Tottenham-Ajax Champions League Semifinal Betting Preview, Odds: Smart Money on Ajax Yet Again
VI-Images / Tom Bode Multimedia via HH. Pictured: Ajax players celebrating another victory
- Tottenham and Ajax will meet in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals on Tuesday, April 30th at 3 p.m. ET in London, England.
- Both clubs opened with identical -110 odds to advance, but Ajax are now the -125 favorites to reach the final.
- Smart money has hit Ajax yet again after their convincing upsets against Real Madrid (round of 16) and Juventus (quarterfinals).
Spurs have reached the Champions League semifinals just once in their history while Ajax have reached this stage eight times, winning the competition on four occasions. Their most recent UCL trophy came in 1994-95 when they defeated AC Milan in the finals.
This will be the first meeting between Tottenham and Ajax since the opening round of the 1981-82 Cup Winners’ Cup. Spurs won both matches in that series, 3-0 and 3-1, but that obviously means nothing for this season’s matchup.
How They Got Here
Tottenham easily handled Dortmund in the Round of 16 and then progressed past Man City in the quarterfinals after a wild second leg in Manchester.
In that match, Tottenham and Man City combined for the fastest five goals in Champions League history (21 minutes into the game).
Spurs eventually lost, 4-3, but still advanced on the away goals aggregate since they won the first leg at home, 1-0.
Meanwhile, Ajax upset two behemoths Real Madrid and Juventus in convincing fashion to reach this stage. Their odds to win the title were as high as 250-1 in the midst of a round of 16 deficit and still at 40-1 in the quarterfinal round.
They’ve got an incredibly talented squad led by players like Frenkie de Jong, Hakim Ziyech and Dusan Tadic, and a roster with an average age nearly three years younger than Tottenham. The Amsterdam club has lost just once in their last sixteen European fixtures.
The Champions League semifinal first leg is set for Tuesday, April 30th at Tottenham and the return leg will be played on Wednesday, May 8th at Ajax.
Odds to Advance to Final
Open: Tottenham -110, Ajax -110
Current: Tottenham +105, Ajax -125
First Leg Odds (at Tottenham)
Open: Tottenham +125, Ajax +230, Draw +225
Current: Tottenham +155, Ajax +195, Draw +240
Injuries and Suspensions
Heung-min Son – OUT (yellow card suspension)
Harry Kane – OUT (ankle)
Serge Aurier – OUT (hamstring)
Harry Wink – DOUBTFUL (groin)
Jan Vertonghen – DOUBTFUL (thigh)
Erik Lamela – DOUBTFUL (hamstring)
Moussa Sissoko – QUESTIONABLE (groin)
Carel Eiting – OUT (knee)
Noussair Mazraoui – DOUBTFUL (ankle)
Both teams opened -110 to reach the final but sharp money has hit Ajax yet again this tournament, shifting their odds to -125. Tottenham are now available at +105 to advance which is a 3.6% change in implied probability.
The moneylines for the second leg have been on the move as well. Sportsbooks initially offered Ajax in the +240 range but have dropped down to +195, while Spurs have worsened from +125 to +155.
Ajax deploy a 4-3-3 formation and love pressuring high up the field. Their attacking mindset and constant barrage on opponents have been too much for Real Madrid and Juventus to handle over the course of two legs, and bettors believe they can punish Tottenham, too.
Spurs are obviously no pushovers, though, and they proved they could win in different ways against Manchester City last round. They were able to absorb pressure in the first leg, an impressive 1-0 victory, and then scored three away goals in the return leg to propel them into the semifinals.
Nearly 60% of public bettors are still banking on Tottenham to earn a win in the first leg but the market clearly isn’t worried about those tickets. Instead, sportsbooks have adjusted heavily toward Ajax despite the Dutch side receiving less than 40% of the bets.
With an onslaught of sharp action on Ajax, odds could continue to fall until kickoff on Tuesday.
In the totals market, we’ve monitored smart bets on the under to move the over/under from 2.75 to 2.5.
If Tottenham were fully healthy then this may be a different story, I just don’t think they can overcome the loss of their two best players and a number of key midfield pieces. I scooped up Ajax early on but still love the value at any number above +170 for the first leg.
First Leg Value Play
- Ajax (+200) at Tottenham