakes soccer for close to three months after narrowly losing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City this past weekend. So, can the Reds muster up the energy for one last performance?

Now, Liverpool will need to stop maybe the luckiest team to ever make the final, given how many times Real Madrid was dead and buried in the competition. The La Liga powerhouse was down two goals in second leg of their tie with Paris Saint-Germain, then came back to win in regular time.

Los Blancos had a 3-1, first leg advantage against Chelsea and went down 3-0 on home soil in the reverse fixture and were staring defeat in the face. Then, Karim Benzema saved them. Finally, Real Madrid was down two goals to Manchester City in stoppage time of the second leg and scored twice in two minutes to send it to extra time where a Benzema penalty got the club here.

So, not only has Real Madrid gone through all of that, but it has been dominated on xG throughout the UCL campaign. If we remove the four group-stage tilts against Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Sheriff, Los Blancos created 10.9 xG and conceded 14 xG against Inter Milan, PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City.

However, Los Blancos scored 17 goals and only allowed 11 in the process. So, they’re the biggest negative regression candidate of all time.


BJ Cunningham’s UCL Projections


The question is how manager Carlo Ancelotti going to set up his team. Is Real Madrid going to sit back, play defensive and look to counterattack or is it going to take the game right to Liverpool? Tottenham had success against the Reds playing a counterattacking style. And with the way Benzema and Vinicius Junior are finishing, it’s not crazy to think Real Madrid can do the same.

That said, given the negative regression Real Madrid is due for, this price is way too small on Liverpool. I have the Reds projected at -150 moneyline odds to win in regular time. I mean purely looking at the xGDiff for both sides, Liverpool boasts a +1.45 xGDiff per 90 minutes in the most difficult league in the world. Real Madrid only at +0.72 xGD per 90 minutes.

So, I love the value on Liverpool to win in regular time at +110 odds.

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Nick Hennion: Total Over 2.5 Goals (-135)

Although three consecutive Champions League finals have failed to clear this benchmark, I believe this matchup will be very open.

We’ll begin with Real Madrid, whose defense has proven quite suspect in the UCL to date. In six knockout-round fixtures and two group-stage matchups against Inter Milan, Los Blancos’ defense has kept only one opponent at less than one xG in the first 90 minutes plus injury time.

Across those eight games, Real’s defense has conceded 12.8 xG (extra time not included) or 1.6 xG per 90 minutes, according to fotmob.com. I expect that won’t hold up well against a Liverpool attack that ranks third in the UCL in xG (25.6) and second in big scoring chances (30) so far.

Plus, in just four knockout fixtures against Inter and Villarreal, Liverpool created 1.73 xG per 90 minutes and 10 big scoring chances.

At the same time, this Real attack shouldn’t be counted out. Despite wildly overperforming its underlying metrics, its attack has created 1.52 xG per 90 minutes in its last five UCL matches.

Although I’m slightly concerned by Liverpool’s defensive record in the UCL — only 4.1 xGA in six knockout fixtures — I believe we will see the offenses shine in Paris and would play this number up to -150 odds.

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