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Benfica vs. Liverpool Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can Underdog Keep it Close in UCL Quarterfinals?

Benfica vs. Liverpool Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can Underdog Keep it Close in UCL Quarterfinals? article feature image
Credit:

James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images. Pictured: Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

  • Liverpool is a huge favorite over Benfica in Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal matchup, with the total set at 3.5.
  • While the Reds are better in just about every way, it's always a tough task winning in Lisbon, and Avery Zimmerman believes Benfica can keep this match within one goal.
  • Get our full Liverpool vs. Benfica betting preview and pick below.

Benfica vs. Liverpool Odds

Benfica Odds +725
Liverpool Odds -275
Draw +375
Over/Under 3.5 (+125 /-175)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
How To Watch Paramount+
Odds via BetMGM, updated Tuesday afternoon. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

The Champions League quarterfinal round kicks off Tuesday, with both of England’s biggest powerhouses taking the field.

In Portugal, Liverpool squares off against Benfica, which is sitting third in the Primeira Liga right now. The Reds are familiar with fellow Portuguese side Porto, which they haveplayed six times in the past four years. However, Liverpool last met Benfica in the 2009-10 Europa League competition.

The Premier League giant was able to advance on goal differential in that tie, and it’s favored to do the same in a more dominant fashion this time around.

So, how will the first leg of this UCL quarterfinal matchup play out?

Benfica Coming in Following Massive Upset

The Eagles were +300 to advance past Dutch powerhouse Ajax in the Round of 16, but a 2-2 draw in Amsterdam and thrilling 1-0 victory in Lisbon secured the surprise Round of 16 result.

Now, Benfica has an even greater task on its hands as it looks to advance past one of the world’s strongest sides and into the semifinals. The Eagles are +700 to reach the final four, while Liverpool is -2000, highlighting the projected discrepancy between the clubs.

However, this Benfica side isn’t a weak one. In UCL play, the Eagles battled through a group featuring Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Dynamo Kyiv to reach the knockout rounds. And it was a clutch four points from six overall in the final two games of the stage that saw Benfica advance. Combine that with Benfica’s effort against Ajax, we know it’s capable of pulling off big results.

Overall, Benfica has a -0.47 expected goal difference per game, but in the Portuguese top flight that number is 0.8 overall. The Eagles also have the best conversion rate in the league, coming in at 12.7 percent.

While it would take a full-sized miracle for Benfica to make a real push for the Champions League title, it’s not a team to be taken lightly in any way.

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Liverpool in Stellar Form Ahead of Key Period

The Reds have won 15 of their 17 games, with the other two results being effectively better than the actual outcomes. A 1-0 loss to Inter Milan saw Liverpool advance through to the next UCL stage and a 0-0 draw against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final, which ultimately resulted in Mohamed Salah and company lifting the trophy after penalty kicks.

Simply put, you can’t be playing any better than Liverpool has since the dawn of the new year and it has resulted in the club leaping to within a point of Manchester City in the EPL and into the Champions League quarterfinals.

Over its 11 Premier League games in 2022, Liverpool has conceded more than one xGA just four times and not once has it yielded more than two xGA in the process. In its two-legged fixture with Inter Milan, Liverpool conceded a combined 0.8 xGA overall. The remarkable numbers, led by dominant play from Virgil van Dijk, highlight just how hard it is to break down this side.

If you extend extra resources toward scoring, you leave yourself vulnerable to the pacy, efficient attack operated by Salah, Sadio Mané and Diogo Jota. The Liverpool attack has generated the fifth-most xG in the Champions League and second most in the Premier League.

Manager Jürgen Klopp will also have a full roster at his disposal, which he announced Monday in his pre-match press conference. Klopp said the entire Champions League-eligible squad made the trip to Lisbon.


BJ Cunningham’s UCL Projections


Betting Analysis & Pick

Fading Liverpool is incredibly difficult, but in this instance backing the club away from home at -1.5 is a tough proposition.

While the Reds’ 1.2 xGDiff per road game in the Champions League is ridiculously good and Benfica’s -0.3 home xG differential/game isn’t particularly impressive, scheduling might work a touch against Liverpool.

The English side played this past Saturday, while Benfica comes in with an extra day of rest in addition to the benefit of getting to play on home soil. Furthermore, Benfica has lost just three league games at home, and while Liverpool would dominate that league, it’s still a tough side to play in Lisbon.

And although Liverpool has collected 39 of 45 available points at Anfield in the English top flight, that number dips to 33 of 45 away from home.

Getting 1.5 goals for a home side in the Champions League quarterfinals is an advantageous spot in almost all situations, which I believe that’s the case here despite Liverpool’s continued dominance in world football.

Pick: Benfica +1.5 (-130)

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