Champions League Betting Odds & Projections | Round of 16 Best Bets, Including Real Madrid vs Chelsea

Champions League Betting Odds & Projections | Round of 16 Best Bets, Including Real Madrid vs Chelsea article feature image

Pictured: Olivier Giroud, Hirving Lozano, Kai Havertz and Karim Benzema. Credit: Matt Roembke.

  • Looking for expert Wednesday Champions League best bets?
  • Action Network's soccer analysts have you covered.
  • Read on for picks from Milan vs Napoli and Real Madrid vs Chelsea.

We've reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Four huge matches, headlined by the two betting favorites to win the title – Manchester City and Bayern Munich – will take place.

BJ Cunningham and Anthony Dabbundo are here to take you through the latest set of contests with their best bets on the slate, including Real Madrid vs Chelsea and AC Milan vs Napoli.

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 UCL action and all five European leagues, follow them in the Action Network App.

Cunningham's Model Projections

Real Madrid vs Chelsea

Real Madrid Odds-143
Chelsea Odds+400
Over/Under2.5 (-110 / -110)
Day | TimeWednesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To WatchCBS
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: The market has moved heavily toward Real Madrid in the last 10 days and that means it’s time to buy Chelsea as a solid underdog against the defending champions. Chelsea will have N’Golo Kanté back fit in the defensive midfield, which is a massive upgrade to their midfield ball winning and defensive transition ability. Liverpool had no answer for Vinicius Junior in the last round, but the Blues will feature Reece James – an excellent defender at right back – to match Vinicius for pace.

Chelsea’s attack is more suited to play in a transition role because of Kai Havertz and Joao Felix’s skill sets running at defenders with the ball and running into space. Real Madrid still have major holes in transition defense and have had problems containing Liverpool and RB Leipzig — two excellent transition teams — at different stages of this competition. The Blues have struggled mightily for months finishing off chances in front of goal, but they’ve also posted a +0.6 xG difference per 90 minutes in the last two months of Premier League soccer. Real Madrid have posted similar numbers in a much weaker La Liga.

Real Madrid have elite talent scattered throughout the pitch and are certainly tactically versatile, but they had major problems preventing high turnovers against the Liverpool counter-press at Anfield and could have similar problems against an effective Chelsea counter-press here.

The recent market movement toward Real Madrid has created value on Chelsea – both to advance and to get a result away from home in the first of two legs on Wednesday afternoon.

Picks: Chelsea +0.5 (-110 or better) | Chelsea to Advance (+140 or better)

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AC Milan vs Napoli

AC Milan Odds+180
Napoli Odds+220
Over/Under2.5 (+110 / -138)
Day | TimeWednesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To WatchParamount+
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: AC Milan are coming off a 4-0 drubbing of Napoli on the road in Serie A and normally I would say the match didn’t matter to Napoli – they already have the Serie A title wrapped up. However, if we go back to September 18th when AC Milan hosted Napoli, they absolutely demolished them and were really unlucky to lose 2-1.

In the first half, AC Milan out-shot Napoli 11-3 and then Napoli got a penalty right out of halftime. AC Milan equalized and then a low quality header went in the back of the net for Napoli. For the match, AC Milan outshot Napoli 22-8 and won the non-penalty xG battle 2.6-0.7.

Now, back to the 4-0 drubbing on April 2nd. Milan did an incredible job being aggressive, with man-to-man marking in the middle of the pitch and a press to disrupt build up play. Napoli are one of the best build up possession teams in the world, so disrupting that is a very tall task. Napoli midfielders won just 5-of-21 ground duels in the middle of the pitch, and it also helped that Victor Osimhen didn’t play in that match. He's doubtful for this fixture as well.

The Nigerian is incredibly important for Napoli’s attack, having scored 21 goals and carrying a 0.74 xG per 90 minute scoring rate. His absence from the prior match also meant that AC Milan could focus a lot of their attention on stopping Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. The Georgian only touched the ball 19 times in the first half and Calabria did an incredible job marking him, but Milan’s pressure and defensive shape forced Napoli right.

The problems that existed for Napoli in both matches were in defending wide areas. When Napoli are out of possession, they’re typically in a 4-4-2 shape, which puts a premium on not allowing teams to play through the middle. Brahim Diaz was sensational in that game and his individual skill led to the first goal. Time and time again, Milan torched Napoli in wide areas.

I understand that Napoli have better underlying metrics overall for the season, but I have Milan projected as a slight favorite here at home.

Pick: AC Milan – Draw No Bet (+100)

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