Last Updated Sep 11, 2022, 2:28 PM

Champions League Matchday 1 Picks, Predictions, Odds

Oliver Ellison is back for best bets, predictions and picks for Champions League Matchday 1 fixtures that span Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7.

Borussia Dortmund vs. FC Copenhagen

  • Date: Tuesday, September 6
  • Time: 12:45 p.m. ET
  • Venue: BVB Stadion
  • Location: Dortmund, Germany

Best BetBoth Teams to Score (-155)

Borussia Dortmund will consider themselves one of the outside favorites to win the Champions League this season, but without the influential Erling Haaland they might find the group stage is trickier than expected.

Thankfully, manager Edin Terzic and the German side hasn’t missed Haaland much in the Bundesliga. Having enjoyed a strong start to the domestic campaign, attention turns to Euro.

FC Copenhagen, meanwhile, have had a mixed start to the domestic season, but impressed in the Champions League playoff win over Trabzonspor to reach this stage. They sold their best player, Pep Biel, to Olympiakos on deadline day, but signed their former striker and Denmark international Andreas Cornelius as a replacement. The Danes will be disciplined here. Withstanding Dortmund may be too much of an ask, but they should score.

Celtic vs. Real Madrid

  • Date: Tuesday, September 6
  • Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Celtic Park
  • Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Best BetBoth Teams to Score (-135)

Another game where the big underdog will at least make it a contest is in Glasgow, where Celtic host reigning European champions Real Madrid.

Celtic come into this game having just smashed rivals Rangers 4-0, and are famed for hosting memorable European nights. Indeed, as experienced as this Real side is, there's nothing quite like Celtic Park to provide a raucous, intimidating atmosphere.

Real kick off their Champions League campaign having won four matches on the bounce in La Liga. They might be fully up to speed, but Celtic are seven matches into the season and have won every one. This should be a firecracker and it's hard to pick an obvious winner. But make no mistake, both teams will find the net.

Benfica Lisbon vs. Maccabi Haifa FC

  • Date: Tuesday, September 6
  • Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Estadio da Luz
  • Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Best BetBenfica ML (-475)

A banker bet on Tuesday almost certainly comes from Portugal, where Benfica take on Israeli minnows Maccabi Haifa. Now, Haifa did exceptionally well to reach the Champions League group stage, but Benfica are a seasoned club at this level, top the Portuguese Primeira Liga, and prepared for this game with a Friday night victory over Vizela.

It is already averaging more than two goals per match, and both David Neres and Joao Mario are on fire.

Granted, Haifa have started well in the Israeli top flight, but this is a big step up. This is the first time it has competed in the Champions League group stage since the 2009/10 season, when it lost all six games. Benfica are supposedly the third-best club in a group involving Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. They have bigger fish to fry than Haifa.

(Getty Images)

Ajax Amsterdam vs. Rangers

  • Date: Wednesday, September 7
  • Time: 12:45 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Johan Cruyff Arena
  • Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Best BetDraw (+390)

It's been a big summer of change for Ajax. The Dutch champions knew they were to lose manager Erik Ten Hag to Manchester United. They weren't also expecting to sell Sebastian Haller, Lisandro Martinez and Antony before the transfer deadline.

New manager Alfred Schreuder has a big challenge on his hands. On the domestic front, Ajax are battling a rejuvenated PSV for the league title. In Europe, it competes in arguably the most "fun" group of the competition, against Rangers, Amsterdam and Napoli.

Rangers will hope to bounce back from the Old Firm loss to Celtic and get something here. It's a big fixture for Dutch boss Giovanni van Bronkhorst, who used to manage Feyenoord. He’ll know plenty about this Ajax set-up. Even a point would be a good result, and with Ajax's late changes this summer a draw is certainly not a bad bet at big odds.

SSC Napoli vs. Liverpool

  • Date: Wednesday, September 7
  • Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Stadio Diego Armando Maradona
  • Location: Naples, Italy

Best BetOVER 3.5 Total Goals (+150)

In the other Group A game Wednesday, Liverpool travel to Napoli seeking to forget its domestic woes and rekindle some confidence from a European adventure. Saturday's scoreless draw with local rivals Everton further exacerbated Liverpool's woeful start to the league season.

But in Europe, you cannot write off Jurgen Klopp's men. On Wednesday they head to Napoli – a club with just as fanatical a fan base as Liverpool, in a stadium as noisy as Anfield. Klopp needs a win here, and it could well go either way. This game will be bouncing.

Napoli have started the new Serie A season like it ingested rocket fuel. Leading Milan and Juventus in Serie A, there’s already hope that this could be Napoli’s season. It didn’t spend big this summer, and lost Kalidou Koulibaly to Chelsea. But it is a force. Both teams should score in Naples. And we can expect plenty to flow over the course of 90 minutes.

Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich

  • Date: Wednesday, September 7
  • Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: San Siro
  • Location: Milan, Italy

Best BetInter Milan ML (+295)

If you're seeking value in a Champions League bet this midweek, look no further than Milan. Inter have stuttered at the start of this season, and lost to rivals AC Milan in Saturday’s derby. But with Romelu Lukaku hopefully back from injury, and both Hakan Calhanoglu and Marcelo Brozovic in its midfield, Inter are a tough nut to crack.

If ever an Italian team other than Juventus is to challenge in the latter stages of the Champions League again, it's Inter this season. Manager Simone Inzaghi has the resources to rival anyone – the question is whether or not he can implement them.

Bayern, meanwhile, have tied its last two matches. The 1-1 result at Union Berlin on Saturday was a shock. There is concern Sadio Mane may not be the talismanic replacement for Robert Lewandowski many thought he would be. And considering the odds for Wednesday, it's clear why some punters will be wooed by a potential Inter victory.

We may be compensated by the company links provided on this page. Read more

Soccer News