The UEFA Champions League is now the exclusive domain of the wealthy and famous. Only the most well-off European clubs and their biggest stars regularly reach the final stage. This is good news and bad news for soccer punters.
Only a few teams are likely to win the tournament, unless they have a run-of-the-mill chance. There are only enough to keep the futures betting exciting.
The group stage, however, is not as compelling for futures because of the dominance by the top teams. Because surprise outcomes are still an occurrence, the fun of match-specific group stage bets is what makes it so much more entertaining, even though the final standings can often be predicted.
As the season 2021-22 begins, SN has some predictions and picks.
Champions League: Team wins
You’re likely aware of the excitement surrounding the “win it all” picks. How can you pick the winner of September’s popular Picks to Win It All? The pathway to the final depends on the outcome of the knockout rounds. It’s easy to pick the likely winner of the group (the knockout draws will draw the runners-up for the other groups).
We all know that Paris Saint-Germain (+1360), and Manchester City (1380) spent hundreds of million to win the trophy. However, that comes with an equal amount of pressure which can cause a team to falter. They’ll be competing in the same group and likely one will finish second. The Champions League adventures could end if one team loses the head-to-head matchups.
Chelsea (+800). is fourth despite having the best odds, despite it being better than during last season’s Champions League winning run. Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea’s manager, has led two teams to the final the past two seasons. He is blessed with the most talented rosters around. The Blues will comfortably win Group H.
Manchester United (+1440) makes a compelling choice. Raphael Varane’s and Cristiano Ronaldo’s additions will make Man U an unbeatable team in the knockouts. The team should be ranked first in Group F, and should see its chances shrinking as the tournament goes on. Do not get caught in Real Madrid (+1600). It will compete in the knockouts under Carlo Ancelotti. However, Karim Benzema cannot always hide the fact that it lacks elite defensive qualities.
Odds, courtesy FanDuel
Champions League odds of winning the title
|Manchester United||+44 (0)|
Champions League Final: Teams will be selected
It’s difficult to imagine anyone other than the seven or eight most popular teams making it to the Champions League final based on their squad budgets, and the quality of their depth.
In the final 10 rounds, there have been 20 finalist places for eleven clubs. Only six clubs have made the finals again during this span: Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Real Madrid and Real Madrid. All other candidates are eligible to return to the final, except Juventus.
Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, and the other two teams appear to be well-prepared for another final, having made their first appearances in the title game in 2021 and 2020, respectively. They could also get caught in the knockouts. PSG has a key player (Kylian Mabappe) and Manchester City continues to struggle to find a striker.
Chelsea (+350),, and Bayern Munich ( (+350), are the best options to reach the final. These bets will be based on their talent, track record and consistency. Manchester United (+500), has better odds, and the squad is extremely deep. Manchester United is a more risky bet than betting on Chelsea or Bayern Munich.
Inter Milan (+2500) and one of Atletico Madrid (+1100 ) , or AC Milan (+3500) are two long-shots to reach the final. It all depends on which team has the best start in Group B with Liverpool and Porto. Inter won’t be the most popular choice after it lost its top scorer, world-class coach and key player in the summer. However, the team has the potential to convince doubters over the next months. The group’s head-to-head match against Real Madrid will serve as a benchmark.
DraftKings offers Odds
Champions League Finalists
Champions League winners
The group usually follows a script but this year, there are two groups that are up for grabs. Groups B or G. These are potential plays (odds courtesy FanDuel).
Group B: Atletico Madrid (+200)
Liverpool is the favourite in Group B, at -115. However, against legendary clubs such as Porto and AC Milan, Liverpool may lose points. Atletico Madrid is a difficult matchup. Diego Simeone’s side competes as hard as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team. Atletico Madrid is enjoying a good start to the domestic season. However, Atletico Madrid is also on a roll. Matheus Cunha (below), Antoine Griezmann, and Rodrigo De Paul will help to improve their performance.
Group G: Sevilla (+130)
Keep an eye out for another La Liga team. Sevilla made smarter acquisitions for a team already skilled enough to place fourth in La Liga. Sevilla will face opponents that are either inferior (Lille or RB Salzburg), or even on the same level (Wolfsburg) in group play. If Sevilla’s favorite tag is not weighing on them, they will be facing pragmatic opponents who should get enough wins to win the game.
Champions League group survivors
Finding a surprise team that could advance is more interesting than trying to find group winners. These teams are usually limited to two or three per Champions League group stage. Two German teams finished ahead of the favored sides last year: Manchester United beat RB Leipzig for second in one group and Borussia Moenchengladbach won over Inter Milan.
These are the best odds that teams will advance to the knockouts for 2021-22. (Odds courtesy FanDuel).
Group E: Benfica (+200)
Bayern is the favourite to win the group, while Barcelona (390) is another team that can be expected to progress. A talented, underrated Benfica team should not only be competitive in the head-to-head matches due to the state of Blaugrana’s decimated. Second place will be decided by which team can score the most points against Dynamo Kiev (+750).
Group G: RB Salzburg (+150)
Although the Austrian team may have lost two of its best players (Patson Daka and Enock Mwepu), it still has plenty of talent (Karim Adeyemi (above), Benjamin Sesko (below), and Brenden Aaronson (above). Evidence was provided by the Champions League playoffs. Sevilla (+250), the favourite to win Group G should make second place a battle between Salzburg (-135), VfL Wolfsburg (135) and Lille (+1100). Salzburg’s aggressive and chaotic approach and high level of press could help it beat more predictable and conventional teams such as Wolfsburg or Lille.
Champions League Top Scorer
This is the list of 10 players that you would expect to be the top scorers come May. The final ranking of the goal will not be decided by star power alone. The group stage matches play an important role as well as the chances of the team going deep and the standing of the players on the team. Are there any penalties? He will he be able to play in all of the games? Does he serve as the central point of attack? Is he competing for the goals of his team?
Erling Haialand took home the prize last year, despite being eliminated in quarterfinals by his Borussia Dortmund team. He was able to score six goals of the 10 he had in the group stage, against clubs like Club Brugge, Zenit St. Petersburg and Lazio. These aren’t exactly European superpowers. This is in contrast to Kylian Mbappe who only managed two of the eight goals in the group stage, and could not make up the difference at the knockouts.
With this draw and Haaland (+500 ) in mind, Haaland can run wild on Ajax and Sporting CP who offer a comparable level of competition to their opponents last year. Although it is tempting to place money on Manchester United’s Cristiano Rojas (vs. Villarreal and Atalanta) as there are six games in his group, the club’s minutes will determine how many the 36-year old will be playing.
The next two most intriguing plays after Haaland are Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku (+750) or Real Madrid’s KarimBenzema (1200). These players star for weaker groups and will likely make it to the knockouts. Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martnez (+6500) is the longshot. He will be able to feast upon FC Sheriff, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Real Madrid teams with defensive problems.
Odds, courtesy DraftKings
Champions League top scorer odds
|Erling Haaland||Borussia Dortmund||+500|
|Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||+600|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||+750|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||+200|
|Mohamed Salah||Liverpool||+44 (0)|
|Memphis Depay||FC Barcelona||+2200|
Publiated at Tue 14 Sep 2021, 02:38.46 +0000