Champions League Semifinal Odds, Prop Picks: Bet for AC Milan vs Inter

Champions League Semifinal Odds, Prop Picks: Bet for AC Milan vs Inter article feature image

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images. Pictured: Inter Milan standout Lautaro Martinez.

One of the beauties of cup competitions is that getting a meaningful data sample for some prop betting markets is nearly impossible.

That makes games like this week's UEFA Champions League semifinal open legs extra fun for handicappers like myself, who appreciate data but also like to listen to instinct and what little past history exists.

Of course, there is at least some relevant history between Real Madrid and Manchester City, who meet in Spain on Tuesday. And there's too much to mention between Milan and Inter, the derby rivals who are playing in the UCL knockout phase for the third time this millennium.

Let's look at some juicy plus-money prop wagers for two of the biggest games on the European calendar.

Champions League Betting Picks

Pick: Real Madrid team total over 1.5 goals (+154, FanDuel)

For two of the most recognized managers in the world game, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti have less history than you’d think. 

The two have gone head-to-head only eight times. Guardiola owns a 5-3-0 lead (W-L-D) in the series, but that’s deceiving since four of those wins came while Ancelotti was coaching an Everton side a tier below City in talent.

What’s notable though is that Ancelotti’s sides have found a way to score in six of those eight matches, and all four in which he was in charge of a true European heavyweight. They’ve hit for multiple goals on three of those latter four occasions.

Both sides have defensive vulnerabilities, and it seems unlikely Ancelotti’s Real Madrid will play for a conservative result at home. Thus, I like backing the home side to find the net at least twice here at +154 odds and an implied 39.4% probability. 

City has conceded in each of their previous two away legs this knockout stage, and have a habit of doing so to Madrid in recent years.

That doesn’t mean they’re doomed to lose the tie or even the first leg. But if they do take something from Tuesday, it’s more likely because they’ve also scored a couple times themselves.

Pick: Yes – Both Teams To Score 2nd Half, Real Madrid vs. Manchester City (+200, FanDuel)

Recent history between these clubs only includes two meetings between Ancelotti and Guardiola. But the latter was also on hand in a 2020 quarterfinal between the sides that was interrupted between Legs 1 and 2 by the onset of the COVID pandemic.

We saw the same pattern play out in some of those games that we’ve seen play out domestically with City, particularly when playing high-level opponents — there are suddenly more chances on both ends of the pitch.

Both teams scored after halftime in three of those four games, and interestingly, in both first legs. This tracks with what we know about each club domestically.

In league play, Real Madrid and Manchester City have conceded more than half a goal a match after the break. While not exactly worrying, it’s a likelihood that grows even greater when facing opponents with similar attacking qualities.

It’s definitely more of a feel. Regardless, I like yes on both teams to score after halftime at +200 odds and an implied 33.3% probability.

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Inter Milan 1 Goal Exact (+150, BetMGM)

Historical patterns can play an oversized role in higher-leverage cup matches because they contribute more to the psychology of the occasion.

It’s not that they are destined to repeat, per se. But, at times, they can be self-fulfilling because everyone involved is more aware of them.

With Wednesday's first leg between AC Milan and Inter Milan, the most informative history may be the span of games since the teams' two managers were in charge of their respective sides. Since Simone Inzaghi and Stefano Pioli have been guiding Inter and Milan, respectively, there have been a couple of patterns evident over a seven-game sample.

The most interesting is that Milan has kept only one clean sheet against their derby rivals since Inzaghi took over, and they failed to win that match. Both of their wins have come while conceding.

Given that Milan is the “home” team in this first leg, and that neither team will truly feel like this is a “home” game, I don’t expect either team to throw too many bodies forward, which I think means you can be bearish on Inter going for a bunch of goals.

But there's a reasonable chance the "visitors" find one.

I am playing them to do just that at +150 odds and an implied 40% probability. Even without accounting for the leverage of the occasion, they’ve scored that number in three of their previous seven against Milan under Inzaghi.

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