Champions League Round of 16 Odds, Bets, Picks, Prediction: PSG vs. Real Madrid Betting Preview (Feb. 15)
Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Paris Saint-Germain stars Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi celebrate with teammates.
- Global heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid square off in Tuesday's Champions League showdown at Parc des Princes in the French capital.
- Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe lead the favored Ligue 1 side against their La Liga counterpart, which welcomes striker Karim Benzema back in the fold.
- Jeremy Pond breaks down this first-class affair below and details why he's backing a Single Game Parlay in this Round of 16 match.
PSG vs. Real Madrid Odds
|Real Madrid Odds||+250|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-165 / +115)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||CBS | Paramount+ | fuboTV|
|Odds updated as of Tuesday afternoon via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Global heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid square off in Tuesday’s featured Champions League Round of 16 match, highlighting the opening card of the knockout stage in the European soccer competition.
The first leg of this two-game matchup isn’t short of star power, with some of the world’s finest players slated to take the Parc des Princes pitch in the French capital.
Led by Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé, the Parisians are hopeful they can draw first blood in this much-anticipated affair to grab an edge ahead of the second clash set for March 9 at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid.
Despite being obvious road underdogs, Los Blancos got a huge boost — from both mental and tactical perspectives — when they announced striker Karim Benzema would be available after missing matches with an injury.
At this time tomorrow… ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/BevaooX5Up
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 14, 2022
Messi and his teammates reached this point of the showcase event following their second-place finish in the Group A quartet, winding up a point behind Manchester City in the table. PSG went 3-1-2 (W-L-D) in its six matches, scoring 13 goals and conceding a mediocre eight goals in the process.
As for Real Madrid, the La Liga outfit cruised to first in Group D with a 5-1-0 mark. Los Blancos’ lone blemish came via a shocking 2-1 defeat against European minnow FC Sheriff in the Sept. 28 stunner on home soil.
PSG enter this showdown as solid -105 moneyline favorites against their Spanish counterparts, who are currently sitting at +250 on the three-way line. Oddsmakers have put the chances of a draw happening at +250 odds.
Let’s take a look at these sides and see where we can find some betting value.
Defensive Mediocrity Could Be Issue for PSG
This really is an interesting match for the PSG, particularly on the personnel side of this confrontation.
Neymar, who has been sidelined with an injury since November, is back in the fold for the Parisians. The Brazilian international’s return should see him start on the left wing of their 4-3-3 formation, giving manager Mauricio Pochettino another key element back in his loaded arsenal.
This was supposed to be a long-awaited chance for veteran center back Sergio Ramos to face the club he plied his trade with for 16 years before his summer arrival in Madrid. However, the Spanish international will miss out after suffering a calf injury.
And then there’s Mbappe, whose well-known looming move to Real Madrid via free transfer has created a touchy situation inside the French juggernaut. The PSG talisman looked great last time out, though, when he buried the winner three minutes into stoppage time to give the club a 1-0 win against Rennes.
However, despite all that PSG firepower, their defense was anything but top notch in the group stage. The Parisians conceded those eight goals, but allowed 10.7 xGA to show they were quite fortunate on the defensive side.
Benzema Should Give Real Madrid Huge Boost
Needless to say, Benzema getting the green light in this opening leg is a massive bonus for Los Blancos.
The French star, who’s as lethal as any striker in the world, will likely start for manager Carlo Ancelotti. If he does, he’ll feature up top with Vinícius Júnior in the 4-3-3 tactical approach, with Rodrygo or Marco Asensio on the right wing.
And despite that surprise defeat against FC Sheriff in the second game of the group stage, Real Madrid’s overall body of work through six matches was solid. Los Blancos wound up with 11.7 xG, but the defensive effort was their bread and butter, leading to only 5.9 xGA, according to fbref.com.
🎙️ @Benzema: "I feel good."#UCL pic.twitter.com/6LnYXab70t
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) February 14, 2022
Now, having to face an offensive juggernaut like PSG is a whole lot different than playing Sheriff, Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk and even Inter Milan. The stingy Spanish side notched 1-0 and 2-0 shutout wins over the Serie A stalwart, which is sitting a point behind AC Milan in the Italian top flight.
And to say Real Madrid have been in top form in the defensive third leading up to this point would be an understatement. Ancelotti’s men are unbeaten in eight of their last nine matches overall, plus they’ve held the opposition to 0.9 xGA or less in nine of their last 13 games combined in UCL and La Liga play.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This showdown really has the makings of being an unbelievable match. You have some of the most elite players on both sides of the pitch, which makes it an extremely difficult tussle to handicap.
However, the one bet I firmly agree with the oddsmakers on is Both Teams To Score (Yes) in this affair. The problem with that wager, though, is the odds have way too much juice attached to it for my liking. You’re currently getting -175 at DraftKings, but that number is even bigger (-185) at BetMGM for the same bet.
As for the total, I like it to clear 2.5 goals since the last five meetings between these sides have finished with at least thee goals. However, we’re saddled with not-so-tasty -165 odds. Fellow analyst BJ Cunningham, one of my esteemed Action Network colleagues, is in the same camp when it comes to the total.
*Courtesy of BJ Cunningham/The Action Network
So, what do you do when you have two bets you like that simply aren’t playable prior to kickoff? You turn to the Single Game Parlay, which has become my new favorite soccer wager.
That said, I’m backing the SGP pairing Both Teams to Score (Yes) with the combined total staying under 4.5 goals at solid +120 odds as my top pick. The Parisians have scored at least one goal in 12 of their last 14 games overall, but most importantly, Los Blancos have won their last four UCL games and scored at least two goals in each of those victories.
If you’re feeling cautious and looking for a little more protection, the same parlay using the total staying under 5.5 goals at -120 odds is doable as well.
Pick: Single Game Parlay — Both Teams To Score (Yes) & Total Under 4.5 Combined Goals (+120)
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