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Champions League Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Projections & Best Bets, Including Atlético Madrid vs. Manchester City (April 12-13)

Champions League Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Projections & Best Bets, Including Atlético Madrid vs. Manchester City (April 12-13) article feature image
Credit:

Lynne Cameron – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester City standout João Cancelo.

We’ve reached the second leg of the quarterfinals of the Champions League and have incredible drama in three of the four ties to see who will make it to the semifinal round.

That said, will Villarreal be able to hold off Bayern Munich in Germany to pull off a monumental upset? Can Chelsea overcome a two-goal deficit against Real Madrid? Do manager Diego Simone and Atletico Madrid have a chance to deliver some magic in the Spanish capital to send the favorite Manchester City home empty handed for yet another season?

There’s only one way to find out and we get to watch it play out on Tuesday and Wednesday on the European landscape.

First-leg results 😮

👀 Tell us which four you think will make the semi-finals…#UCL pic.twitter.com/WGOal8VNLo

— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 6, 2022

If you are reading this article for the first time, I will be putting out these projections every week there are Champions League matches until the end of the tournament. If you’d like to read more about how I determine my projected lines and totals using an expected-goals model, you can read about it here.

For Champions League, my projections factor in UEFA Coefficients for every country represented in the competition. The projections also factor in the talent of each squad based on their total transfer value on TransferMarkt. That way, the projections can account for the strength of the domestic league each club plays in and talent level of each club.

You can use these projections to identify betting value on current lines, plus follow me in The Action Network App to see any bets I make during the week.

Champions League Projections

Best Bets

Real Madrid vs. Chelsea

Real Madrid Odds +135
Chelsea Odds +195
Draw +240
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / -120)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To Watch CBS | Paramount+ | fuboTV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

I know Karim Benzema was amazing in the first leg, but I didn’t think Chelsea played that bad. The Blues made a few uncharacteristic mistakes that led to the first and third goals. The final expected-goals battle wound up in favor of Real Madrid via a 1.8-1.1 margin, but Chelsea held a 20-8 edge in shots and had 24 touches in the penalty area compared to just eight for the Spanish visitor. 

Given what we’ve seen from Real Madrid so far in UCL play, especially the final match of the group stage with Inter Milan and the first leg of its clash with Paris Saint-Germain, I’d imagine the La Liga power will play conservative in this match with a two-goal cushion. I mean, if Los Blancos only had 16 progressive passes compared to 48 for the Blues in the first leg, I find it hard to imagine they’ll top that number in the second leg.

Going into the first leg, Chelsea was in a bad spot coming off the international break, suffering a shocking 4-1 home defeat against Brentford. Manager Thomas Tuchel even said his team looked exhausted. Well, this past weekend the Blues got their confidence back, drilling Southampton in a 6-0 road victory.

I have Chelsea projected as a small road favorite in Madrid, so I like the value on the visitor via the Draw No Bet wager at +116 odds.

Pick: Chelsea — Draw No Bet (+116)

Bayern Munich vs. Villarreal 

Bayern Munich Odds -375
Villarreal Odds +900
Draw +550
Over/Under 3.5 (+100 / -135)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To Watch Paramount+ | fuboTV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

The most impressive UCL performance from the first leg was without a doubt via Villarreal. The Spanish side took it right to Bayern Munich and honestly could have won by multiple goals. It was a no-fear, courageous-type performance a lot of smaller clubs are afraid to try against the German power.

Villarreal is not only a fantastic pressing team, but great at playing through pressure, which it showed in the opening leg, with Bayern only having a 31% pressure success rate. Last season under manager Hansi Flick, the Bavarians struggled in transition defense and were really bad in the first leg. That has a lot to do with the fact they played a center-back pairing of Dayot Upamecano and Lucas Hernandez, who normally don’t play alongside each other.

Bayern can get away with that against lower Bundesliga sides, but against one of the world’s best counter-pressing teams, that’s not going to work.

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Villarreal is the type of team that can be successful playing with a lead. It traditionally lines up in a 4-4-2 formation and is good defensively out of it, allowing 1.07 NPxG per match. Offensively, the Yellow Submarine is averaging 1.88 xG per 90 minutes, per understat.com, so it’s not like the club is playing the same style as Atlético Madrid and keeping 10 guys behind the ball.

Bayern has fantastic league defensive numbers, conceding just 0.97 xG per match, but the top six teams in the German top flight have had some success against it, as the side is yielding 1.21 xGA per contest.

I only have Bayern Munich projected at -174 on the moneyline and the spread at -1.34 goals, so I like the value on Villarreal getting +1.5 at +115 odds.

Pick: Villarreal +1.5 (+115)

Atlético Madrid vs. Man City

Atlético Madrid Odds +340
Man City Odds -120
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-110 / -130)
Day | Time Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To Watch CBS | Paramount+ | fuboTV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

I know Atlético Madrid didn’t have shot against Manchester City in the first leg, but that’s not too concerning for me. The reason being is because that was Atlético’s game plan coming into the match. What I was more impressed with is the Spanish powerhouse held Manchester City to only 0.9 xG on 15 shots.

It was only the fourth time the Cityzens were held under 1.0 xG this season. They only had 10 box entries and 22 touches in the penalty area, whereas in the Premier League they’re averaging 24.8 box entries and 43.5 touches in the penalty area per 90 minutes, per fbref.com.

Atlético did have two breakaway chances where it couldn’t get a shot. And even though it didn’t really show it in the first leg, the club is good at playing through pressure, as it’s fourth in La Liga in pressure success rate allowed.

Also, I believe Atlético Madrid having to be more aggressive is going to be a net benefit for it because of the talented attacking players like Joao Felix and Antonie Greizmann to name a few standouts. Atlético has to breakdown a Manchester City backline that’s still without Ruben Dias as well. 

Manchester City is coming off an incredibly emotional match against Liverpool this past Sunday, so my guess is it’s once again going to control 70% of the bal, keep the pace slow and play cautiously going forward as to not leave itself exposed on the counter. 

I only have Manchester City projected as a +136 favorite, so I like the value we’re getting on Atlético Madrid getting +0.5 on the spread line at +105 odds.

Pick: Atlético Madrid +0.5 (+105)

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