Friday Champions League Betting Odds & Picks: Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich Preview (August 14)

Credit:

A. Hassenstein/Getty Images for FC Bayern. Pictured: Ivan Persisic of FC Bayern Munich.

  • Check out our betting preview for Friday's Champions League match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
  • Bayern remains unbeaten over its last 27 matches, but they'll have to overcome Lionel Messi's timely heroics to extend that streak.
  • Check out Anthony Dabbundo's full game breakdown below, including odds, picks, and predictions for today's match.

Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich Odds

Barcelona odds +250 [BET NOW]
Bayern Munich odds -105 [BET NOW]
Draw odds +295 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 3 (-115/-108) [BET NOW]
Time Friday at 3 p.m. ET
TV CBS All-Access

Odds as of Thursday evening and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


Only two of the six remaining teams in the Champions League have won the competition before: Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The Spanish and German giants will meet in Lisbon, Portugal on Friday for the third spot in the Champions League semifinals.

Bayern thrashed Chelsea over two legs, knocking out the Blues with 3-0 and 4-1 wins away and home, respectively. They are now unbeaten in 27 straight matches — winning 26 of those — and their only draw coming in a goalless match against RB Leipzig in February. Bayern has won all 12 matches since the Bundesliga returned, won the DFB-Pokal cup semifinal and final, and will now look to complete the treble. Over its 12 matches since May 16, Bayern has outscored its opponents 37-10.

Five teams across Europe’s top five leagues finished with an xG difference of +1.0 or better per 90 in 2019-20, per StatsBomb’s xG data: Bayern Munich, Manchester City, RB Leipzig, Atalanta and PSG. Noticeably missing is Barcelona, whose xG difference/90 was just +0.8, compared to Bayern’s +1.4 xG/90.

All five of those other teams qualified for the CL quarterfinals, two are already in the semifinals, and the only team not still in Europe’s elite competition (Atalanta) lost in stoppage time to PSG on Tuesday.

I wrote about Barcelona’s struggles when I picked Napoli +1 against the La Liga runners-up on Saturday. Then, Lionel Messi scored a wonder goal and drew a penalty en route to their 3-1 win. But Barca was far from dominant and struggled to control the midfield for the majority of the match. Frenkie De Jong is a quality midfielder, but the rest of the Barca midfield is aging, failing to cover space and press effectively. Barca created just 0.3 non-penalty xG and allowed 1.57 xGA in its win over Napoli.

The Barcelona attack is overly reliant on Messi, who is their entire attack at times. Meanwhile, Bayern has goals from everywhere. Ten players have scored at least four goals, compared to just five for Barca. In eight Champions League matches this season, Barcelona has generated 1.40 xG per match and allowed 1.25 xG. To contrast, Bayern’s Champions League numbers are 3.03 xGF and 0.76 xGA, respectively. While the brand names may suggest these two teams are about even, their underlying numbers suggest they are anything but.

That’s why I hopped on this line right at the open when Bayern was +120. I like this all the way to -115, and I think Bayern will get multiple goals against the leaky Barca defense.

Bayern Munich is, by my numbers, the world’s best team. While Barcelona will always have a chance with Messi magic and the best player on the pitch, Bayern is better all over the field and especially in the midfield. I expect Die Roten to dominate the game and pummel an aging Barca midfield with their pace and power. Bayern wins going away.

Picks: Bayern Munich (-105), Bayern over 1.5 goals (-140)

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