Champions League betting in Group C is wide open at the moment, so taking our handicapper's advice for Wednesday's clash between Bayer Leverkusen and Zenit St. Petersburg is all the more important.
Leverkusen is favored in the -125 to -130 range, as playing on their home turf has them installed as the favorites. Some books even have a soccer odds as high as -135.
Then there's Zenit, a formidable team that's priced out at anywhere from +300 to +350 to get the three points. A draw can be locked in at right around +250.
As we mentioned, Group C is one of the most well-balanced out there in the Champions League this season. Along with Leverkusen we've got Zenit, AS Monaco and Benfica, and you'd be hard-pressed to choose two clear-cut favorites to emerge out of the bunch.
Through two matches, Bayer has won once and lost once. The German outfit lost 1-0 away to Monaco, but then responded by beating Benfica 3-1 at home in the second playday.
Domestically, Leverkusen has gone unbeaten over four consecutive matches, though three of those encounters have ended in draws. In the Bundesliga table, Bayer can currently be found in sixth place, only one point back of the top four.
Leverkusen was last in action on October 18th in a 3-3 draw against Stuttgart. Heung-Min Son scored twice and set up Karim Bellarabi for the other in an all-around stellar performance.
Along with Son and Bellarabi, who have eight league goals between them so far, Stefan Kiessling is another player to watch come Wednesday. If those three are on form, it's going to be hard for anyone to beat them, especially on in their own stadium.
Zenit St. Petersburg
Currently on top of Group C, Zenit know how important Wednesday's trip to Leverkusen will be. The Russian side has picked up four points through two fixtures, beating Benfica 2-0 away and then holding Monaco in a 0-0 away draw.
On the domestic front, Zenit is enjoying another splendid showing. They're tops of the table, two points clear of CSKA Moscow at time of writing.
That being said, Hulk and company had to settle for a 2-2 draw in their latest league meeting against Krasnodar. After going down 2-0 in the first half, Zenit was able to fight back, with Hulk and Javi Garcia both getting their names on the scoresheet.
Despite only getting a point, Zenit has been on an incredible run, having gone unbeaten in 16 consecutive matches. They haven't tasted defeat in months, so you know they'll be motivated to keep that streak going this Wednesday.
If the Russian squad is to do it, Hulk will have to put forth yet another influential performance. The Brazilian has already found the back of the net once in Champions League play and has scored six goals in the league so far. He'll be joined by Salomon Rondo, who leads the team with seven domestic goals on the year.
Champions League Pick
Wednesday should be intense, with both of these teams knowing they have a more than realistic chance of advancing out of the group on to the coveted knockout stages.
Who will leave this match most satisfied? We have to say Zenit, as we reckon they'll be good enough to get at least a point from this fixture. Hulk and Rondon have been tremendous this season, and the Russian outfit is riding a wave of confidence thanks to their undefeated run.
We expect a back-and-forth game here, and it's one either side can grab by the horns and win. However, with our soccer picks, we believe that adding the draw at +250 will be most beneficial to our chances of cashing. Don't expect much to separate these teams at the end of the day.
Pick: Bayer Leverkusen 1 Zenit St. Petersburg 1 at Bet Online