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Champions League Odds: Tuesday Best Bets, Including Liverpool-Ajax (September 13)

Champions League Odds: Tuesday Best Bets, Including Liverpool-Ajax (September 13) article feature image
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Pictured: Thiago Alcantara. Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images.

The Champions League rolls on with the second group stage matchweek set to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Our team of soccer analysts — BJ Cunningham, Nick Hennion and Anthony Dabbundo — have derived their best bets from the first day of play, and we’ve compiled those picks below.

Read on for the wagers to make from a full slate of Champions League odds.

Our Tuesday Champions League Best Bets

Liverpool vs. Ajax

Liverpool Odds -180
Ajax Odds +420
Draw +360
Over/Under 3.5 (-104 / -118)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Cunningham: Liverpool has gotten off to a slow start based on the results, but expected goals (xG) and other metrics tell a different story.

Through six Premier League matches, Liverpool is at +5.5 xGD (yes, I know 3.3 of that is the 9-0 win over Bournemouth), and they will be getting Thiago back in the lineup, which is massive for the Reds. Last season they were at 1.43 xGA without him in the lineup, but the lineup only conceded 0.66 xGA with him.

Listen, Ajax crushed Rangers like a grape in their first match and made all of us look stupid, but when is the last time Ajax had to face a top-tier club? You’d have to go back two years ago when they were in a group with Liverpool.

Liverpool beat them in both meetings, winning both meetings on xG, and this was when both Van Dijk and Thiago were hurt.

In the first meeting at Ajax, Liverpool closed at -145. Now, the Reds are -185 at home with a better roster and a rest advantage, and Ajax have gotten significantly worse, losing Antony, Lisandro Martinez, Ryan Gravenberch and Sébastien Haller, along with manager Erik ten Hag.

Pick: Liverpool -1 (-124)

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Atletico Madrid

Leverkusen Odds -425
Atletico Odds +850
Draw +500
Over/Under 2.5 (-105 / -115)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Hennion: Will I ultimately hate myself for this play? Probably. But it makes too much sense in my opinion, and I believe you’re getting a bargain price.

The key element here, of course, is the performance of the Atletico defense. In the Bundesliga, only four teams have conceded more big scoring chances than the Leverkusen defense, which has also failed to keep a deserved clean sheet so far this season.

Seeing as I power rate the Leverkusen defense behind a Porto unit that conceded one big chance to Atletico in Matchweek 1, I’m confident you see the visitors get on the scoresheet at least once.

Beyond that, this is simultaneously an Atletico defense that is — how shall I say this nicely — average. Manager Diego Simeone’s side sits 11th in La Liga in big scoring chances against and is due for some negative defensive regression in the Spanish top-flight (four goals against on 10 big chances).

On the flip-side, Leverkusen could see some positive offensive regression soon. Through seven Bundesliga and Champions League matches, the Werkself have scored eight goals on 17 big scoring chances. Plus, only three Bundesliga teams outpace them in terms of home big scoring chances.

Pick: Both Teams to Score — Yes (-135)

Porto vs. Club Brugge

Porto Odds -270
Brugge Odds +255
Draw +330
Over/Under 2.5 (-155 / +105)
Day | Time Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dabbundo: Porto had a crazy finish in their first match in the Champions League after three goals were scored in stoppage time of a 2-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Now, Porto return home to take on Club Brugge. Dating back to last season, Porto have been one of the better defenses in Europe, and they have kept four clean sheets in six matches in Portugal’s domestic league. The attack massively over-performed underlying numbers in Portugal last season ,and they remain a prime attacking regression candidate this season.

Their totals have often been a bit inflated because of unsustainably good finishing. The total here is too high given that Brugge produced just 0.5 xG at home against a much worse Leverkusen defense.

Porto’s defense conceded just two penalty area shots, 0.7 xGA and two deep completions to Atletico on the road. It’s going to be very difficult for Brugge to create much of anything on the road in this match, especially given that their best attacking midfielder — Charles de Ketelaere — left for Milan in the summer.

Brugge actually had an encouraging defensive result as Leverkusen managed just 1.0 xG despite trailing the majority of the game. Brugge conceded plenty of possession and space and is likely to do that again on Tuesday, but they were simply effective at preventing clear scoring chances. The total should be a flat 2.5, and thus I will take the extra quarter goal at under 2.75 at -120 or better on the Asian Total.

Pick: Under 2.75 (-115)

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