Real Madrid vs. Manchester City Odds & Picks: How to Bet Wednesday’s Champions League Showdown
Michael Regan/Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester City standouts Phil Foden, left, and Gabriel Jesus.
- Real Madrid welcomes Manchester City to the Spanish capital for the second leg of their Champions League semifinal-round tie.
- The Cityzens, who are +110 moneyline favorites, earned a 4-3 win in the first meeting at Etihad Stadium.
- Jeremy Pond breaks down the match below and delivers his top picks, including a Single Game Parlay with betting value.
Real Madrid vs. Man City Odds
|Real Madrid Odds||+200|
|Man City Odds||+110|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+120 / -175)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||CBS | Paramount+ | fuboTV|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
If the second leg of Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal tie between Real Madrid and Manchester City is anything like the opening confrontation, we’e going to be in for a doozy at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Things were beyond lit in the first clash, with the Premier League side holding on for an electric 4-3 triumph over its La Liga counterpart. Kevin De Bruyne got the Cityzens on the scoreboard in the second minute, giving the hosts a lead it would never relinquish despite Los Blancos’ valiant effort.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 28, 2022
However, some uncharacteristic poor finishing and shoddy defending from Manchester City kept this tie alive heading into this decisive leg. Now, manager Pep Guardiola and the Cityzens must navigate some treacherous waters in the Spanish capital to land their second consecutive trip to the final.
Oddsmakers at BetMGM have listed Manchester City as the +110 moneyline favorite ahead of this clash, with Real Madrid checking in at +200 on the three-way line. The draw sits at long +300 odds, with the total set at 3.5 goals. As for the “To Qualify” odds, the Cityzens are whopping -400 favorites.
So, let’s see where we can find some betting value ahead of this meeting.
Benzema Still Delivering for Real Madrid
Let me preface this by saying I’m not a Real Madrid supporter. I never have been and probably never will be, but what a delight it has been watching Karim Benzema absolutely wreck defenses in Ligue 1 and UCL competition.
The form the French star is in at this moment is great, but the goals he’s scoring from an important — aka clutch — standpoint are unreal. And that only tells part of the tale of what he brings to the recently crowned Spanish champions.
Benzema is the highest-rated player in the entire competition, according to WhoScored.com. Other names in their top 10 include Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski, to name a few of the elite.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) May 3, 2022
One huge boost Los Blancos will get comes via the return of Casemiro, who missed the first leg with a knock. Unfortunately for Real Madrid, manager Carlo Ancelotti won’t have David Alaba at his disposal. The standout defender has reportedly been ruled out for the reverse fixture, leaving the club with some defensive worries.
Although the scoreline from the opening leg depicts a tight, scintillating throwdown, it actually wasn’t that close when it comes to the advanced metrics. Real Madrid got crushed in the expected-goals battle, losing by a 3.08-1.66 margin to Manchester City, according to The xG Philosophy stats.
With that in mind, the Spanish underdog must sort itself out defensively if it’s going to have a chance to bounce another Premier League power like it did to reigning UCL champion Chelsea in the quarterfinal round.
Jesus Leading Way for Man City Offense
When you talk about a juggernaut like Manchester City, it’s easy to forget certain players due to the enormous depth the club has on the pitch. And that’s especially the case on the attack, with huge names like De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, etc. leading the line. You get the point.
However, it’s impossible to overlook what Gabriel Jesus has done on the domestic and European fronts late in the season. The Brazil international has been red-hot (see tweet below), solidifying himself as the most in-form attacker in the Cityzens’ lineup.
And the résumé he has built against Real Madrid (three goals/one assist in three appearances against the club) has to have Jesus feeling confident.
Gabriel Jesus has seven goals in his last five starts 🤙
Manchester City are back on top of the Premier League after beating Leeds 4-0 pic.twitter.com/uon3rxQ7Ul
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 30, 2022
As a team, the Cityzens have put up some gaudy numbers in a run that has seen them go unbeaten in 14 of their last 15 matches overall.
However, against better competition, there have been noticeable defensive cracks. They’ve conceded at least 1.0 xGA in four of their last seven games, which doesn’t include data from their 3-2 loss to Liverpool in an April 16 FA Cup semifinal match at Wembley Stadium.
Like the crew at The xG Philosophy, the folks at fbref.com had similar xG stats for the first contest, albeit a smaller gap in the numbers. Manchester City finished with a 2.5-1.6 xG edge via its data, but StatsBomb noted the Cityzens wound up with a commanding 2.7-0.9 edge in Non-Penalty Expected Goals (NPxG) in the victory.
Bottom line, if Guardiola’s side puts together any kind of performance comparable to its effort last time out against Real Madrid, the Spanish outfit will be in for another long day at the office.
Betting Analysis & Picks
If we’re being perfectly honest, Manchester City probably should have hung five or six goals on Real Madrid in the opening clash. It’s as simple as that.
Unfortunately for the Cityzens, they didn’t. And because of that, Los Blancos have a legitimate shot at sending the second betting choice (+120 odds) to win the title packing in what would be another EPL victim after bouncing Chelsea.
So, I’m expecting something similar to what happened at Etihad Stadium to go down on Spanish soil. I fully expect Benzema and Real Madrid to throw all caution to the wind and get out on the front foot from the start. Because, really… what do Los Blancos have to lose? Nothing.
My colleague, BJ Cunningham, has 3.03 xG projected for this meeting, which falls in line with my forecast of 3.14 xG via my own data and number crunching. And that should tell you where I’m heading with my betting angles.
BJ Cunningham’s UCL Projections
Needless to say, I’m hoping we can hit our best bets here as we did in the first match. We connected on the total clearing 2.75 goals, so we’re going to ride the lightning with two wagers tied to totals for this clash.
I’m backing Manchester City on a play from the Total Goal Bands market via BetMGM and taking it to score 2+ goals at -135 odds. That means two or more goals from the Cityzens is a win. If you’re wagering at DraftKings, this wager would be the equivalent of betting City to clear 1.5 goals at -140 odds. So, we’re getting a slightly better number at BetMGM as of this writing.
I’m also jumping on a Single Game Parlay pairing Both Teams To Score (Yes) with the total clearing 2.5 goals at -125 odds. I don’t see either side getting blanked in what should be another scintillating, wide-open affair.
Picks: Manchester City — Total Goal Bands 2+ (-135)
Single Game Parlay: Both Teams To Score — Yes & Total Over 2.5 Goals (-125)