Champions League Round of 16: Back Porto to Beat Roma

Champions League Round of 16: Back Porto to Beat Roma article feature image
  • Roma-Porto isn't the most attractive Champions League Round of 16 match-up, but that doesn't mean bettors should ignore it.
  • Teams taking a 2-1 lead on the road have advanced just 45.8% of the time in the Champions League knockout stages, and Porto could be providing value to win the second leg.

Roma won the first leg at home, 2-1, but could be kicking themselves after allowing a crucial away goal late in the match. Although they still have the advantage based on current odds, historical data points to a potential upset.

FC Porto are looking to advance to their first UCL quarterfinal since 2014-15 while Roma seek a second straight appearance.

Roma have lost their last seven knock-out matches on the road and have a 50% chance of making it eight in a row on Wednesday afternoon.

Odds (Roma lead 2-1)

Roma enter the second leg with -185 odds to advance to the quarterfinal, which equates to a 64.5% chance, but historical data actually favors the underdogs FC Porto here.

Teams facing a 2-1 deficit but playing the second leg at home have gone on to advance 13 of 24 times (54.2%) in the Champions League knockout stages.

I picked Porto to advance at -110 odds prior to the first leg and while that obviously wasn't the best price, I remain optimistic.

Injuries + Suspensions

  • Roma: Kostas Manolas (probable, ankle), Cengiz Under (doubtful, thigh)
  • Porto: Vincent Aboubakar (out)

Betting Market Breakdown

Porto could be a bit fragile after being overtaken by Benfica at the top of the Portugal Primera League, but Roma's form isn't the best either after dropping a 3-0 contest to rivals Lazio in Serie A.

Wednesday's match has easily attracted the fewest wagers in Champions League action this week as bettors have steered their attention toward Tottenham-Dortmund, Real Madrid-Ajax and PSG-Man United.

Three-way moneylines for Porto-Roma have been fairly stagnant since opening, very similar to Dortmund-Tottenham, but there has been a slight adjustment.

Porto opened +105 and are now odds-on favorites at some notable sharp sportsbooks around the market.

No team has blanked Porto at home this season and oddsmakers have set their team total at 1.5. The over/under for the match is 2.5 (o-140) and the over has been hit several times, which means it could even hit 3 before kickoff.

Roma's xGA (expected goals against) has been ugly in recent matches and it's difficult to trust their road form in this competition.

I'm once again backing FC Porto (+100) to win the return leg and potentially advance to the quarterfinals in the process.

Both clubs are still longshots to lift the trophy with Roma coming in at 80-1 and Porto 200-1.

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