Champions League Tuesday Preview: Will Tottenham Upset Barcelona at Camp Nou?
Glyn Kirk – Getty Images. Pictured: Barcelona’s Leo Messi dribbling past Tottenham defenders
- The group stage of the 2018-19 Champions League concludes on Tuesday and Wednesday and there are still a few spots in the knockout round to be determined.
- In Group B, Tottenham travel to Barcelona in what's essentially a must-win match, and Spurs are +215 underdogs to pull off the upset.
- Both spots in Group C are still up for grabs with PSG, Liverpool and Napoli all vying for No. 1 and No. 2.
Heading into the final group stage matches, there are still four spots left in the knockout round. Here are their current odds to advance:
Group B: Inter Milan (-210) or Tottenham (+160)
Group C: Two of PSG (-2500), Napoli (-150), Liverpool (-110)
Group D: Lyon (-150) or Shakhtar Donetsk (+120)
Clubs that have advanced to the knockout round are: Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Roma, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, Porto, Schalke.
There’s also plenty at stake for the rest of the clubs with all eight third-place teams automatically qualifying for the Europa League tournament. With all that taken into consideration, I’ve analyzed the betting market and picked out two value plays to make for Tuesday’s matches.
Champions League Season Record: 10-10-1 for +0.92 units
Porto at Galatasaray (12:55 p.m. ET on TNT)
Moneylines: Porto +235, Galatasaray +135, Draw +230
Total: 2.5 (o-120)
Porto are the Group D winners but will be looking to stay undefeated in the group stage. Galatasaray are only playing for a spot in the Europa League as they’ve officially been eliminated from the Champions League. They enter Tuesday a point ahead of Lokomotiv Moscow for third place in Group D.
At home, Galatasaray are the small “favorites” at +135 odds and attracting more than half the betting tickets. They’ll have plenty of motivation to get the win and could be facing a weakened Porto lineup. Nevertheless, I’d be passing on this game entirely.
Lokomotiv Moscow at Schalke (12:55 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Lokomotiv +280, Schalke +110, Draw +255
Total: 2.5 (u-119)
In the other Group D match, Schalke are small home favorites and they’ve already secured the second place in the group. Lokomotiv Moscow are a point behind Galatasaray and ultimately need to win for a chance at a Europa League spot.
Public bets have been fairly spread out on Schalke, Galatasaray and the draw, and I don’t see much value anywhere on the moneyline here either.
The total has attracted some sharp action on the under (2.5), moving the juice from -105 to -120. This could be shaping up to be a 1-0 or 1-1 result.
PSV at Inter Milan (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: PSV +800, Inter -280, Draw +435
Total: 3 (o-120)
In one of the most important matches of the day, public bettors are taking a shot on PSV as hefty +800 road underdogs.
This comes as a surprise to me since Inter Milan have the upper hand to advance from Group B and home-field advantage. Usually in these spots, public bettors will hammer the favorite that needs to win, but that’s not the case here.
Even at -280 odds, I still think there’s a bit of value on the Inter Milan moneyline from a contrarian standpoint. They finally get some relief after playing Tottenham, Roma and Juventus in consecutive games, and will be looking to pounce on PSV early. Once Inter get on the scoresheet, this could turn into a romp.
Tottenham at Barcelona (3 p.m. ET on TNT)
Moneylines: Tottenham +217, Barcelona +112, Draw +318
Total: 3 (o-130)
Barcelona have already secured the top spot in Group B but Spurs ultimately need to win for a chance at the next round. Tottenham are tied with Inter Milan with seven points apiece and listed at +160 just to advance to the knockout round.
It’s unknown how strong Barcelona’s starting lineup will be, which means stars like Leo Messi could be rested. Because of that, Spurs have moved from +300 to +217 to earn the win in Barcelona.
Tottenham have been very impressive in the Champions League this season despite not getting the best results, and I wouldn’t put it past the North London club springing an upset in Spain. Only 15% of bettors are willing to take a small risk on Spurs which makes them a very enticing contrarian angle.
PSG at Red Star Belgrade (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: PSG -600, Red Star +1580, Draw +680
Total: 3.5 (u-140)
Group C comprises of the best games to track on Tuesday with the top two spots still in play, as well as third-place for the Europa League.
A win by PSG seals a spot in the Champions League knockout round, while a draw or loss means they could be eliminated.
For Red Star Belgrade, a win could potentially lift them into a Europa League spot. They’ve already earned a +1500 upset in the group stage just last month against Liverpool, so it’s not crazy to think they could do it again, especially at home.
With that said, I won’t be going crazy and will be laying off instead.
Napoli at Liverpool (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Napoli +418, Liverpool -158, Draw +345
Total: 3 (o-120)
Napoli currently sit in pole position in Group C but they face the longest odds in the final group match at +418 (19.3% implied win probability). Liverpool are on the outside looking in, but the -158 moneyline suggests they’ve got >60% chance of victory against Napoli.
I’ve continued to be perplexed by public betting patterns this week, and would have predicted a good portion of wagers placed on Napoli. However, Liverpool have received more than 80% of moneyline bets and 70% of spread bets which will keep me away from betting the Reds.
Atlético Madrid at Club Brugge (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Atlético -155, Brugge +475, Draw +300
Total: 2.5 (u-115)
Atlético Madrid can seal the first position in Group A with a victory at Club Brugge, while the home side is already locked into a Europa League berth.
All the line movement has come in on Atlético around the betting market, and I don’t see any reason to fade them. They’ve conceded just two goals in their last five matches while earning shutouts in the Champions League, Copa del Rey and La Liga in that span.
Even at a price of -155, I’d be willing to bet them straight up or in a moneyline parlay.
Dortmund at Monaco (3 p.m. ET)
Moneylines: Dortmund -125, Monaco +350, Draw +295
Total: 3 (u-120)
It’s been an incredibly disappointing season for Monaco in all competitions and they’ll finish last in Group A no matter what happens Monday.
Meanwhile, Dortmund have qualified for the knockout round and are hoping to somehow surpass Atletico Madrid for top spot. They’ve received nearly 65% of moneyline bets as -125 favorites, but this feels like the type of game that Monaco will finally show up for without any pressure. I’d be careful believing that Dortmund are an automatic win here.
- Inter Milan / Atlético Madrid parlay (+125)