Finding Value in Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg Matchups

Finding Value in Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg Matchups article feature image

The Champions League Round of 16 continues this week with some juicy second leg matchups including Real Madrid/PSG and Juventus/Tottenham. Finding value in the opening legs proved to be very successful as we hit on Real Madrid +120, Sevilla +0.5 goals, Shaktar Donetsk +165 and Tottenham Win/Draw, and only whiffed on FC Porto vs. Liverpool.

In the opening leg matches, big favorites Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Liverpool rolled to easy victories and are essentially locks to advance. However, there are plenty of match-ups still to be decided in the second legs.

Here are betting breakdowns for each match along with value plays for the second leg matchups coming up this week.

Real Madrid at PSG (Tuesday, March 6 at 2:45 pm ET)
Moneyline Odds: PSG -105, Real Madrid +265, Draw +325

Real Madrid were +120 to beat PSG in the opener and they took care of business at home, winning 3-1. In the return leg at PSG, the Spanish giants are fortunate that they won’t have to face former Barcelona nemesis Neymar, who underwent ankle surgery and will be out the remainder of the season. His absence dropped PSG’s odds to win their home match from -125 to -105, and bettors have lost faith as well. Currently just 42% of bettors are taking PSG, while a whopping 46% have taken Real Madrid at big plus-money odds.

We’ve barely seen any line adjustment on the draw, where the odds are around +325 around the market. Only 12% of bettors around the offshore market have taken the draw, which is a bit surprising considering the result would be good enough for Real Madrid to progress, so that’s the angle I’d be going for.

Opening odds to advance: PSG -130, Real Madrid +110
Current odds to advance: PSG +250, Real Madrid -300

Porto at Liverpool (Tuesday, March 6 at 2:45 pm ET)
Moneyline Odds: Liverpool -185, Porto +640, Draw +320

Liverpool won the opening leg 5-0 on the road at FC Porto, but the match stats weren’t considerably lopsided:

Possession: Liverpool 55%, Porto 45%
Shots on Goal: Liverpool 6, Porto 3
Offsides: Liverpool 0, Porto 3
Corners: Liverpool 1, Porto 6

Since that thrashing, Liverpool have kept rolling to 2-0 and 4-1 wins in the English Premier League. However, over that span Porto have also won 5-0, 3-1, 5-1, and 2-1 in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. While the first leg blowout may have put this match-up out of reach, I wouldn’t count out Porto to get a result in the second leg with no pressure on the road. Although Liverpool clearly has more overall talent and class, the lack of motivation may make this game a little tighter.

At the time of publication, Liverpool had attracted nearly 75% of the betting action with another 15% on FC Porto. Again, bettors are looking past the draw at +320 odds with just 10% of the tickets. They know that either Porto need to win to have a chance to advance, or that Liverpool will keep rolling after their first leg blowout. The draw isn’t the most exciting to root for, and is being overlooked, but that’s where I’m heading at +320.

Opening odds to advance: Liverpool -237, Porto +195
Current odds to advance: Off Board

Juventus at Tottenham (Wednesday, March 7 at 2:45 pm ET)
Moneyline Odds: Tottenham +118, Juventus +254, Draw +259

The opening match between these two clubs may have been the best of the Round of 16 so far. Tottenham got a crucial 2-2 draw on the road at Juventus after falling behind 2-0 in the first half, and are now -250 favorites to advance to the quarterfinals. Can bettors trust Spurs to finish the Italian giants off?

A 1-1 draw would be enough for Tottenham to advance, and even a 2-2 draw would send the game into extra time (since both teams would be tied 4-4 on aggregate with the same number of road goals). However, I’m looking elsewhere for a value play in this match.

I’ll admit that Juventus are a bit of a trendy road dog getting 48% of tickets, and the line value may be gone now, but I was able to grab Juventus at +285 odds last week. Sharp money continued to flow on them, dropping down to the current odds of +254. I obviously still expect them to win, but you may be better off waiting to see if the odds tick back up before the match.

I also wouldn’t look past Juventus at +210 to advance to the quarterfinals, and +3000 to win the Champions League Title. It’ll be a tough task to get a result at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night, but they have the experience and talent to surprise the hosts.

Opening odds to advance: Juventus -135, Tottenham +115
Current odds to advance: Juventus +210, Tottenham -250

Basel at Manchester City (Wednesday, March 7 at 2:45 pm ET)
Moneyline Odds: Man City -700, Basel +2200, Draw +820

Manchester City cruised to a 4-0 road victory in the opening leg, and I don’t think anyone expects Basel to be competitive in the second leg, including oddsmakers. The Citizens are massive -700 favorites to earn the victory at home, and their odds to advance are off the board completely. Man City are also the favorites to win the Champions League Title at +345 odds. They’ll probably find a way to get their reserves/younger guys more playing time in this match so the -700 odds are steep, but they’ll still be too much for Basel to handle. I’m laying off this game completely and would expect Man City to win by a goal or two.

Opening odds to advance: Man City -1200, Basel +700
Current odds to advance: Off Board

Second leg detailed previews coming up next Monday for…

Juventus came back to beat Tottenham 2-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. Juventus were +3000 to win the title heading into the match but now down to +1000.

Sevilla at Manchester United (Tuesday, March 13 at 2:45 pm ET)
Moneyline Odds: Man Utd -138, Sevilla +415, Draw +270

Sevilla held Manchester United 0-0 in the opening home leg. I really like Manchester United (-140) to win at home, but that price is gone now. It’s up to -161 at Bookmaker but the public is still heavy on Sevilla with nearly 50% of tickets.

Opening odds to advance: Man Utd -275, Sevilla +235
Current odds to advance: (UPDATE)

Shaktar Donetsk at Roma (Tuesday, March 13 at 2:45 pm ET)
Moneyline Odds: Roma -156, Shaktar +400, Draw +315

I loved Shaktar Donetsk to beat Roma in the opening leg, and although the home side went down 1-0, came back for a crucial 2-1 victory.

I like the draw at +315 odds, which will be enough for Shaktar Donetsk to advance.

Opening odds to advance: Roma -240, Shaktar +200
Current odds to advance: (UPDATE)

Besiktas at Bayern Munich (Wednesday, March 14 at 12 pm ET)
Moneyline Odds: Bayern -185, Besiktas +440, Draw +365

Bayern Munich rolled 5-0 at home over Besiktas, and just like Man City/Basel, odds are off the board to advance to the quarterfinals.

Passing on this game entirely.

Opening odds to advance: Bayern -795, Besiktas +500
Current odds to advance: Off Board

Chelsea at Barcelona (Wednesday, March 14 at 2:45 pm ET)
Moneyline Odds: Barcelona -256, Chelsea +671, Draw +392

Chelsea actually played a really solid opening leg at home, but only managed a 1-1 win, which likely isn’t going to be enough to move on to the quarterfinals.

I like Barcelona to win at -256 odds, getting only 33% of tickets compared to nearly 50% against Chelsea.

Opening odds to advance: Barcelona -300, Chelsea +250
Current odds to advance: Barcelona -500, Chelsea +350

(Cover image is of Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Juventus’ Douglas Costa)