Sharp Money Backing Ajax Again in Champions League Quarterfinal Against Juventus

Apr 16, 2019 08:05 AM EDT
Credit:

Reuters.

  • Juventus are aiming for their third Champions League semifinal in five years though they still have plenty of work to do against Ajax on Tuesday (3 p.m. ET on fuboTV).
  • The clubs played to 1-1 draw in the opening leg of the quarterfinal in Amsterdam despite Ajax being the better team for most of the match.
  • A lopsided proportion of public bets is backing a Juventus victory but sharp money has jumped on Ajax again.

Ajax have already pulled off a superb comeback over Real Madrid in this year’s Round of 16 and they’ll have the chance to pull off another giant-killing against Juventus in the quarterfinals.

Judging by their play in the first leg, there’s plenty of reason to believe Ajax can do it again.

Juventus-Ajax Odds to Advance

Juventus are aiming for their third semifinal in five seasons while Ajax haven’t appeared in the final four since 1996-97.

Ajax may have been the better side in the first leg, but Juve earned a positive result with a draw and away goal.

The betting market has certainly taken notice of Ajax’s play and their odds to advance have improved from +325 to +245 as they head on the road for the return leg in Turin.

Injuries and Suspensions

Ajax: M Frenkie de Jong (questionable), D Nicolas Tagliafico (out, suspension), M Carel Eiting (out)

Juventus: M Emre Can (probable), F Mario Mandzukic (out), D Giorgio Chiellini (out), M Juan Cuadrado (out)

Second Leg Betting Breakdown

Smart money was all over Ajax in the first leg and it’s back for the second leg, too.

Sharp bettors immediately pounced on Ajax when odds opened at respected sportsbooks, quickly causing movement from +485 to +440 within minutes. Since then, the moneyline has continued to drop into the +400 range.

Unfortunately for Ajax, they’re sweating the availability of Frenkie de Jong as he’s a huge question mark due to a hamstring injury he suffered over the weekend. He was arguably the best player on the pitch for either team in the opening leg. The Dutch side will also have to make due without Nicolas Taglafico (yellow card accumulation) on defense.

Ajax may come to regret their missed chances from the first leg at home but they’ll still bring a ton of confidence to Italy.

The vast majority of the public doesn’t envision an upset on Tuesday and more than 80% of the ticket wagers has come in on Juventus to win outright. Casual bettors even took them at -160 and -150, and now that they’re down to -130 there’s no stopping them.

It should be mentioned that even though all the smart money is on Ajax so far, sharp bettors could still swoop in on Juventus if odds continue to drop to the right price. But as of now, this is a clear case of reverse-line movement and Pros vs. Joes, whichever you prefer to call it.

I’m optimistic about Ajax’s chances to get a result and will be taking the safer route with their goal-line of +0.5 at plus-money.

Value Play

  • Ajax +0.5 (+125)

Updated Champions League Title Odds

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