Champions League Odds, Pick, Prediction: Benfica vs. Barcelona Betting Preview (Sept. 29)
Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images. Pictured: Darwin Nunez.
- Portuguese powerhouse Benfica hosts Barcelona in Wednesday's Champions League action.
- The La Liga juggernaut, which hails from Spain, is the slight betting favorite in this key group-stage match.
- Brett Pund takes a deep look at this game below and details why he likes Benfica to get a result.
Benfica vs. Barcelona Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-125 / +100)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Two clubs with different starts to the year will meet in Portugal on Wednesday night when Benfica welcomes Barcelona to the Estádio da Luz.
The Portuguese giants have won all seven matches in their domestic league, while the Spanish side sits in sixth in La Liga through six games.
It didn’t go any better for Barcelona in the Champions League opener, getting embarrassed by Bayern Munich 3-0. Benfica came back from its trip to Ukraine with a 0-0 draw with Dynamo Kyiv.
The Catalan club will be desperate to turn their season around starting with a result on Wednesday, but Benfica will be confident they can get a rare win over the Spanish foe.
Portuguese Side Benfica Off to Stellar Start
Besides the perfect start in its domestic league this year, Benfica was also impressive in its two rounds of Champions League qualifying, going undefeated over two legs with Spartak Moscow and PSV to qualify for the group stage.
You have to wonder if the early matches against solid competition have helped Jorge Jesus’ side get off to the dominating start. The Eagles lead the Primeira Liga with 19 goals, and they have also shown well in the advanced stats.
According to infogol.net, Benfica has posted a +6.27 expected goal (xG) difference and 1.78 xG over its last five matches in all competitions.
The forward duo of Darwin Núñez and Roman Yaremchuk each have four goals to pace the Portuguese club so far, and there have been a total of 10 different scorers in league action so far.
There are some familiar faces along the backline, with former Premier League defenders Nicolás Otamendi and Jan Vertonghen both likely to start.
Barcelona Struggling Mightily Early This Season
From the puzzling results to the odd press conferences, it has been a strange start to life without Lionel Messi for Barcelona.
Ronald Koeman’s team is still undefeated through six league matches with three wins and draws, but it’s hard to forget about the awful defeat in Matchday 1 of Champions League action.
In the loss to Bayern Munich, Barcelona failed to register a shot on target in a Champions League match for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
There is room for optimism if you look at the xG in La Liga games this year, with Koeman’s side posting a +4.2 xG difference and 6.1 xG against to rank in the Top 5 in both categories.
Dutch forward Memphis Depay leads the way with three goals as the team continues to wait for the debut of Sergio Agüero, but the return of Ansu Fati over the weekend was exciting news as the team looks to move forward this season.
Betting Analysis & Pick
DraftKings has the two teams rated evenly, with Barcelona slated as the favorites at +145 on the moneyline to go with a total of over 2.5 (-125) in the match.
I’m not ready to back the Spanish giants away from home in the Champions League, so my best bet for this match is to take the hosts Benfica on the Draw No Bet line at +105.
You can’t ignore The Eagles’ preparation so far into the young season after having to come through two qualifying rounds to make the group stages.
Benfica has also been a strong team at home, winning seven of its last eight in all competitions spanning back to last year at the Estádio da Luz.
There has always been a certain fear factor when Barcelona would come to town over the years, but with the legendary No. 10 taking his talents to Paris, it opens the opportunity for clubs to pick up a memorable victory.
Give me the home team that comes in on the better form and is more battle-tested in the young season.
Pick: Benfica — Draw No Bet (+105)