Champions League Betting Odds & Picks: Porto vs. Juventus (Wednesday, Feb. 17)
Andrea Staccioli/LightRocket via Getty Images. Pictured: Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Juventus might be up against it in Serie A this season, but that won't dampen their pursuit of a Champions League title.
- Cristiano Ronaldo's side takes its next step toward a potential championship Wednesday with its match against Porto.
- Matt Trebby breaks down the affair and explains why he backs Juventus to shine bright below.
Porto vs. Juventus Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+125 /-157)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS All Access|
Every season, Juventus is happy to win Serie A. However, the Turin side’s biggest dreams are in the Champions League.
After a convincing win in Barcelona to end play in the group stage, Juventus’ first matchup in the knockout phase of the competition comes against FC Porto, the reigning champion of Portugal’s Primeira Liga.
This is a fantastic matchup for Juventus, so let’s dig in to figure out how to back the Italian powerhouse in the betting markets:
The Portuguese champion look unlikely to retain their league crown this season, and draws in its last three league games are a big reason why. Sporting Lisbon also has dropped just six points through 18 games, putting them seven clear of Porto with a game in hand.
Prior to the three consecutive draws, Porto won nine of 10 league fixtures and climbed within a point of Sporting.
However, Porto was dealt a pair of blows toward the end of the “summer” transfer window, losing midfielder Danilo Pereira to Paris Saint-Germain and Alex Telles to Manchester United.
Porto will likely start the experienced pair of Mateus Uribe and Sergio Oliveira in the midfield, with Mexico international Jesus Corona out on the right wing.
Assuming both are fit, Porto will likely line up with Mehdi Taremi and Moussa Marega as its two strikers. Taremi is the club’s leading scorer this season with 10 goals through 19 league games (12 starts), with Marega is second in non-penalty goals with five in his account.
The most intriguing matchup for Porto against Juventus, beyond a shadow of a doubt, will be former Real Madrid teammates Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo facing off.
The pair, who star for Portugal’s national team, are extremely familiar with one another, and there’s little question the 37-year-old defender will try to get underneath Ronaldo’s skin throughout the match.
The Italian side was unlucky to concede a questionable first-half penalty Saturday against Napoli, after which the host was fortunate to keep a clean sheet. Juventus won the XG battle by a 2.01-1.06 margin, but the Bianconeri couldn’t find the back of the net.
Now, Juventus trails Inter Milan by eight points in the race for the Scudetto with a game in hand.
Prior to the defeat to Napoli, Juventus was making an impressive charge up the Serie A table. Manager Andrea Pirlo’s side won six of its first seven league games in 2021, although the one blemish was a defeat was against Inter Milan.
With the league looking like an uphill battle, it’s safe to assume Juventus’ focus will be — and has been in recent years — on achieving Champions League glory for the first time since 1996. They have since been the runner-up three times in the competition.
Since the start of the new year, Juventus have thrived, thanks to its stout defense, which will likely be comprised of veterans Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, along with Danilo. The back line has allowed nine goals in 13 games across all competitions this year, including just one in its last four league games, and that was the aforementioned penalty against Napoli.
Betting Analysis & Picks
While Porto’s attack is strong, it’s given up more goals than any other top-six Primeira Liga club. That said, I see Juventus scoring in this game.
On the other end of the pitch, I don’t see anything special in Porto’s attack that should give Juventus’ experienced backline any issues. For that reason, I am expecting a clean sheet for the visiting Italians.
I am also anticipating the Italian champion to play intelligently, with a focus on keeping a clean sheet, thus I see a 1-0 or 2-0 scoreline for the Juventus.
A 1-0 win for the Bianconeri is +550 odds, while a 2-0 scoreline is +800. Bet them both and root for the Old Lady.
Picks: Juventus To Win 1-0 (+550) | Juventus To Win 2-0 (+800)