Betting Market Breakdown for Tuesday’s Champions League Group Stage Matches
Marca.com. Pictured: Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale takes a shot against Roma
- Champions League group stage action returns on Tuesday with intriguing matches including Roma-Real Madrid (3 p.m. ET) and Juventus-Valencia (3 p.m. ET)
- Both public and sharp bettors have been active in shaping the market and we're seeing one of the most lopsided wagers of the season.
- Below I've previewed all eight matches and offered value plays to make.
The penultimate Champions League Group Stage matches will take place this week, starting with an eight-game slate on Tuesday.
There’s plenty at stake since most clubs are still battling for seeding, or just to advance to the knockout round.
After analyzing the betting market, I’ve picked out two value plays after breaking down each match.
2018-19 Champions League Season Record: 7-8-1 (+0.07 units)
>> All odds and betting %’s as of Monday at 4 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time Champions League updates and track all your bets.
Ajax at AEK Athens (12:55 p.m. ET on TNT)
Moneylines: Ajax -140, AEK +430, Draw +290
Total: 2.5 (u-115)
Ajax have been a pleasant surprise in the Champions League this season, and can qualify to the knockout round with a victory at AEK Athens on Tuesday.
The hosts have struggled in the competition, losing all four group matches while being outscored 10-2. They’ve got roughly a 20% chance of upsetting Ajax outright, and 25% chance to earn a draw.
Odds seem to be spot-on here even though I lean toward Ajax securing the victory.
Viktoria Plzen at CSKA Moscow (12:55 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Plzen +408, CSKA -128, Draw +270
Total: 2.5 (u-130)
Even though it’s a longshot for CSKA Moscow to advance from Group G, I was surprised to see how low the moneyline opened for this matchup against Viktoria Plzen.
Sportsbooks released CSKA Moscow at -115 but quickly had to move the odds up to -125/-130 to appease early bettors. More than 70% of the tickets have come in on CSKA to win and I agree with the public.
I could see this moneyline continue to grow to -150, so it’s better to grab the current line before it moves.
Roma at Real Madrid (3 p.m. ET on TNT)
Moneylines: Roma +250, Real Madrid +111, Draw +277
Total: 3 (o-120)
This could end up being one of the most lopsided-bet matches in the Champions League, as more than 85% of bets are on Real Madrid to earn the road victory.
Despite the heavy public support, odds have actually moved away from Real Madid (-120 to +111).
It hasn’t been pretty wagering on Real Madrid this season, and they’ve already suffered five significant losses in all competitions, including falling to CSKA Moscow earlier in the Champions League group stage.
The contrarian angle alone is enough for me to take Roma +0.5 (-125) getting a win or draw.
Shakhtar Donetsk at Hoffenheim (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Hoffenheim -130, Shakhtar +330, Draw +335
Total: 3.5 (u-115)
Both Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk will need some help in order to advance to the knockout stage as they’re 3 and 4 points behind Lyon, respectively, in Group F.
Hoffenheim’s issue all year long has been conceding goals. There have been goals scored by both teams in 88% of Hoffenheim’s matches this season, and they also just played a 3-3 draw vs. Hertha Berlin in weekend Bundesliga action.
Hence, it should be no shock to see an over/under listed at 3.5 for Tuesday’s pivotal encounter against Shakhtar.
Bettors appear to be high on the home side as they’ve moved from -110 to -130 since opening. I don’t think there’s much value left on Hoffenheim, and could easily see a draw or loss here.
Young Boys at Manchester United (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Man Utd -360, Young Boys +1115, Draw +505
Total: 3 (u-110)
At similar odds, Manchester United were just held scoreless at home vs. Crystal Palace in the EPL this weekend so I wouldn’t feel confident betting them at that price in the Champions League.
It’s hard to determine how popular Manchester United will be on a straight bet, but there’s no doubt that public bettors will be including them in moneyline parlays. It’s an easy pass for me even though I won’t be wagering on Young Boys in any way.
Valencia at Juventus (3 p.m. ET on TNT)
Moneylines: Juventus -250, Valencia +760, Draw +395
Total: 2.5 (o-135)
Juventus are currently top of Group H with nine points, and only need to earn a draw against Valencia to advance to the knockout round.
However, dropping points means they risk letting Manchester United catch them for first place, which could be important based on next round’s seeding.
Oddsmakers don’t believe that Juventus will have much trouble winning at home, pegging them as -250 favorites.
Public bettors feel differently and are actually taking a shot on Valencia to win/draw, so they’re a trendy underdog I would avoid.
Benfica at Bayern Munich (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Bayern -350, Benfica +985, Draw +505
Total: 3 (o-115)
Bayern haven’t been typically dominant — whether in the Champions League or Bundesliga — this season, but they’re still massive -350 favorites to beat Benfica at home.
The Bavarians recently blew a two-goal lead multiple times in a 3-3 draw vs. Fortuna Dussldorf in the Bundesliga. The draw paid out +1150 in that match, and reports are swirling that manager Niko Kovac will be axed soon after blaming the players for the team’s struggles.
Whether it’s the fault of the players, manager, or both, I wouldn’t feel strongly about betting on a team in partial chaos, especially at -350 odds.
Manchester City at Lyon (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Man City -240, Lyon +645, Draw +415
Total: 3.5 (u-109)
It seems like eons ago that Manchester City lost to Lyon in the opening group stage match as they’ve been rolling ever since.
The Citizens are -240 to get their revenge on the road, and that seems like a decent price the way Man City have looked. I’d definitely consider including them in a parlay.
- CSKA Moscow/Manchester City Parlay (+155)
- Roma +0.5 (-125) goals vs. Real Madrid