Tuesday Champions League Odds, Picks, Prediction, Best Bets: Ajax vs. Benfica Betting Preview
Octavio Passos/Getty Images. Pictured: Ajax standout Sebastien Haller.
- Ajax welcomes Benfica to Amsterdam for Tuesday's Champions League match.
- The Sons of the Gods are solid -275 ML favorites against their Portuguese foes, so analyst Nick Hennion has looked to the prop market for his pick.
- Check out below why he's backing Ajax to rack up multiple goals in this contest.
Ajax vs. Benfica Odds
|Over/Under||3.5 (-115 / -120)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 4 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+ | fuboTV|
|Odds updated as of Tuesday afternoon via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
A spot in the Champions League quarterfinal round is on the line Tuesday in Amsterdam, with Ajax and Benfica entering level after the first leg.
These sides played a high-event, 2-2 draw at the Estádio da Luz in Portugal last time out, which marked the first non-win of the competition for perennial Eredivisie winner. On the flip side, that result extended Benfica’s winless run against Ajax, now unbeaten in three games against the Portuguese power.
Ajax remains a heavy favorite to advance to the quarterfinals entering the second leg on home soil. The Sons of the Gods are a whopping -500 to advance, while Benfica offer a +300 payout if you think it pulls off the upset.
Optimism Surrounding Ajax Ahead of Clash
Although manager Erik Ten Hag’s side failed to win for the first time this UCL campaign, it produced solid underlying metrics in the opening meeting.
Ajax created north of two expected goals against Benfica, while generating three big scoring chances, per fotmob.com. Further, north of 70 percent of Ajax’s 11 total shots found the Benfica frame, marking its best percentage to date through seven UCL fixtures.
However, this was also an Ajax defense performance that left a lot to be desired. Benfica generated nearly two xG against an Ajax defense that conceded only four times in the group stage on 6.3 xG, per fbref.com.
Ten Hag’s side also conceded two big scoring chances to Benfica and was actually outshot by the Eagles, which was the first time that happened to Ajax in seven Champions League matches.
However, Ajax backers shouldn’t panic just yet. Despite the aforementioned defensive issues, its attack arrives at this contest in fine form. Since the first leg in Portugal, Ajax has created at least two xG in three consecutive games in the Dutch top flight, including a 5.5 xG output in its most recent home match.
Underdog Benfica Still Has Fighting Chance
There’s no denying the first leg went about as well as Benfica could have expected, even if it enters the second leg at a theoretical disadvantage.
Its xG output of 1.9 was its second-highest mark in seven group-stage matches and its best since late September against Barcelona at home.
However, a change of venue might cause some concern for Benfica’s attack, which didn’t travel well in the group round. Through three road UCL fixtures, the Eagles have created only 1.13 xG per 90 minutes against a 1.43 xG/90 minutes through four home contests.
There’s also some concern to be had with its defense, which has produced some shaky results away from home as of late. In its last four road fixtures — all of which came against bottom-half sides in the Portuguese Primeira Liga — Benfica conceded nearly 1.15 xG/90 minutes, which is a below-average mark.
Plus, Benfica’s defense has a poor track record against top sides in UCL play this season. Through three games against Bayern Munich and Ajax, it has conceded 10.24 xG and 15 big scoring chances, per fotmob.com.
BJ Cunningham’s UCL Model Projections
Betting Analysis & Pick
All but one Ajax UCL fixture has featured at least three goals, so goals should be the expectation here.
I expect the hosts will likely build upon their performance in the group stage and expose a weak Benfica defense that hasn’t held up well away from home. The Sons of the Gods created 2.4 xG per 90 minutes through three UCL fixtures, so I believe there’s at least two, maybe three goals for the hosts.
The bigger question for me is what you get from Benfica’s attack. The road attacking numbers are concerning and manager Nelson Verissimo could be without standout Roman Yaremchuk. So, while my lean on the game total is over 3.5 goals, the unknown with Benfica steers me away from that market.
Rather, I’m looking to the Ajax team total. The total clearing 2.5 goals for Ajax is priced at -110, and I’m shocked its not higher. At what’s essentially a Pick’em, I think it’s more likely than not the hosts reach at least three goals.
I would have its price closer to -125, so I’m happy to lay -110 and back a potent Ajax attack to maneuver its way into the quarterfinal round.
Pick: Ajax — Team Total Over 2.5 Goals (-110)
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