Lazio vs. Bayern Munich Tuesday Champions League Odds, Picks & Predictions: Expect Lazio to Get on the Board (Feb. 23)
Sportinfoto/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Ciro Immobile.
- Bayern Munich continues its defense of the Champions League crown in the Round of 16 against Lazio.
- The Bavarians have not been the unstoppable force they ended last season as, meaning Lazio could present some problems.
- Anthony Dabbundo explains why he's going with the Italian side to break down a suspect Bayern Munich backline below.
Lazio vs. Bayern Munich Odds
|Bayern Munich Odds||-127|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday afternoon and via DraftKings.|
Champions League title holders Bayern Munich travel to Rome on Tuesday to take on Lazio in the first of two legs of the Round of 16.
Bayern has been in shaky league form of late and seen its Bundesliga lead dwindle, while Lazio has vaulted up the table and into fifth in Serie A.
Bayern is absolutely ripe for an upset in the Champions League, but Lazio isn’t really the team quality or profile that could pull this off over 180 minutes home and away. Lazio’s expected goal numbers in Serie A are very mediocre, ranking eighth in non-penalty expected goal difference (NPxGD), according to Understat.
Lazio won’t press Bayern based on their No. 10 rank in passes per defensive action in Serie A. They’ll sit deep, look to absorb pressure and counter. But Lazio’s defense hasn’t been great either. They are seventh in expected goals allowed (xGA) and seventh at preventing opponents from getting into their penalty area.
Lazio are used to playing in their own defensive half, where they are fifth in touches in their own penalty area and fourth in their own defensive third in Serie A.
This matchup comes down to how well the Roman side can absorb the pressure from Bayern’s press. If Lazio can avoid getting turned over high up the pitch and can get playmaker Luis Alberto on the ball with time and space, he can pick the Bayern defense apart. Alberto ranks third in Serie A in passes into the penalty area and fourth in total progressive passes.
Underlying numbers at this time last year tell a very different story of Bayern Munich than they do at this point in 2020-21. Entering the Champions League knockouts last year, Bayern had amassed a +1.57 NPxGD per 90 minutes through 22 Bundesliga matches
At this point in the Champions League last season, Bayern thrashed Chelsea over two legs and steamrolled its way to European glory and the Bundesliga title.
This year’s Bayern team — even though it features most of the same players — has not come close to that level of performance. Bayern is +0.75 NPxG per 90 through 22 league matches.
The main reason is the Bavarians’ defense. Even average to bad Bundesliga sides have generated big scoring chances against Bayern.
Because of their high line, Bayern have been exposed when their press hasn’t been as effective. Perhaps because of the tight fixture list and fatigue due to COVID-19 or the lack of freshening in the overall squad, Bayern is ninth of 18 Bundesliga teams in xGA.
In the group stage, Bayern had no problem creating chances, but they conceded at an alarming rate given the overall strengths of their group. Bayern allowed 1.56 xGA per match in the five matches in which their normal starting lineup played. Their defensive issues won’t be fixed overnight, and Lazio will have plenty of chances to get in behind the German powerhouse’s backline.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Lazio should be able to find some success if they’re able to get Alberto on the ball and look to play balls over the top to prolific striker Ciro Immobile. Bayern’s defense hasn’t been nearly good enough to trust them, so Lazio should be able to score in this game.
The number has moved out of playing range on Lazio +1 (need -125 or better) but I’ll play Lazio to get at least one goal before halftime and create plenty of chances against a suspect Bayern defense.
Pick: Lazio 1H Over 0.5 goals (+125) or Lazio Over 1 goal (-140)