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Champions League Betting Odds & Projections: Our Best Bets for Matchday 5

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Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Harry Kane.

  • The Champions League is back for Matchday 5.
  • Where does the value lie from a betting perspective?
  • Read on for Anthony Dabbundo and BJ Cunningham's model projections.

The Champions League is back for the second half of Matchday 5 on Wednesday with a fantastic slate of matches.

BJ Cunningham and Anthony Dabbundo are here to take you through this latest set of contests with their best bets on the slate.

The pair, part of the Wondergoal podcast crew, will be taking you through the Champions League fixtures, delivering their favorite picks along the way. They’ll also provide their individual model projections for the games.

If you’d like to see picks from Cunningham and Dabbundo during the season for all UCL action and all five European leagues, follow them in the Action Network App.

Cunningham’s Model Projections


Club Brugge vs. Porto

Club Brugge Odds +240
Porto Odds +115
Draw +240
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | Time Wednesday | 12:45 p.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: This is it. It’s finally the time Club Brugge meets the dreaded regression monster. 

Club Brugge have scored seven goals off of 5.3 expected, and they have conceded zero goals off of 6.4 expected because apparently Simon Mingolet is the best goalkeeper in the world. He has +4.4 post-shot xG +/- in just four matches. That is insanity. Even in the Belgian Pro League he’s allowed 14 goals off 19.46 expected this season.  

The last time they played Porto, they scored four goals; one was a penalty and one of the goals was a lucky deflection. On one goal, a guy whiffed on a cross and the ball got through to the back post for a tap-in finish. 

Club Brugge have taken 14 shots from inside the penalty area, and they have scored six of them. That is an insane finishing rate. In the Champions League, Club Brugge have been outshot 33 to 69 and been out-touched in the penalty area 138 to 55, and box entries have been 69 to 19. 

Plus,  one of Brugge’s best strikers, Kamal Sowah, is on a red card suspension, and Cyle Larin, who would be his backup, is also out. 

So, this is about as all in as all in gets for Porto, which still has a chance to win this group. 

I have Porto projected at -173, so I love the value on them at +115 (Bet365).

Pick: Porto +115 

Tottenham vs. Sporting Lisbon

Tottenham Odds -225
Sporting Lisbon Odds +600
Draw +375
Over/Under 2.5 (-150 / +120)
Day | Time Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: Spurs lost both of their matches this week, at Manchester United and at home against Newcastle on Sunday. Tottenham are playing without both Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison due to injury, and the attack isn’t nearly as effective at breaking down low defensive blocks without them.

Even though Spurs had their best start in the league (by results) in decades, they’ve had concerning regression indicators in their shot difference numbers and ball retention for a while. They are finally paying for it with the last two losses.

In the first meeting between these two sides in Lisbon, Spurs played about even with Sporting, but they really struggled to create any clear scoring chances. Richarlison was actually Spurs’ most productive player in that match, with four shot attempts and 0.4 xG created. Lisbon had the same number of shots, slightly more expected goals and scored twice late to win the match 2-0. 

If we exclude penalties, Tottenham have a +0.34 NPxG difference per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season. Given that Hugo Lloris has also started to show signs of aging in goal, that leaves Spurs as a good but far from elite Premier League team. Even though they’re clearly better than Sporting, they’re not good enough to be laying more than a goal. 

Sporting had two really weird results against Marseille that were heavily influenced by goalkeeper errors and red cards. They’re a bit cheap here in the market because of those two losses, and I’m buying low on them here. 

Pick: Sporting Lisbon +1.25 (-110)

Our Picks from Tuesday’s Completed Games

RB Leipzig vs. Real Madrid

RB Leipzig Odds +162
Real Madrid Odds +155
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (-150 / +120)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: RB Leipzig lost the away fixture in this matchup 2-0 in Madrid, but they were the better side for the majority of the first half of that match. Leipzig attempted the first five shots, and that’s been a common theme for Madrid early in the Champions League group stage. Real Madrid have shown some cracks defensively — both in Spain and Europe — including conceding more than 0.5 xG to both Celtic and Leipzig in the first halves of those two CL matches. 

Leipzig have major question marks defending in transition and have gotten exposed for that at various points of this competition. But they’re apt to give Real’s defense problems here. Leipzig are second in the Bundesliga in xG and shots per match behind only Bayern, while the Real Madrid defense is sixth in shots allowed and ninth in box entries allowed.

Real Madrid remain due for regression overall as a club after their miraculous run in the CL, but the number isn’t good enough for me to play Leipzig in this match. Instead, I’m targeting the team total, as I expect Leipzig to find early success offensively. 

Pick: RB Leipzig 1st Half Team Total Over 0.5 goals (+120)

Celtic vs. Shakhtar

Celtic Odds -125
Shakhtar Odds +320
Draw +280
Over/Under 2.5 (-150 / +120)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via Bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: This match is actually quite important for Celtic, because they have to win it if they want any chance of finishing in third and getting into the Europa League knockout stage. 

Celtic were by far the better team when these two met in Poland last time, as they beat Shakhtar on xG 1.6 to 0.2, outshot them 16 to 5, had a field tilt of 77.4%, while the xThreat was 1.9 to 0.62 and Celtic had 33 touches in the penalty area compared to just nine from Shakhtar. Just total domination. 

Shakhtar 1 : 1 Celtic

▪ xG: 0.35 – 1.13
▪ xThreat: 0.62 – 1.9
▪ Possession: 44.0% – 56.0%
▪ Field Tilt: 22.6% – 77.4%
▪ Def Line Height: 39.4 – 50.6#msbot_ucl #ucl pic.twitter.com/hmnZcExV1K

— markstats bot (@markstatsbot) September 14, 2022

Celtic are so overdue for an offensive explosion in the Champions League. The Scottish champions have created 5.5 xG but conceded only twice. On the flip side of the coin, Shakhtar have scored seven goals off of 3.1 expected, and they’ve scored six goals from inside the penalty area on just 15 shots. They have been out shot in the Champions League 33 to 88, and they’ve been out-touched in the attacking third 250 to 1,253 and in the penalty area 43 to 161, per fbref.com

I have Celtic projected at -173, so give me the Scottish giants on home soil at -121 (BetRivers). 

Pick: Celtic -121

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