Champions League Betting Picks & Predictions: Our Favorite Bets for Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona, Liverpool vs. RB Leipzig (Wednesday, March 10)

Champions League Betting Picks & Predictions: Our Favorite Bets for Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona, Liverpool vs. RB Leipzig (Wednesday, March 10) article feature image
Credit:

Gabriel Bouys and Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Barcelona star Lionel Messi, left, and Paris Saint-Germain wunderkind Kylian Mbappé.

  • Two more clubs will punch their tickets to the Champions League quarterfinal round following Wednesday's matches.
  • Paris Saint-Germain hosts Barcelona in a high-profile affair, while Liverpool takes on RB Leipzig.
  • Check out the best bets from our soccer analysts below, which include a pair of picks for each showdown.

Two more Champions League matches take center stage Wednesday, with four high-profile clubs hitting the pitch with dreams of advancing to the European competition’s quarterfinal round.

The heavyweight bout on the card pits French juggernaut Paris Saint-Germain against Spanish power Barcelona at Parc des Princes, with a 3 p.m. ET start. Kicking off at the same time in Budapest will be Premier League giant Liverpool, who will take on German standout RB Leipzig.

The Liverpool-RB Leipzig affair will be held at a neutral site in the Hungarian capital due to Germany’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Our Action Network soccer analysts have targeted three plays heading into these contests, with the aggregate winners advancing to the quarterfinals of the showcase. Let’s take a look at their in-depth thoughts and featured picks.

MATCH ANALYST THE PICK
Liverpool vs. RB Leipzig BJ Cunningham RB Leipzig — Draw No Bet (+102)
Liverpool vs. RB Leipzig Jeremy Pond RB Leipzig — Draw No Bet (+102)
PSG vs. Barcelona Anthony Dabbundo PSG vs. Barcelona 1H Total Under 1.5 Goals (-148)
PSG vs. Barcelona Kieran Darcy Barcelona ML (+170)

Odds updated as of Tuesday evening via DraftKings


BJ Cunningham: RB Leipzig — Draw No Bet (+102)

Things have gone from bad to worse for Liverpool. The Reds’ 1-0 loss against Fulham on Sunday was the sixth defeat in their last seven Premier League matches. Liverpool seems lost on offense, because it can’t create anything in front of net, scoring only four goals in those seven matches.

The Reds’ tactical problem without their top three center backs has reached a crisis level now that central midfielder and captain Jordan Henderson is out for the foreseeable future. Usually, Jürgen Klopp plays an all-out high press that gives teams fits.

Liverpool’s high line at the back also keeps teams from playing long balls up the field, which causes most opponents to spend less time on the ball since they’re forced to make quick passes. With those top backs out, the Reds have had to back off their high press so their fill-in defenders aren’t exposed.

In the first leg, Liverpool’s two goals came off of uncharacteristic mistakes by RB Leipzig’s defense, which is only allowing 0.89 xG per match in the Bundesliga this season. In fact, if you take away those two shots, Liverpool only created only 0.75 xG for the game.

RB Leipzig needs to go all out for this match since it trails by two goals, so it’s going to be fascinating to see what kind of tactics Klopp goes with, given Liverpool’s defensive struggles at the moment. 

Therefore, I think there is some value on RB Leipzig on the Draw No Bet line at +102 odds. Also, if you want to get a little crazy, I also think there is value on the Red Bulls to advance if you can find them at +700 or better.

[Bet RB Leipzig at DraftKings and get $250 FREE.]

Jeremy Pond: RB Leipzig — Draw No Bet (+102)

Liverpool takes its 2-0 aggregate lead to Hungary, where it will face a RB Leipzig side hoping to pull off a Sevilla-like stunner in this match.

With chances of defending their Premier League crown exiting what has now become the unfriendly home confines of Anfield, the Reds have turned their sole attention to winning this competition.

Liverpool, which suffered a brutal 1-0 defeat against relegation contender Fulham last Sunday on home soil, has now lost six consecutive matches at Anfield in England’s top flight. The latest debacle meant no points, which put the outfit in a stunning eighth place in the table.

In contrast, RB Leipzig has been in brilliant form since that Feb. 16 defeat. The Red Bulls have won four on the bounce, including three via shutout victories.

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Statistically, Liverpool has put together some relatively mediocre numbers in the advanced metrics, according to FBref.com. The Reds sit on a 11.4 expected goals and 9.5 xGA, resulting in a +1.9 xGDiff and +0.27 xGDiff/90 minutes.

As for RB Leipzig, the club trails its foe in all but one category. The Red Bulls sit on 9.2 xG and 9.5 xGA, creating a flat -0.3 xGDiff and -0.05 xGDiff/90 minutes.

Yet, despite those stats, I really like RB Leipzig to scratch out a result and will back it via a Draw No Bet wager at plus odds. The Red Bulls have been fantastic since the defeat, which has me thinking they will be oozing with confidence entering this affair.

Liverpool has been downright terrible, making it hard for me to believe there will be a drastic change in form from their recent string of poor efforts.

[Bet RB Leipzig at DraftKings and get an INSTANT $500 deposit match.]

Anthony Dabbundo: PSG vs. Barcelona 1H Total Under 1.5 Goals (-148)

I am staying away from the full-game moneyline and spreads, because PSG has a 4-1 aggregate lead and doesn’t need to win the game — or even tie — to advance to the quarterfinal round.

For example, if the Parisians are trailing by a goal in the second half, the hosts have no incentive to keep attacking for an equalizer.

However, this game does offer value via the first half total. Barcelona will spend most of the game on the front foot looking to attack, but PSG is unlikely to deploy the same high-pressing tactics it did in the first leg.

If PSG drops off a little and lets the Spanish side have some conservative possession, this game will get off to a slow start. The Parisians still won’t have Neymar or Angel Di Maria, which hurts their attack even if it didn’t show in the opening 90 minutes of the first tie.

Barcelona created one big scoring chance outside of the penalty in the first meeting, because the PSG defense was able to force Lionel Messi to be more of a deep-lying playmaker than the receiver of progressive passes from the midfield.

There are enough people still left at PSG who will remember the famous 6-1 Barcelona comeback, and will be trying to prevent a repeat of that scene. PSG comes out conservative, Barcelona is unable to break them down and the first half stays under 1.5 goals before a potentially frenetic second half.

[Bet Liverpool vs. RB Leipzig now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

Kieran Darcy: Barcelona ML (+170) vs. PSG

I’ve already backed RB Leipzig against Liverpool in my full-match preview, but I’ll wade in here as well. Barcelona is even less likely than RB Leipzig to advance to the quarterfinals — 5 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight — but I think it has a good chance of at least winning the second leg.

Barcelona has won four in a row, without giving up a goal, including two victories over fellow Champions League participants Sevilla. The La Liga giant climbed within two points of league leader Atlético Madrid, sitting top in the Spanish top flight in terms of xG differential at +28.8 on the number.

🚨 PSG confirm that Neymar will miss the second leg of their Champions League clash with Barcelona on Wednesday through injury 🚨 pic.twitter.com/Tq0lHQZk7N

— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 9, 2021

The Parisians have won their past three fixtures, but are only second in Ligue 1 at the moment. They’re also second domestically in xG differential, plus they are still missing Neymar for this game.

Sure, Kylian Mbappé could go off again like he did in PSG’s 4-1 victory in the first leg, when he scored a hat trick. However, so could Lionel Messi, whose still stellar numbers (23 goals in 29 La Liga and Champions League appearances this season) are increasingly overlooked.

The first match was far from a blowout statistically. PSG outshot Barcelona, 16-11, and topped its foe via xG by a relatively slim 2.3-2.0 margin. I’m not expecting La Remontada II, but I think Barcelona can narrow the gap.

[Bet Barcelona now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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