AC Milan vs. Atlético Madrid Odds & Betting Pick: Total Has Value in Champions League Group Stage

AC Milan vs. Atlético Madrid Odds & Betting Pick: Total Has Value in Champions League Group Stage article feature image
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  • AC Milan and Atlético Madrid will face off in Tuesday's Champions League action in Italy (3 p.m. ET, Paramount+).
  • The Spanish visitors are favored after both teams won their first group stage matches two weeks
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks down AC Milan vs. Atlético Madrid and gives his pick below.

AC Milan vs. Atlético Madrid Odds

AC Milan Odds +190
Atlético Madrid Odds +160
Draw +220
Over/Under 2.5 (+115 / -145)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
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AC Milan’s last home game in the Champions League was in 2014, a 1-0 home defeat to Atlético Madrid.

On Tuesday, CL football will make its home return for AC Milan against the same team that ended their run in the Round of 16 seven years ago.

A lot has changed since for AC Milan, multiple players and coaches have come and gone and they’re finally back.

Milan lost its CL opener at Liverpool in a 3-2 thriller two weeks ago, while Atlético Madrid settled for a 0-0 stalemate against Porto at home.

Group B is the most balanced group from top to bottom with all four teams having a realistic chance, which means points are at a premium in this matchup. That could lead to both teams being extra cautious in the opening stages of the match and creates value on betting the under overall.

Questions up front for both attacks and score goals creates value on the under, which is higher than it should be for an Atlético away CL match.

AC Milan Hoping to Crack Foe’s Staunch Defense

AC Milan will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who remains out with an injury. Olivier Giroud was featured off the bench against Spezia in the weekend Serie A match but is unlikely to start.

That means Ante Rebic will be featured up top against the Atlético backline, which isn’t a great matchup for the striker.

Simon Kjaer is expected back in the lineup to bolster the Milan defense and the development of Fikayo Tomori has really improved the unit in 2021.

Milan succumbed to the overwhelming and constant ball pressure against Liverpool last match, but Atlético is a very different duel for the Rossoneri. AC Milan should have most of the ball at home and will be tasked with breaking down a tough defense.

The Rossoneri rely on contributions and shots from the midfield and wide areas, especially Brahim Diaz and Rafael Leāo. Both Diaz and Leāo are fun pieces and have been especially good in transition, but they won’t have nearly as much space to operate against Atelti’s low block.

As impressive as Milan’s attack has been in the opening six games of the new Serie A season, it was blunted by the two best defenses they’ve faced overall — Liverpool and Juventus — except for a couple defensive breakdowns by the Reds in the opening CL fixture round.

Is Suarez Falling Off at Atlético Madrid?

Atlético lifted a La Liga trophy in May after an absurdly good run of variance at both ends of the pitch. Luis Suarez looked like vintage Suarez and Jan Oblak was absurd in the goal defensively and saved more shots than anyone in Europe.

The luck hasn’t quite continued for them into the new season, as they dropped two points to Porto at home in the CL, lost to Alaves in La Liga and dropped points to Athletic Bilbao.

Suarez has seen a decent drop off in his attacking numbers from 0.56 xG per 90 last season to 0.32 xG per 90 this year. It’s not a ton and it’s a small sample size, but the margins are so small for this Atlético attack that even a minimal drop-off from their lead striker can be catastrophic for the overall output.

Yannick Carrasco and Ángel Correa are decent secondary wide attacking pieces and provide 2-2.5 shots per 90, but that’s not enough for a side going on the road in the CL.

Oblak is invaluable and critical for how Atleti wants to play as he saves about +0.15 goals per 90 based on the post-shot expected goals per 90. His save percentage and goals allowed numbers rank in the top five percent in the world and it enables them to consistently over-perform their xGA numbers.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Suarez’s drop-off in recent form makes it very difficult for Atlético to be the excellent counterattacking team its been in this competition in years past. The low block and counter doesn’t work nearly as well without the counter part.

There’s also few teams in Serie A that Milan has seen that will sit deep and absorb pressure like Atlético will on Tuesday.

Milan have had an excellent start to the Serie A season in creating chances, but as recently as last season, the Rossoneri had middling attack numbers in Italy.

The game state in this matchup sets up for long periods of probing Milan possession without ever really creating big chances. Oblak will take care of the long shots and Milan will struggle to create chances in the center of the penalty area until Giroud is in the game.

If Atlético gets an early goal, they’ll shut off the attack even more and try to see the result away from home.

Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (-140 or better)

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