Champions League Betting: Can Manchester United Pull Off the Upset at Juventus?
Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo
- In Wednesday's Champions League action, it's a crucial match for big favorites Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
- Many eyes will be focused on Juventus vs. Manchester United (3 p.m. ET on TNT), a match that's receiving twice as much action as any other on the board.
- Bettors have been very active in these group games, and I've picked out two more value plays to make based on sharp money.
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It was an exciting and successful Tuesday in the Champions League, and there are eight more crucial matchups on tap for Wednesday.
After analyzing the betting market, I’ve picked out two value plays after breaking down each match.
2018-19 Champions League Season Record: 7-6-1 (+2.07 units, 16% ROI)
>> All odds and betting percentages as of Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time Champions League updates and track all your bets.
Youngs Boys at Valencia (12:55 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Young Boys (+630), Valencia (-205), Draw (+350)
Total: 3 (u-140)
Young Boys earned a valiant point against Valencia in their previous group stage game, a match where the public was overwhelmingly on Valencia.
Both clubs still have a decent chance to advance as long as Juventus can secure points at home against Manchester United.
The public is unsurprisingly back on Valencia as a -205 favorite, and odds are just about right. Obviously the home side have a clear edge here but I don’t see much value in the current market.
Roma at CSKA Moscow (12:55 p.m. ET on TNT)
Moneylines: Roma (-105), CSKA (+305), Draw (+265)
Total: 2.5 (o-110)
Roma are tied atop Group G with Real Madrid at six points apiece, but CSKA Moscow are still in the thick of things with four points due to their shock upset over Real Madrid.
Public bettors don’t believe CSKA can pull off another win, but the line has shifted toward the home side on a couple different occasions. They haven’t conceded at home in four consecutive Champions League matches, and Roma haven’t been reliable on the road.
It’s easy for casual bettors to throw some money on Roma at nearly even odds, but I like the contrarian angle here and think the best value is CSKA Moscow +0.5 goals (-105).
Shakhtar Donetsk at Manchester City (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Man City (-975), Shakhtar (+2220), Draw (+985)
Total: 3.5 (o-117)
Manchester City are back atop Group F and they’ve continued to roll through all competitions.
Shakhtar Donetsk are tied with Hoffenheim at the bottom of the group, but even a single point would go a long way to advancing. The problem is, they’ve got about a 10-1 chance of earning a draw.
I’ll still keep the faith that Shakhtar can find a way to advance but I’m not as hopeful in this particular match against juggernauts Man City.
Hoffenheim at Lyon (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Hoffenheim (+240), Lyon (+112), Draw (+285)
Total: 3.5 (u-118)
Hoffenheim and Lyon drew, 3-3, in a thrilling matchup just a few weeks ago. The result was great for Hoffenheim, who came back twice from deficits, while it was a disappointing finish for Lyon.
A win by Hoffenheim on the road can now get them level on points with Lyon for second in Group F.
Oddsmakers have had to set this total at 3.5 goals due to their previous scoring spree and Hoffenheim’s offensive strategy. I’ve been impressed with the German club in the Bundesliga recently, and I think they can carry that into Lyon to get their first Champions League win.
There’s been a bit of sharp money on Hoffenheim since opening, and I still like the value at +240.
Real Madrid at Viktoria Plzen (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Real Madrid (-350), Plzen (+950), Draw (+490)
Total: 3.5 (u-135)
Real Madrid were expected to easily win this group but they haven’t exactly been in form, and they just fired manager Julen Lopetegui for Santiago Solari. Losing four of 11 La Liga games was a big factor in that.
Casual bettors have been placing some wagers on a Viktoria Plzen upset, causing oddsmakers to adjust slightly. There will still be plenty of parlays involving Real Madrid to offset those bets, so the books are in a good position.
Even with the obvious talent gap here, it’s tough to really trust Real Madrid right now, but good luck if you do.
Manchester United at Juventus (3 p.m. ET on TNT)
Moneylines: Man Utd (+500), Juventus (-175), Draw (+335)
Total: 3 (u-115)
Let’s be honest, this probably won’t be the most entertaining match to watch on Wednesday, but many will have their eyes on it. Manchester United lost at home to Juventus, 1-0, in their previous encounter, and are big +560 underdogs around the market to get a win in Italy.
Public betting has been right in line with the three-way moneylines, and sportsbooks will take considerable action on this game. Right now it’s receiving twice as many betting tickets as any other match on the board.
The notable movement has been on the total with under 2.5 shifting from -103 to -115. Anyone who has watched Manchester United play over the last couple years can see why that’s the case.
Ajax at Benfica (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Ajax (+205), Benfica (+150), Draw (+240)
Total: 2.5 (u-108)
Ajax are leading Group E at the midway point, tied with Bayern Munich at seven points apiece.
Meanwhile, Benfica desperately need a win to catch up, but it’s going to be tough against a team that hasn’t conceded in six straight matches dating back to October 2.
The market has been just about split on both sides with Ajax receiving 43% of bets, Benfica 44% and the draw 13%. I’d lean toward the draw here but would be worried about a late Ajax goal, so I’m passing altogether.
AEK Athens at Bayern Munich (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: AEK (+3500), Bayern (-1370), Draw (+1165)
Total: 3.5 (o-105)
Bayern Munich are massive favorites to take all three points against AEK Athens, and a bet on the away side to win is 35-1. The odds appear to be too high based on how Bayern have underperformed across all competitions this season.
With that said, I don’t feel strongly enough to validate a wager on AEK, and a 3+ goal victory by Bayern is probably what we’ll see.
- CSKA Moscow +0.5 (-105) vs. Roma
- Hoffenheim (+240) at Lyon