Saturday Champions League Odds & Picks: Barcelona is Way Overvalued Against Napoli
Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Napoli’s Kostantinos Manolas
- Anthony Dabbundo previews Champions League action with betting odds, picks, and predictions for Saturday's match between Barcelona and Napoli.
- Read on to find out why he's backing Napoli against the spread and on the moneyline in an upset bid to advance to the quarterfinal.
Napoli vs. Barcelona Odds
|Time||Saturday, 3 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS Sports Network|
Six of the eight spots in the Champions League quarterfinals have been secured, and the final two places are on the line Saturday as Bayern Munich hosts Chelsea and Barcelona takes on Napoli.
While Bayern is all but into the next round as 3-0 leaders on aggregate, Barcelona settled for a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture and will return home with an away goal and thus a small lead, but one that could be easily erased if Napoli finds a goal.
Before the restart of the domestic campaign, Barcelona was first in La Liga, but anyone who looked beyond the results could see the cracks appearing. Yes, they still have the world’s best player in Lionel Messi, who notched 20 goals and 20 assists again in 2019-20, but they’ve become increasingly reliant on him to generate chances.
The signing of Antoine Griezman has backfired as he hasn’t complimented Messi at all. Luis Suarez is now 33 and Barcelona’s midfield, once known as one of the world’s best, is quickly aging and unable to stop teams from cutting right through them on the counter attack.
Barcelona’s attack has become slow and they dropped points in four matches down the stretch, surrendering the league title to Real Madrid. Even as Madrid scaled back its offense in order to sure up defensively, Madrid still generated more expected goals in La Liga this season, while conceding fewer defensively.
Barcelona will be without Arturo Vidal, who is actually their fourth leading attacker on xG this year and is vital in breaking up play in the midfield.
While Napoli’s star center back Kalidou Koulibaly didn’t play in the first leg in Naples in February, he is expected to start on Saturday for the Italian side.
Napoli has had a more consistent run of fixtures since the restart, which included recent convincing wins over Sassuolo and Lazio. Even though Napoli did lose to Inter Milan, it was a match they won by more than one expected goal. Since the restart, Napoli has shored up its defense, conceding the fewest amount of xG and boasting a top four non-penalty xGD in Serie A.
Gennaro Gatuso’s side has allowed just 0,94 xG per match defensively since the restart. They don’t press much, featuring the fifth-fewest passes per defensive action in Serie A, meaning they’ll be happy to sit off the ball and look to counter.
Napoli will ultimately need at least one goal to have a chance of going through, so I expect this game to open up after a potentially slow start, if you’re looking to bet totals.
My numbers for this match have Barcelona significantly overvalued (-120), and I don’t need to think twice about betting against this disjointed and poor by their standards Barcelona team.
I’ll take Napoli plus the goal here, and even sprinkle some on the moneyline for them to pull the upset at the Camp Nou and advance to the quarterfinal.
The pick: Napoli +1 (-108) , Napoli ML +480