1. #1
    Hman's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    UEFA Champions League best bets for first leg of the semifinals ⚽

    UEFA Champions League best bets for first leg of the semifinals


    Three of this year's four Champions League semifinalists were among the dozen teams embroiled in Super League turmoil last week, with PSG the holdout of the four.

    Despite all the drama, complete with threats to expel three semifinalists, the Champions League show will go on, with the first legs of the semis played as scheduled this week and the second legs to follow next week.

    Now that defending champion Bayern Munich is out of the way, FiveThirtyEight's Soccer Power Index projects Manchester City as a massive 55 percent title favorite, followed by Chelsea at 19 percent and Real Madrid at 18 percent. If you agree with that, then Man City is great value at +130 to lift the trophy, though you could likely get similar odds by playing City to advance in the semis, then rolling that win into a final bet.

    With all that as backdrop, here are my best bets for the first legs of the semifinals.

    Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.
    Real Madrid vs. Chelsea

    Again, it's a broken record, but a lucrative one: of the 21 Chelsea games under Thomas Tuchel, 18 have had two or fewer goals.

    In that span, Chelsea has allowed multiple goals once in 21 games, limiting opponents to eight shots and 0.7 expected goals per game, while averaging 13 shots and 1.5 expected goals per game.

    Real Madrid's attack has been good enough most of the season, though its 1.7 goals per league game is the club's second-lowest rate over the past decade, and a mere 14 shots per game against top opponents (UCL knockout games plus Barcelona and Atletico) doesn't inspire confidence. Toni Kroos and company won't be able to exploit Chelsea's stingy defense like they did against Liverpool and Atalanta.

    A cagey first leg is by far the most likely outcome here, as both teams will look to defend first and then scratch out a goal. The juice is worth paying on the under.

    Pick: Under 2.5 goals (-150)
    PSG vs. Manchester City

    What to do with PSG? Last season's Champions League runner-up has looked mortal in league play while eliminating Barcelona and Bayern Munich in Champions League. Currently in a tight Ligue 1 title race, PSG is scoring half a goal less per game compared to last season (2.3 to 2.8).

    In the UCL knockout stage, PSG has been fortunate to score seven goals from 3.3 expected goals in the first legs against Barcelona and Bayern -- and also unfortunate to get only two goals from 3.4 expected goals (and several other near misses) in the second legs. I still think that first-leg PSG is closer to the real PSG, particularly against top opposition.

    PSG will probably get a good counter opportunity or two, but City won't surrender as many of those quick strikes as Bayern did. On sequences of five passes or fewer, City has allowed 22 goals and 201 shots this league season, compared to Bayern's 37 goals and 276 shots in two fewer games. City will have the majority of the chances, and that (along with City having won 27 of its last 30 games) makes plus money very appealing.

    SPI has Man City at 53 percent to win this game and 81 percent to advance, based in part on PSG's aforementioned middling league form. I think those projections are a little high, given PSG's talent and Champions League mettle, but still in the neighborhood. Even dropping the SPI odds 10 percentage points each, the current prices are still worth playing.

    Picks: Man City to win (+125), Man City to advance (-175)

  2. #2
    MOBIL19's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Parlay 0-0 and 0-0

  3. #3
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    jjgold's Avatar SBR PRO
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    I havenít watch the soccer game and I donít know how long just canít get into it

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    Risto234's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    I took instead Real to qualify @1.75 while still secretly hoping they'll screw up either today and/or next week.