Champions League Round of 16 Betting Odds, Bets, Picks, Prediction: Can Manchester City Cruise Past Sporting in UCL Clash? (Feb. 15)
Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester City standout Raheem Sterling, second from right, celebrates his goal.
- Sporting Lisbon hosts Champions League favorite Manchester City in Tuesday's Round of 16 match.
- The Cityzens, who are whopping -350 favorites to win this game outright, will look to take a firm grip on this tie.
- Brett Pund breaks down the contest below and details why he's backing Manchester City cruise to the victory.
Sporting vs. Man City Odds
|Man City Odds||-350|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-185 / +130)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+ | fuboTV|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Manchester City gets back into Champions League action with a trip to Portugal to take on Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday for the first leg of the Round of 16 matchup.
The Cityzens enter the game on great form, boasting an unbeaten run of 12 games in all competitions.
For the home side, Sporting is in second in its domestic league table and will be playing in the knockout stages of the UCL for just the second time in the club’s history.
The only time these teams have met was in the Round of 16 of the Europa League in the 2011-12 season, with the Portuguese club advancing on away goals.
This is a very different Man City side, and I’m expecting the roles to switch in this meeting.
Portuguese Side Sporting Escapes Group
Sporting was able to advance to the knockout stages after finishing second in a group that included Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Beşiktaş.
The Portuguese team only needed nine points to make it through Group C, finishing with a -0.3 xG difference in the process, according to fbref.com.
One name to keep an eye on for this match is key attacker Pedro Gonçalves, who missed the match at the weekend due to injury.
If he is not able to return for this fixture, Sporting is going to miss his 13 goals and nine assists in all competitions this campaign.
Man City Seeking Consistent UCL Form
While City has been very dominant in the Premier League this season, it hasn’t always been convincing in the European competition.
Manager Pep Guardiola’s team lost away from home to Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig. However, the Cityzens still owned a +8.9 expected goals difference thanks to blow-out victories over Club Brugge.
This is also the same Man City squad that has posted a +6.7 xG difference over its last five matches in the EPL.
One reason for the great run of form has been City’s strong defense, which leads the English top-flight in expected goals allowed per 90 minutes (.69), opponents’ shots per match (6.72) and big scoring chances surrendered (13).
Betting Analysis & Pick
When we look at the odds at BetMGM, Man City is listed as the heavy -350 favorite on the moneyline to go with a total of 2.5 goals.
I really only see one winner in this match, but I can’t bet the visitors at that big a price. That said, my best bet for this match is to play City on the three-way handicap line of -1 at -130 odds.
We know how well Guardiola’s side has been playing over the last few months. However, this is mainly a fade of a Sporting team that I feel could be one of the weakest teams remaining in the competition.
Beyond the negative xG difference, the Portuguese team has taken advantage of wins against a Beşiktaş that lost all six of its group stage matches and a Dortmund team without Erling Haaland to advance to the knockout rounds.
When it had to play against the class of the group in Ajax, Sporting lost both games by a combined six goals and lost the xG battle by an expected goals difference of -4.5. The same bet on the Dutch giants in those fixtures would have also cashed.
Once you add in the fact that the key attacking piece could also be missing, I think this is a great spot for Man City to continue its great form with a win by multiple goals.
Pick: Three-Way Handicap — Manchester City -1 (-130)
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