Tuesday Champions League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Barcelona vs. Juventus (Dec. 8)
Andrea Staccioli/LightRocket via Getty Images. Pictured: Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are set to meet again in this matchup of European giants.
- Juventus need to score three goals and win by two to overtake Barcelona atop Group G in the Champions League.
- BJ Cunningham explains where the betting value is in this matchup.
Barcelona vs. Juventus Odds
|Barcelona odds||+110 [BET NOW]|
|Juventus odds||+240 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+260 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||3 (+102/-125) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Tuesday, 3:00 p.m. ET|
The long-awaited return of the Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo rivalry is finally happening on Tuesday, as Barcelona hosts Juventus in Group G of the Champions League.
Ronaldo missed the first fixture between the teams in Turin after testing positive for COVID-19. This time around, even though we finally have the highly anticipated matchup between the two best players in the world, there won’t be much at stake.
Barcelona has a three-point advantage atop the group, and Juventus need to score at least three goals and win by two to take first place from the hosts. Both Barcelona and Juventus are both struggling in their respective domestic leagues, so a win on Tuesday could be just the confidence boost they need.
Based on their standards, Barcelona haven’t been their dominant selves this season. They only have a +4.2 expected goal difference (xGD) to start their domestic season, which is fifth best in La Liga. In fact, Barca have already dropped 15 points from their last eight league matches, which is almost unheard of for a Messi-led team. Things hit an all-time low on Saturday when they lost on the road to newly promoted Cadiz, 2-1.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Barcelona’s main issues have come from Messi’s supporting cast. Messi has tried to put Barca on his back, scoring or assisting on 50% of their goals since the restart of last season. To make matters worst for Barcelona, their 17-year-old sensation, Ansu Fati, is out for the next four months due to a knee injury.
However, despite all of their issues domestically, Barcelona have been dominant in Champions League group play. They are a perfect 5-0-0 and have a +10.7 xGD, which is the highest of any team in the competition this season. Even though Barcelona only needs a draw, I expect them to come out firing to try and make it a perfect 6-0-0 in group play.
It’s been a weird season so far for Ronaldo and Juventus. They are unbeaten on the season but have way too many draws for a club that has won nine straight Serie A titles.
Juventus are currently in fourth place in Serie A, six points behind top-of-the-table AC Milan, and have really struggled on the road. They only have one win in five matches away from home and only have a +3.01 xGD to show for it. In fact, this past weekend they needed two late goals to beat their city rival, Torino, who are currently 19th in Serie A.
The Italian champions have also not been dominant in the Champions League. They needed a Alvaro Morata goal at in the final minutes to beat Hungarian side Ferencvaros at home.
Alvaro Morata breaks Ferencvaros's heart at the death. A 2-1 win sends Juventus through along with Barcelona to the #UCL last 16 from their group with two games to spare
— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) November 24, 2020
Since Juventus need an impressive result and performance to finish atop the group, they need to beat Barcelona by more than two goals, so I expect them to throw everyone forward and leave themselves exposed at the back.
Projections and Pick
Barcelona needs to build some confidence, and closing out Champions League group play with a perfect 6-0-0 record could be just the boost they need. I have Barcelona projected as -134 favorites, so I think there is some value on them at +110 (DraftKings) at home.
Pick: Barcelona +110