Last Updated Apr 25, 2022, 3:14 PM

Champions League Best Bets

UEFA Champions League
Round of 16 Preview and Picks

For the first time ever, the 16 teams left in the Champions League at this stage all hail from Europe’s big five countries - England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. In many ways it is a sad sign of how the globalisation of the game leads to the concentration of talented players at a few clubs in a few leagues. On the other hand, the field to win the competition is wide open and every last 16 tie looks competitive.

The first legs will be played in 2020 on Feb. 18 and 19, then a week after on Feb. 25 and 26. The second legs will be played on Mar. 10 and 11 before Mar. 17 and 18.

The draw for the quarterfinals will be held on Mar. 20, 2020.

Champions Leauge Knockout Matchups (First Legs)

Tuesday, Feb. 18

Atlético Madrid (+240) vs. Liverpool (+120), Draw (+230), Total 2.5
Borussia Dortmund (+195) vs. Paris Saint-Germain (+120), Draw (+285), Total 3.5

Wednesday, Feb. 19

Atalanta (-125) vs. Valencia (+335), Draw (+275), Total 2.5
Tottenham Hotspur (+140) vs. RB Leipzig (+190), Draw (+260), Total 3

Tuesday, Feb. 25

Napoli (+230) vs. Barcelona (+110), Draw (+265), Total 3
Chelsea (+260) vs. Bayern Munich (-105), Draw +275), Total 3

Wednesday, Feb. 26

Real Madrid (+145) vs. Manchester City (+155), Draw (+290), Total 3
Lyon (+350) vs. Juventus (-125), Draw (+260), Total 2.5

Champions League Future Odds

Liverpool 4/1
Barcelona 9/2
Manchester City 9/2
Paris Saint-Germain 7/1
Bayern Munich 7/1
Juventus 9/1
Real Madrid 16/1
Tottenham 25/1
Atletico Madrid 30/1
RB Leipzig 30/1
Chelsea 40/1
Borussia Dortmund 50/1
Napoli 60/1
Atalanta 80/1
Valencia 100/1
Lyon 200/1

One of the clubs leading the betting are Manchester City at 9/2 (Bet $100 to win $450) with Liverpool recently jumping them as the 4/1 favorite (Bet $100 to win $400). Despite the points gap between the teams in the Premier League, City are consistently going off shorter prices to win games than Liverpool. They also have a slightly harder round of 16 draw, playing Real Madrid while Liverpool face Atletico Madrid. In fact they would be further apart in the betting were it not for the fact that Liverpool’s recent CL form is so good, while City have a tendency to bottle it in the knockout rounds. It would be a real surprise to see a final that does not feature at least one of these teams, particularly given that they will be able to focus fully on the competition, assuming that Liverpool’s gargantuan league lead does not slip.

At the prices City are a slightly better option. Liverpool have been cutting it very fine in Europe this year and City have the ability to simply outscore teams over two legs.

The big Spanish sides are easily passed over. Barcelona is tied as the second betting choice (9/2) with the Citizens, but they are a long way from their best days of eight years ago. They are dangerously reliant on Lionel Messi and have put together very few complete performances this year. Real Madrid are 16/1 and are 2/1 outsiders to get through against Manchester City. They were outplayed over two games by Paris Saint-Germain in group action and are too tactically naive to go all the way. Atletico Madrid too are not the force they were, while Valencia, paired in by far the weakest tie with Atalanta, are simply quite an average team at this level.

Paris Saint-Germain are 7/1 and are a very interesting option. They were probably the most impressive team in the group stages along with Bayern Munich. When all three are fit, their front three of Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Edinson Cavani is arguably the best in Europe. They do not get tested enough in Ligue 1, but on the other hand this means they can easily rest players ahead of big CL ties. There are very few flaws to their team and they would be a match for anyone over two legs.

Bayern Munich (7/1) should have enough firepower to get past Chelsea in the last 16, but their league performances indicate that their Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig (30/1) and Borussia Dortmund (50/1) are better options. Leipzig face Tottenham Hotspur (25/1) while Dortmund have PSG, and Leipzig look the better bet. Although Tottenham made last year’s final, their record in 2019 was generally quite poor. Their performances in big games under Mourinho so far have been dreadful - a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United and a recent 2-0 defeat to Chelsea. Leipzig are narrow outsiders to come through the tie, and that looks the value of the round. They have scored 48 goals in 17 Bundesliga games and forward Timo Werner is on fire with 23 goals already this season. Assuming they keep him in January, the men from East Germany could be a really nice outsider option.

Chelsea at 40/1 are an interesting side, but they are probably still too naive to win a really big European tie against a team like Bayern. Their 2-2 draw at Valencia was an alarmingly open game, and although there is lots of promise in Frank Lampard’s side, this season looks too early for a deep run in the Champions League.

Juventus (9/1) will have been pleased to draw 200/1 outsiders Lyon, but this is another European giant that seems to be slightly past its best. Maurizio Sarri has not yet gone down very well with Juve fans, and their wins in Serie A have been unconvincing. If anything the wildly attacking and entertaining Atalanta at 80/1 are the better value, especially given their draw against Valencia.

Champions League Future Bets

Paris Saint-Germain to win at 7/1
Manchester City to reach the final at 15/8
RB Leizpig to win at 40/1

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