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Champions League Soccer Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Atalanta vs. Real Madrid, Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Manchester City (Wednesday, Feb. 24)

Champions League Soccer Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Atalanta vs. Real Madrid, Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Manchester City (Wednesday, Feb. 24) article feature image

Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester City players celebrate a goal against Liverpool.

  • The battle for supremacy on the European soccer landscape continues Wednesday, with the two more Champions League matches.
  • Atalanta hosts Real Madrid and Borussia Mönchengladbach takes on Manchester United.
  • Our Action Network analysts deliver their best bests on the card below.

Excitement and high-stakes drama continue in European soccer Wednesday, with two Champions League matches taking place in the Round of 16 fixtures.

Italian outfit Atalanta welcomes global juggernaut Real Madrid to Stadio di Bergamo and German side Borussia Mönchengladbach will seek a positive outcome against Premier League giant Manchester City in these contests.

Our Action Network soccer analysts have their sights sets on five plays entering these intriguing showdowns.

Let’s take a look at the way they’re going with their featured selections.

Gladbach vs. Manchester City BJ Cunningham Total Under 3 Goals (+108)
Gladbach vs. Manchester City Jeremy Pond Manchester City -1.5 (-122)
Gladbach vs. Manchester City Anthony Dabbundo Total Under 3 Goals (+108)
Atalanta vs. Real Madrid Matt Trebby Atalanta ML (+138)
Gladbach vs. Manchester City Kieran Darcy Manchester City To Win To Nil — Yes (+123)

Odds updated as of Wednesday at 12:30 a.m. ET and via DraftKings

BJ Cunningham: Gladbach vs. Manchester City — Total Under 3 Goals (+108)

Borussia Mönchengladbach has been struggling in the Bundesliga this season, entering this game sitting in eighth place and fresh off back-to-back home losses to bottom-of-the-table side Cologne and Mainz.

The reason they’ve been lackluster this season is because its offense is nowhere close to what it was during the last campaign. Gladbach averaged a whopping 2.16 xG per match in the 2019-20 season, plus the club featured the second-best attack in the German top flight behind Bayern Munich.

Fast forward and the Foals are averaging just 1.53 xG per match this time around, and have only generated 0.69 xG per match over their last four games. Now, they’ll be going up against the best defense in the world at the moment.

Manchester City has been destroying any opponent standing in its way. The Cityzens’ last defeat came back on Nov. 21 against Tottenham Hotspur. Since then, the club has won 15 of its last 17 matches and outscored opponents by a 40-4 margin. In fact, Manchester City hasn’t even drawn a match in this year.

The reason for Manchester City’s run is its defensive dominance. Manager Pep Guardiola made a change at both center back positions back in December, putting John Stones and Ruben Dias beside each other. They have now played together for 13 matches, combining to allow an absurd 0.52 xG per match.

So, I have a hard time seeing how Gladbach is going to find the back of the net against Manchester City. I only have 2.45 total goals projected for this affair, so I think there is plenty of value on the total under 3 goals at plus odds.

[Bet Gladbach vs. Manchester City at DraftKings and get $250 FREE.]

Jeremy Pond: Manchester City -1.5 (-122) 

If it feels like there’s a growing Manchester City theme surrounding our plays, you’d be correct.

In my mind, there is no debate whatsoever when it comes deciding who’s the top European club. Simply put, everything starts and ends with the Cityzens. I would even take it a step further and say they’re the best team on the planet.

Manchester City, which PointsBet has tabbed the favorite at +270 odds to win the European showcase, has recorded a clean sheet in five consecutive UCL matches heading into this meeting.

And if that’s not enough, the Cityzens have been utterly dominate in England’s top flight. How dominate? They’ve allowed a paltry 0.23 goals in their last 17 league fixtures and notched 18 shutouts in the last 25 appearances across all competitions.

Obviously, manager Pep Guardiola’s side has been exceptional on its attack, led by Ilkay Gündogan and his team-best 11 goals. However, it’s actually been the Cityzens’ defense that should get much of the credit for its success.

In its last 14 league matches, Manchester City has allowed 1.0 xGA or worse on a grand total of three occasions. To say the least that, that’s simply phenomenal. Now, the Cityzens face a struggling opponent winless in its last four Bundesliga fixtures and hovering middle-of-the-pack on the table.

Needless to say, I fully expect Manchester City to absolutely coast through these two games against Gladbach. And I expect the Cityzens to make the next meeting between the sides at Etihad Stadium to simply be a formality.

That said, I am backing Manchester City on the spread line to win by at least two goals and continue its utter domination on the European landscape.

[Bet Manchester City at DraftKings and get an INSTANT $500 deposit match.]

Anthony Dabbundo: Gladbach vs. Manchester City — Total Under 3 Goals (+108)

The Foals have loved a giant killing this season. They escaped the “group of death” in the early stage of tournament after being paired with the likes of Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Additionally, Gladbach has defeated RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga action. However, facing this Manchester City team is a different level of opponent that it hasn’t seen all year.

Gladbach’s biggest threat is fast-paced attacks after winning the ball in the midfield, then immediately looking to find runners in behind. The problem with that is the Cityzens don’t attack with enough numbers, plus they exert too much control in the midfield for Gladbach to escape the counter pressing.

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Manchester City has allowed 1.6 xGA in six Champions League matches, which works out to be an average of 0.27 xGA per match. In my opinion, this is the best team — offensively and defensively — in the world.

Gladbach’s attack has been sputtering in the last few league matches since manager Marco Rose announced his planned departure to Dortmund at the end of the season. Its attack hasn’t been quite as good, averaging more than a half expected goal less per match compared to last season.

Needless to say, this is Gladbach’s biggest game of the season and its defense has been running very unlucky all season. Manchester City should win this game, and Gladbach will struggle to get on the board at all. 

For that reason, I’ll back the total under 3 goals at plus money.

[Bet Gladbach vs. Manchester City now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

Matt Trebby: Atalanta ML (+138)

Everyone’s favorite Italian soccer team appears to have found its groove just in time for the return of Champions League action.

Since the start of the new year, Atalanta has taken 21 points from 10 games in Serie A, which is a total second to only Lazio. The Bergamo side has scored 25 times in 10 games, leading the Italian top flight in non-penalty expected goal difference.

Real Madrid has won its last four La Liga games, although all victories came against teams in the bottom half of the table. Los Blancos aren’t exactly blowing these teams out of the water either, with two of the four wins coming by one goal and the others by two goals.

While Atalanta comes into this game without any significant injuries, key veterans Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo and Karim Benzema will be missing for Real Madrid. Eden Hazard also hasn’t played since Jan. 30, putting his status up in the air as well.

I see Atalanta absolutely overwhelming Real Madrid in this game, pushing the action and creating a bevy of chances. The club’s moneyline sits at +138 odds, which is something that jumped out at me right away.

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

Kieran Darcy: Manchester City To Win To Nil — Yes (+123)

I’ve already taken Atalanta in my preview for the other match, so I’ll offer a pick for this game as well.

Manchester City is running away in the Premier League, moving 10 points clear of second-place Manchester United. The Cityzens have won 18 games in a row across all competitions, which is a record for English top-flight sides.

More importantly, Manchester City has conceded just two goals in its past 10 league games — a penalty kick to Liverpool and a fluky goal against Everton. In the other eight games, they conceded just 2.6 xG (expected goals) combined.

Gladbach is in eighth place in the Bundesliga, and winless in its last four league matches. Those poor efforts came against Union Berlin (seventh place), Koln (14th), Wolfsburg (third) and Mainz in 17th place.

The Foals scored  a total of three goals in those games, and failed to accumulate even 1.0 xG in any of the fixtures. Plus, the club’s manager  recently announced he’s moving to Dortmund next season.

Gladbach is facing a talk task just to score in this game, let alone win or draw.

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

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