Man City vs Real Madrid Prop Picks, Predictions For Champions League Semi
Fran Santiago/Getty. Pictured: Karim Benzema.
It’s all to play for in leg two of the Champions League semi between Manchester City and Real Madrid.
We went 0-for-3 in the first leg of the semifinals on prop bets, but we were one Real Madrid goal after halftime away from two of them cashing for a very hefty return.
I’ll blame City and Brazil national team goalkeeper Ederson for that mostly. I believe that the reads were still good – which means our luck could very well come around in this fixture.
Here are my three top prop plays for Wednesday’s enormous game.
Man City vs Real Madrid Props
2nd Half Over 1.5 (-120 via Caesars)
After a relatively cagey first leg — by these teams’ standards at least — the odds on total goals have come down. However, that may be an error on the market’s part.
With City as the more ball-dominant side of these two, we have the recipe for a scenario where the likelihood of more goals was always in Manchester than in Madrid, particularly after halftime. That has proven true given each side’s record against comparable foes this season.
City have played five home UCL games and Madrid five away, and there have been at least two goals scored in every second half.
If you zoom out to include games in other competitions against this year’s UCL entrants, the trend still holds up in 15 out of 18 games. Add City’s two games at home to Arsenal — who weren’t in UCL this year but are the second-best team in England — and it’s 16 out of 20.
Plus, if there is ever a time in a two-leg tie when game circumstances dictate a greater likelihood of goals, it’s the second half of the second leg, particularly if one team is holding the lead.
The -120 odds and implied 54.5% probability are too low to pass on.
Both Teams To Score + No Draw (+130 via DraftKings)
With the moneyline leaning heavily in City’s favor and the forecast for something short of a total shootout, it’s a little hard for bookmakers to guard against the likelihood both teams will find a goal in a game that finishes with a winner.
I like playing both teams to score and no draw at +130 odds and an implied 43.5% probability.
That wager has cashed exactly 50% of the time in City’s home games and Madrid’s away games against UCL-level opposition. You’d expect that to be under-representative of the likelihood here, since each attack is arguably the most difficult to contain that the other defense has faced.
You could argue that makes a draw here more likely as well. I don’t quite see it that way, because I see a market on total goals is skewing lower than it should.
Karim Benzema – Anytime Goalscorer (+220 via PointsBet)
Past the peak of his career, the 35-year old Karim Benzema continues to produce goals both from the penalty spot and in open play for Real Madrid. This season he’s actually scoring at a higher rate when he travels.
The Frenchman has 13 goals in 16 away matches across all competitions (aside from the France national team) this season, against 16 in 22 home games. He has also found the net in 50% of the games he has played on the road against slightly under 50% of those at home.
That makes intuitive sense for a player who is probably afforded more space when playing on the road against an opponent under pressure to do some attacking themselves. His athleticism has diminished some, but not his ruthlessness in space.
It also hasn’t waned against higher-level foes. He scored in 2 of 4 UCL appearances away — including that 5-2 romp at Anfield. Benzema also had a hat trick at Barcelona in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey semifinals.
I think you’ve got to play him as an anytime goalscorer here at +220 odds and an implied 33.3% against a City team that is not their league’s best defensive club, despite being atop the table.
As always with goal scorers, feel free to wait for lineups, but you might not get the same price.
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