Champions League Quarterfinals: Second-Leg Values

Champions League Quarterfinals: Second-Leg Values article feature image

Andrew Yates, Reuters

There were a couple surprises in the opening legs of the Champions League quarterfinals with Liverpool dismantling Manchester City, 3-0, at home, while Real Madrid went to Juventus and came away with a 3-0 victory. In less surprising outcomes, Barcelona beat Roma, 4-1, at home, and Bayern Munich defeated Sevilla, 2-1, on the road.

Most of the focus will be on whether Manchester City can pull off the comeback at home, especially after blowing a 2-0 lead at the Etihad to Manchester United on Saturday night. The match appeared to be a celebration of the Premier League title, at least in the first half, but then Man City conceded three times in the second half to fall, 3-2. Some people are questioning just how good Manchester City are — is now the time to buy low on the Citizens to bounce back?

We’ve broken down the betting market for each of the four matchups this week to find out where the value lies:

  • Liverpool at Manchester City (Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
  • Barcelona at Roma (Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
  • Sevilla at Bayern Munich (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
  • Juventus at Real Madrid (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET)

All odds as of 4 p.m. Monday ET

Odds to Advance to Semifinals:

The market doesn’t think it’s likely that Juventus (+5000), Roma (+4000) or Sevilla (+1400) will make a comeback to advance to the semifinals. However, sportsbooks are giving Manchester City a glimmer of hope as their odds are listed at +550 (implied probability of 15.38%) to get to the semifinals.


Liverpool at Manchester City (Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Man City -220, Liverpool +550, Draw +430

The biggest development of this matchup is the possible return of Mo Salah, who left the opening leg last week due to injury and did not feature in Liverpool’s lineup on Saturday. The Egyptian has an incredible 38 goals across all competitions this season, and it would be a massive boost for Liverpool to get him back. He’ll help facilitate their offense while pressuring the ball as the first line of defense, and his impact this season cannot be overstated.

However, public bettors don’t seem too fazed by his return, since more than 80% of the tickets have come in on Manchester City to win the second leg at home. Behind that heavy support, they’ve moved from -190 to -220, and they need to win in blowout fashion to have a chance to advance. The scenarios for Man City are:

  • Any 4+ goal win would get Man City into the semifinals
  • A 3-0 win would force extra time
  • Any other 3-goal win (4-1, 5-2, 6-3, etc.) would still see Liverpool make the semifinals, as well as any other result (Man City by 2, Man City by 1, Draw or Liverpool win).

Sportsbooks are anticipating plenty of goals as the total has been set at 3.5. It would be a shock for Man City to get shut out again, especially at home, so we should expect to see more firepower from the hosts. However, the desperation for Man City to score at least three goals will mean they’ll be exposed often and prone to counterattacks. Although Man City appears to be the right bet here, the overwhelming public support has me laying off, and we could be in for another surprise from Liverpool.

Barcelona at Roma (Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Barcelona -150, Roma +420, Draw +340

The first leg certainly didn’t feel like a 4-1 Barcelona win, but unfortunately that’s the result that Roma are facing. The Italian side played well and competed most of the match but were doomed by two own goals. They even made things interesting with an Edin Džeko goal in the 80th minute to cut the lead to 3-1, but Luis Suarez and Barcelona added another late one to make the result 4-1.

Leo Messi didn’t bother resting over the weekend and netted a hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Leganes in La Liga. However, Barcelona were able to rest other key players including Jordi Alba, Paulinho, Samuel Umtiti and Andres Iniesta, and all will be back in action for Tuesday. Oh, and Messi will be playing again, too.

We’ve seen some interesting line movement since odds opened for this match — Barcelona moved from -140 to -160 initially, but have come back down to -150 over the last couple days. The public betting percentages haven’t been too lopsided on Barcelona either, indicating it was early sharp money driving the line up to -160. I’m not too worried about the small buyback on Roma, and instead will be backing Barcelona -150 to win the second leg.

Juventus at Real Madrid (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Real Madrid -161, Juventus +462, Draw+343

This matchup was highly anticipated heading into the first leg, but a 3-0 thrashing from Real Madrid has made the second leg pretty anticlimactic.

Sergio Ramos is out for Madrid (yellow card accumulation), as is Paulo Dybala for Juventus (straight red card). The Spanish side haven’t lost a Champions League home match since March of 2015, but that’s what Juventus need at a minimum for a chance to reach the semifinals. Is there any hope for the Italians?

If there are positives to anticipate, it’s the public betting percentages and line movement. Real Madrid are getting more than 70% of moneyline tickets, but have actually seen their odds come down from -169 to -161. Sharp money on Juventus/Draw even pushed the line down to -153 before slowly ticking back up. Real had a difficult match vs. Atletico in the Madrid Derby on Sunday and could be feeling a bit of a hangover. While I’m not convinced Juventus will get a good enough result to reach the semifinals, I do think they’ll put in a valiant effort and keep it close. Juventus +1 goals (-115) is where I see the value in this one.

Sevilla at Bayern Munich (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Bayern -425, Sevilla +1250, Draw +600

Bayern Munich got a decent 2-1 road win in the opening leg to put themselves in prime position for the second leg at home. It should also be encouraging for Bayern that they were able to rest Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels, Javi Martinez, Thiago, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery over the weekend. The Germans are big favorites to win and advance, but they can’t take Sevilla lightly, especially without key man Arturo Vidal due to an injury her suffered in the opening leg.

Bayern opened -at 375 and saw their odds move all the way up to -450 before settling in at the current line of -425. Plenty of public bettors have been tempted by the big Sevilla moneyline, but sportsbooks aren’t fazed whatsoever. This likely indicates the early sharp money came in on Bayern, or it’s all square/public money taking Sevilla. Whatever the case may be, I wouldn’t be wagering my money on the Spanish side on the road. The goal-line is Bayern -2, but if you can find a book that offers Bayern -1.5, I would gladly take that.

And here are updated title odds at Westgate:
Barcelona +225
Real Madrid +225
Bayern Munich +300
Liverpool +550
Man City +1400
Sevilla +15000
Juventus +25000
Roma +25000

Barcelona and Real Madrid are now +225 co-favorites to win the title, followed by Bayern Munich (+300) and Liverpool (+550). For those who think Manchester City can still advance to the semifinals, +1400 is awfully tempting.

Cover photo features Liverpool’s Mo Salah (center), Roberto Firmino (left) and Andrew Robertson (right)