PSG vs. Bayern Munich Odds, Pick | Champions League Betting Preview (Tuesday, Feb. 14)
Xinhua News Agency/Getty. Pictured: Lionel Messi.
PSG vs. Bayern Munich Odds
Bayern Munich Odds
|Over/Under||3.5 (+140 / -172)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-260 / +192)|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
The Champions League returns from its three-month hiatus on Tuesday as the knockout stage of Europe’s premier competition begins.
Two soccer heavyweights will be facing off against one another in the opening match. Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are the second and third most-favored teams to lift the trophy in June, but they’ll need to get through one another if they want a chance at European glory.
These two sides have plenty of recent history against one another after Bayern beat PSG 1-0 in the Champions League final in 2020 and PSG enacted revenge in the 2021 quarterfinals over two legs. PSG enter the Champions League knockout stage with quite a bit of injury uncertainty to its top players.
Lionel Messi is a question mark for this match, as is Kylian Mbappé. The Argentine star is more likely to play based on manager Christophe Galtier’s comments, but Mbappé likely will not feature on Tuesday.
The injuries on both sides for this fixture suggest that both managers in the matchup will be playing not to lose in this first tie, and that should create a game state where the total is inflated.
PSG Fully Focused on Champions League Success
PSG may have lost on Saturday at Monaco, but Galtier played a lineup that clearly had one eye on Tuesday’s fixture vs. Bayern. Sergio Ramos will return to the defense to partner alongside Marquinhos, while both Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes are expected to start at full back after missing the Sunday match.
Although PSG conceded 3 xG on the road and were handled in a 3-1 defeat, I take nothing away from that match when you consider the rotations made and the terrible situational spot between a cup defeat to Marseille and Tuesday’s match.
The midfield will also get a huge boost with the return of Marco Verratti from injury. He’s likely not able to play a full 90, but his ball winning and press resistance in the midfield is a major key for preventing Bayern from overrunning the midfield and generating easy transition opportunities against them.
As much as PSG advanced comfortably out of the CL group stage, the underlying performances were not that of an attacking juggernaut. Even with Mbappé in the lineup, PSG managed 1.5, 1.0, 1.2 and 0.5 xG in four matches against Benfica and Juventus — the two other top European teams in the group stage.
Galtier has done an excellent job of fixing the defensive issues that did persist at times under Mauricio Pochettino. PSG will concede plenty of low quality shots and trust that Gianluigi Donnarumma will use his plus shot-stopping to keep those low quality chances out. They rank first in France in big scoring chances allowed and defend the penalty area very well.
Bayern Munich Showing Serious Weaknesses
Bayern Munich easily dispatched of Bochum at the weekend to maintain their position at the top of the German Bundesliga, but there are cracks in the Bayern armor when you look at their underlying statistical profile.
The biggest problem for Bayern is declining shot quality this season. It’s all about the loss of Robert Lewandowski. Outside of the striker position, there’s no more talented attack in all of Europe. Jamal Musiala is a budding megastar, Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry provide world class production from wide and Thomas Muller continues to be a plus attacking midfielder.
But, the loss of Lewandowski means that Bayern’s average shot distance length is higher. Their xG per shot is lower, they create fewer big scoring chances and the attack has struggled when facing better defenses.
Bayern produced just 1.7 xG combined in two matches against Dortmund and Leipzig in the Bundesliga. They’ve had more draws in Germany this year than normal — some of it is variance but part of it is regression from losing Lewandowski.
Bayern will have Joshua Kimmich back for this match to partner in the midfield with Leon Goretzka. There’s legitimate concerns about those two as a defensive midfield against teams that are elite in transition. We saw it last year against Villarreal and there were warning signs in their Bundesliga underlying numbers. The same signals are there this season as a potential Bayern landmine.
Julian Nagelsmann is one of the best tacticians in the world and his problem of defending PSG in transition is a lot easier without Mbappé. There could be goals galore and defensive breakdowns in the second leg if both sides press too much, but I expect a more cautious approach in the first leg.
PSG vs. Bayern Munich Pick
The market opened this at PSG +115 on the three-way money line, but the injuries to Mbappé and Messi moved Bayern back to a road favorite in the matchup. Since the Messi injury news has come back positive again, the market has responded to make PSG the smallest of home favorites once again.
I’m not targeting a side in this matchup because it is a true coin flip game in Paris. Bayern are the better team but they are away from home against a dangerous PSG transition team. Bayern’s attack has struggled a bit coming out of the World Cup break and both attacks are generally overvalued in the betting market to begin with.
With Galtier and Nagelsmann willing to play out a stalemate due to injuries and game theory, that presents value on the under.
You could see this total move up as we get closer to kickoff, especially after Messi gets announced in. My projections make this total right at 3 and so under 3.25 or better is enough for me to bet on.
It could be worth waiting to see if under 3.5 becomes less juiced once again before the match begins.
Pick: Under 3.25 (-115)
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