With 16 teams left competing in Champions League, we investigate the favorites’ betting dynamics following the Round of 16 draw that was held this week.
The 32-team group stage results were hardly a surprise, as most strong teams made it through and outsiders left the competitions with half of them transferring to the Europa League. No big name was missing from Monday's draw for Round of 16, that made it all too interesting.
Below we investigate the top favorites' chances and the reaction of the betting odds markets now that we know what's coming next in the Champions League competition.
The No.1 favorite: Barcelona
Barcelona will be facing Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16. The draw didn't make Barcelona backers that happy as the odds have been drifting since Monday, moving from 275 to around 333, with some of the best sportsbooks moving the line up to 350 this morning.
The current developing uptrend may worry gamblers, who always favored betting on the hottest team. Perhaps a ‘sit-on-your-hands' strategy seems the best at this point.
For the record, PSG's odds have also been drifting since the draw's day, climbing from 2200 to as high as 4000 at Bet365!
Tough game ahead for the second favorite, Bayern Munich
I am not the one saying Bayern drawing with Arsenal will be a challenge for the German team; it's the drifting odds.
That is correct! Gamblers have a hard time believing that the second favorite for the Champions League title had a lucky draw, as well! Bayern's odds drifted from 350 to 400 right after the draw, and today they are hitting even 450 at some online sportsbooks, although William Hill stayed behind in following the trend.
Arsenal's odds, on the other hand, have a mixed reaction following the news. Although their odds shortened from 2500 to 2000 on Monday, they quickly went back up to their original price. William Hill was quick to update their line here, much like Ladbrokes as they both offer the highest odds currently available, yet Bet365's line hasn't moved much from 2000.
Real Madrid in high spirits!
Facing Napoli in the next round was certainly good news for the Spanish team! Their odds took a nosedive from 600 to 450 almost immediately. You'll have a hard time locating higher odds than that, but given the downtrend's strength, backing Real Madrid to win this year's Champions League sounds reasonable.
Napoli, of course, wasn't excited with the draw's result, and gamblers have pushed their odds from 5000 to 8000. Strangely, some bookmakers continue offering Napoli at 5000-6000 range, so make sure to avoid those at all costs.
High Hopes for Atletico Madrid
Drawing with the competition's biggest underdog would make every team happy! That is the case for Atletico Madrid, who will be facing Bayern Leverkusen in the Round of 16.
Their odds had already been in a strong decline before the draw, thus there wasn't such a big movement after all, despite the favorable draw. Odds for Atletico have moved from 900 all the way down to 750, but you can still grab 800 at William Hill or Bet365!
Leverkusen's odds have traded as low as 5500 last month but since the draw, they have skyrocketed up to 17500!
Given the analysis, I'd keep an eye on the two Spanish teams in the Champions League winner market and would avoid backing the top two favorites at this time for my betting picks.