- Real Madrid are -145 favorites over Liverpool (+125) in the Champions League Final.
- Real Madrid had the toughest road in the tournament but reached only as high as +800 to win the title.
- Liverpool’s highest odds were available at +3500 in late September.
The 2017-18 Champions League has been wild with tons of goals, comebacks and close calls. In the four semifinal matches alone there were 20 goals scored between Liverpool-Roma and Real Madrid-Bayern Munich. Now that we know Real Madrid and Liverpool will meet in the final on May 26 in Kiev, Ukraine, let’s look back at how each club got here (odds via 5Dimes):
The group stages started back in September and that’s when Liverpool’s odds were the longest (+3500). They managed to go undefeated (three wins, three draws) and finished first in their group out of Sevilla, Spartak Moscow and Maribor. They also finished with the highest goal differential (+17) out of any club in the group stage.
Next came the Round of 16 where they were drawn with FC Porto and the Reds thrashed them, 5-0, in the opening leg. A 0-0 result in the second leg was plenty for Liverpool to move on to the quarterfinal.
In their toughest matchup of the tournament, Liverpool were then paired up with Manchester City in the quarterfinal. Most people expected Man City to struggle, but ultimately move on. The odds to advance heading into the matchup were Man City -225/Liverpool +185.
Well, those people were wrong from the get-go as Liverpool won the first leg at home, 3-0, in impressive fashion, then beat Man City again in the second leg, 2-1, to advance to the semifinal.
Fortunately for Liverpool, they were matched with Roma in the semifinal and just two matches away from their first final appearance since 2004-05. The English club wasted no time taking a big 5-0 lead in the opening leg and held on for a 5-2 victory. Although Roma won the return leg, 4-2, in Italy, there was never much doubt that Liverpool would advance to the final.
Real Madrid’s Journey
In what was supposed to be a very difficult group stage with the likes of Tottenham, Dortmund and APOEL, the Spanish club had little trouble advancing. They finished second in the group with 13 points, three behind Tottenham, but 11 ahead of both Dortmund and APOEL.
Up to that point, Real Madrid and PSG had been two of the top favorites to win the Champions League, but unfortunately they were randomly matched up in the Round of 16. One of the best clubs was going to be eliminated early, and Real Madrid reached as high as +800 to win the tournament before playing PSG.
Similar to Liverpool, Real Madrid were very impressive in the opening leg and beat PSG, 3-1, then won the return leg, 2-1, to ensure their spot in the quarterfinal. Surely they’d get an easier opponent in the next round, right?
Nope. Then came Juventus, another club that people thought would give Real Madrid a tough time. Once again the Spanish side got off to a hot start, winning the opening leg, 3-0, then had to hold off the Italians in the second leg to advance.
Entering the semifinal, every club wanted to play Roma simply due to the fact that they were the weakest team remaining. Real Madrid would get no such break, and were then paired with Bayern Munich in what was essentially a toss-up to reach the final. Although the Germans played very well over the course of two legs, it wasn’t enough, and Real Madrid now find themselves aiming for their third consecutive Champions League title.
Oddsmakers believe Real Madrid have the upper hand to win it, giving them a 59.2% implied probability against Liverpool. Once we get closer to the final, I’ll have an in-depth betting preview highlighting the market, public wagers, sharp money and more.
To lift the trophy:
Real Madrid -145
Champions League Final 3-Way Moneylines (via 5Dimes):
Real Madrid +127
You can also follow me on Twitter (@ArsenalDMC) for all the latest soccer news and updates.
Cover photo features Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema