CL Best Bets - Round of 16
February 19, 2018
By Toby Maxtone-Smith
Round of 16 Betting Results
UEFA Champions League Round of 16 - First Legs
The first four matches of the knockout stage of the Champions League has made Manchester City’s place as favourites more secure than it has ever been. The English side swept past Basel 4-0 - but this was a tie they were expected to win.
More significant was Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-1 defeat at Real Madrid, which sent the french champions spiralling out to 10/1 from second favourites. Real are now into 11/2 from 8/1.
Elsewhere Tottenham Hotspur were mightily impressive in a 2-2 draw at Juventus and are now 14/1 to lift the trophy, while another English team, Liverpool, thrashed Porto 5-0 and have gone into 10/1.
Tuesday, Feb. 20
Games scheduled for 2:45 p.m. ET on FS1 & FS2
Bayern Munich vs. Besiktas
Poor Besiktas. The surprise winners of Group G, which had no obvious weak link, were handed the unenviable task of overcoming Bayern Munich in the last 16 when they could have hoped for ties against far less talented opponents. As it is, this should be a routine obstacle for the perennial German champions, who are 1/10 to qualify.
Bayern are 19 points clear in the Bundesliga and have scored 22 goals in seven domestic games since the turn of the year. Robert Lewandowski is as sharp as ever, while James Rodriguez has enjoyed a fantastic start to the year.
While Bayern are extremely likely to win, however, it may be worth considering the possiblility of Besiktas scoring. Besiktas won all three away games in their group, and their best chance is surely to continue this bold approach into a much tougher game. Bayern, meanwhile, will be comfortable hoping to simply outscore their opposition.
Best Bet: Bayern Munich to win and both teams to score at 7/4
Chelsea vs. Barcelona
One of the great modern rivalries of European football returns as Barcelona face their nemesis, Chelsea. The Blues knocked Barcelona out in 2012 on the way to their stunning triumph in 2012 thanks to a memorable pair of defensive performances.
However those days seem gone for Chelsea. That team, defined by a core of leaders such as John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and Ashley Cole, is no more, and there has been an unusual vulnerability about Antonio Conte’s team this year.
Simply put, they have put in far more terrible performances this year than fantastic displays. The defeats to Watford, Crystal Palace and West Ham spring to mind immediately. Defensively they are less organised than usual, and against an unusually pragmatic Barcelona team they could come unstuck. Barcelona are almost never odds-against to win a game, and this could be a good opportunity to back them for a good return.
Best Bet: Barcelona to win at 23/20
Wednesday, Feb. 21
Games scheduled for 2:45 p.m. ET on FS1 & FS2
Sevilla vs. Manchester United
Manchester United have had a reasonably comfortable season so far without ever looking particularly impressive. In the Champions League they won five of their six games in a relatively kind group, earning them a tie against Sevilla, who finished second behind Liverpool.
We know Jose Mourinho. He will be confident of winning this tie, but he will know that Sevilla are talented enough that he will not risk going all-out-attack in the first leg away from home. Likewise Sevilla will be buoyed by their impressive performance in a 2-2 draw away to Liverpool, and would not be daunted by the prospect of having to attack Manchester United at Old Trafford.
United are 29/20 favourites with Sevilla 19/20, but this seems like one of those ties where a draw would be acceptable to both sides. At 9/4 this is the bet.
Best Bet: Draw at 9/4
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Roma
Group C was one of the strangest groups in this year’s group stage. Chelsea got the better of Atletico Madrid. Atletico Madrid got the better of Roma. Roma got the better of Chelsea. But Roma’s two performances against Chelsea, a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge and a 3-0 win at the Olimpico, arguably caught the eye most, and enabled Roma to win the section.
Despite the long distance they will have to travel, Roma will have been very happy to draw Shakhtar Donetsk, who pipped Napoli to second place in Group F. Roma have concede just six goals in 12 domestic away games- the lowest in Serie A, and a testament to their growing maturity. If they can continue this solidness in Ukraine, you can back their talented attack to grab at least one goal. Roma might just be the bet here.
Best Bet: Roma to win at 9/5
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