Champions League Betting Report: Lyon and Shakhtar Bid for Final Spot in Round of 16

Champions League Betting Report: Lyon and Shakhtar Bid for Final Spot in Round of 16 article feature image
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Getty Images. Shakhtar Donetsk celebrating a goal

  • There's just one spot up for grabs for the Champions League knockout round with Lyon and Shakhtar Donetsk (3 p.m. ET on B/R Live) battling in Group F.
  • Three group winners will also be decided along with two Europa League berths on the line.
  • We've broken down the betting market for all eight matches on Wednesday and picked out two value plays.

There’s just one spot remaining in the knockout round and a head-to-head matchup will decide it between Lyon and Shakhtar Donetsk (3 p.m. ET)

Here are the 15 clubs that have advanced to the knockout round: Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, Liverpool, PSG, Tottenham, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Roma, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, Porto, Schalke.

For Wednesday’s action I’ve analyzed the betting market for each matchup and selected two value plays.

2018-19 Champions League Season Record: 10-11-1 (-0.08 units)


Roma at Viktoria Plzen (12:55 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Roma +163, Plzen +173, Draw +259
Total: 2.5 (o-117)

While Roma is already through to the Round of 16, Viktoria Plzen needs a win to earn a spot in the Europa League. They’re tied on four points apiece with CSKA Moscow for third place in Group G.

There hasn’t been much betting action to report in this one with just a slight adjustment away from the draw. Roma have slipped a bit in Italy’s Serie A and find themselves in the middle of the table, so UEFA Champions League may be their primary focus at this point. They should be motivated to get a result on Wednesday even if it’s with some reserve players.

The game could potentially open up for goals, and I’d be interested to see how it goes for a play on the live over.

CSKA Moscow at Real Madrid (12:55 p.m. ET on TNT)
Moneylines: CSKA +1170, Real Madrid -435, Draw +555
Total: 3.5 (u-125)

Real Madrid are the Group G winners and have been rolling since making the change to manager Santiago Solari in October. CSKA Moscow are still battling for third place and a Europa League berth.

Casual bettors are taking CSKA to win at over 10-1 odds, but Real Madrid will attract all the parlays and goal-line bets. It’s difficult to predict these matches without really knowing who will play, but no matter what, Real Madrid will have the more talented starting XI.

With no pressure and the ability to experiment at home, Real Madrid could easily blowout CSKA Moscow. The Russian club will need to do everything they can to keep it within a goal at all times, but I’m not sure they can.

 

Juventus at Young Boys (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Juventus -235, Young Boys +700, Draw +390
Total: 2.5 (o-123)

If Juventus win they’ll lock up the top spot in Group H, while Young Boys are just playing for pride at the bottom. After originally opening at -180, Juventus are up to -240 and receiving more than 85% of bet slips.

The moneyline is poised to keep growing until kickoff and sportsbooks will have a tough time finding bettors on Young Boys. If you think you want to take a shot on the Swiss club at home, you can probably keep waiting for better odds.

Manchester United at Valencia (3 p.m. ET on TNT)
Moneylines: Man Utd +193, Valencia +160, Draw +235
Total: 2.5 (u-118)

Manchester United can only win the group with a little help from Young Boys, and a road match at Valencia will be tough enough in itself.

Public bettors have pounced on the prospect of getting United at plus-money odds, but they’ve actually drifted from +170 to +193. Sharper money is taking Valencia to win at home, as well as the under (2.5).

Lyon at Skakhtar Donetsk (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Lyon +210, Shakhtar +124, Draw +286
Total: 3 (o-120)

In the only match with knockout round implications, Shakhtar Donetsk are the slight +124 home favorites to beat Lyon.

A draw would be good enough for the French side to advance, and that would also keep them undefeated in the group stage. Anything but a win for Shakhtar means they’re out, and they could even finish last in the group if Hoffenheim were to beat Manchester City.

A lot of early action has come in on Lyon to push their odds down from +223 to +210. Bettors have also surprisingly taken the under (3) even though these clubs have combined to concede 2+ goals in nine of 10 Champions League matches so far.

Depending on how the game looks early on, I’d strongly consider a live bet on the over, especially if Lyon look like they can grab the first goal. That would open things up since Shakhtar would have to press for multiple goals.

Hoffenheim at Manchester City (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Hoffenheim +1080, Man City -470, Draw +640
Total: 3.5 (o-125)

Manchester City will top the group if they can earn a win or draw against Hoffenheim, or even if Lyon doesn’t beat Shakhtar Donetsk. At -470 odds, there’s a high probability that City will take care of things themselves.

Originally Man City were listed at -650 and Hoffenheim +1700, so sportsbooks have adjusted since opening. Nearly 60% of straight bets have been placed on Hoffenheim, but City will still be a popular parlay piece.

AEK Athens at Benfica (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: AEK +920, Benfica -262, Draw +375
Total: 2.5 (o-130)

This is the least-bet match of the day as Benfica have already wrapped up the Europa League spot and AEK Athens stuck in last place.

AEK are only club without a point in this year’s Champions League and odds are against them getting one in Portugal. They’ve got roughly a 30% chance of attaining a win or draw, but they do have the support of public bettors.

While the volume is extremely low, more than 60% of bets has come in on AEK to pull off an upset.

Bayern Munich at Ajax (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Bayern +100, Ajax +282, Draw +279
Total: 3 (u-114)

A home win by Ajax would lift them to the top of Group E, and they haven’t been defeated in all competitions since September 23rd (3-0 vs. PSV).

Bayern Munich will win the group if they can just grab a draw, but the first head-to-head meeting was surely a struggle, ending 1-1. Ajax were solid and should feel confident they can get the win this time, especially in front of their home fans.

Public bettors aren’t convinced as Ajax have attracted less than 20% of tickets, and even the draw (24)% has received more attention. Despite the lack of support, odds have shifted toward Ajax and I’m on board.


Value Bets

  • Valencia (+165) vs. Manchester United
  • Ajax (+282) vs. Bayern Munich

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