Champions League Wednesday: How Many Big Favorites Will Win?
AP. Pictured: Inter Milan celebrating a goal vs. Tottenham in their previous matchup
- Champions League odds have shifted dramatically in a number of Wednesday matches including PSG-Liverpool (3 p.m. ET) and Tottenham-Inter Milan (3 p.m. ET on TNT).
- There are a number of big favorites on the board but public bettors are taking their chances on the underdogs, creating value elsewhere.
Tuesday’s action brought upsets from Viktoria Plzen (+410) at CSKA Moscow, and Shakhtar Donetsk (+360) at Hoffenheim, while Lyon held Manchester City to a 2-2 draw which paid out +400.
The group stage is set up perfectly to allow for surprises while also ensuring the best teams to progress over the course of six matches.
Teams that have now advanced to the knockout stages are: Bayern Munich, Ajax, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Roma, Juventus and Manchester United.
Looking ahead to Wednesday, I’ve analyzed the betting market for each matchup and picked out three value plays across five different games.
2018-19 Champions League Season Record: 7-10-1 (-1.93 units)
Monaco at Atletico Madrid (12:55 p.m. ET on TNT)
Moneylines: Monaco +1700, Atletico -575, Draw +630
Total: 3 (u-130)
Atletico Madrid haven’t lost in more than a month in all competitions, and are tied atop Group A with Dortmund.
Meanwhile, Monaco have struggled this season and haven’t been any better under new manager Thierry Henry. They’ve already been eliminated from the Champions League with two matches left, and find themselves as huge +1700 underdogs to win in Madrid.
Even though the moneyline is enticing and Monaco will be playing with no pressure, Les Rouges et Blancs will likely be run off the pitch by Atleti. Public bettors are taking their chances but I won’t be, and would consider Atletico (-570) in a parlay.
Galatasaray at Lokomotiv Moscow (12:55 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Galatrasaray +220, Lokomotiv +140, Draw +230
Total: 2 (o-130)
Galatasaray still have slim hopes of advancing while Lokomotiv have already been eliminated with four straight losses.
This is the least-bet game of the day and moneylines are tight, so I don’t see value anywhere.
Barcelona at PSV (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Barcelona -220, PSV +590, Draw +400
Total: 3.5 (u-125)
Barcelona are dealing with a slew of injuries lately including Rafinha (likely out for season), Sergi Roberto (3-4 weeks) and Luis Suarez (2-4 weeks). Since opening, odds have come down from -250 to -220.
On the bright side, they could be getting back Coutinho and Rakitic, which would bolster the starting lineup. PSV have been prone to conceding goals in the Champions League, and I don’t think they’ll be able to contain Barcelona, especially with the total set at 3.5 goals.
Tuesday’s moneyline parlay didn’t quite pan out, but I do like a three-teamer involving Barcelona for Wednesday.
Liverpool at PSG (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Liverpool +240, PSG +110, Draw +295
Total: 3 (o-135)
Injuries to Neymar and Kylian Mbappe caused the PSG moneyline to move from +110 to +160, but both stars are fit to play and odds have adjusted back to +110.
Public bettors are supporting Liverpool, making them a trendy road underdog. Even though I’ve been wrong about a couple PSG group matches this tournament, I still like their value at plus-money to win at home on Wednesday. Grab the +110 while you can.
Red Star Belgrade at Napoli (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Red Star +2040, Napoli -750, Draw +780
Total: 3 (u-101)
Napoli are in a very strong position in Group C, tied at the top with Liverpool and a point ahead of PSG. Odds of -750 against Red Star Belgrade bode very well for the home side to stay in the catbird seat.
Red Star pulled off an upset over Liverpool as +1500 underdogs earlier in the competition, though I don’t see another surprise at Napoli, so find a way to bet the home team to win.
Club Brugge at Dortmund (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Brugge +965, Dortmund -335, Draw +490
Total: 3.5 (u-135)
Dortmund have a significant goal-differential lead on Atletico at the top of Group A and will try to maintain it as big favorites against Club Brugge.
Club Brugge need a win to stay alive in the Champions League and their 10-1 odds suggest they’ve got a steep hill to climb. Brugge are probably dealing with too many injuries to spring an upset, especially considering Dortmund’s prowess this season.
Inter Milan at Tottenham (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Inter +420, Tottenham -145, Draw +310
Total: 3 (u-135)
Tottenham have played well in the Champions League, results just haven’t gone their way. Thus, Spurs essentially need to beat Inter Milan to have a chance of progressing.
Both public and sharp bettors feel really good about Spurs as their odds have increased significantly from -110 to -145. More than 80% of moneyline bets and nearly 90% of goal-line bets have come in on Tottenham at the time of writing, and it’s the most bet match of the day.
It looks like Tottenham will be the biggest decision of the day for sportsbooks, much like Real Madrid on Tuesday.
Schalke at Porto (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Schalke +440, Porto -125, Draw +240
Total: 2.5 (u-130)
This match certainly won’t be on most people’s radar, but I’m invested with Porto (+125) to win the group. They currently have a two-point lead over Schalke and can win Group D with a victory on Wednesday.
My optimism for Porto is still high, but public bettors feel differently. The majority of bets is on Schalke to win outright, and even the draw (26%) is getting more support than Porto (21%).
I love the idea of taking a contrarian small favorite at home, even though I wasn’t planning on doubling-down on Porto. You can find the Portuguese side at -110/-115 around the market due to bettors on the other side, a very solid price.
- PSG (+110) vs. Liverpool
- Atletico Madrid/Barcelona/Napoli parlay (-105)
- Porto (-120) vs. Schalke