Champions League Betting: Basel vs. Liverpool Odds & Prediction

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 11:12 AM GMT

Liverpool was lucky to get out of Matchday 1 with 3 points thanks to a late goal against Ludogorets at Anfield. Can Swiss giants Basel paint the Reds black on Wednesday (Oct. 1) in this Group B fixture?

Sometimes its seems soccer odds makers just don’t give enough credit to certain home underdogs in sports and it seems that may be the case here in this Group B Matchday 2 game on Wednesday (Oct. 1) between Liverpool FC and FC Basel 1893 at St. Jakob-Park, in Basel, Switzerland, where the very capable hosts are as high as +375 (Sky Bet) on the Winner (Three-Way) line in some sports books. Liverpool (1-0-0, 3 points, +1 GD) is a -120 favorite for the game with the Draw line at +250—a pretty good option here in my eyes (Sky Go/Sky Go Extra, Sky Sports 5/HD (UK), Fox Soccer Plus/Fox Soccer 2Go (US), 20:45CET 2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT). Why the odds are off possibly 50-80 cents against Basel is probably the simple reality that fewer people know about FC Basel (0-1-0, 0 points, -4 GD) and would be apt to or have already bet on the Swiss Super League champions. And this game will probably be no exception with the majority of ticket written on the more familiar Liverpool.

Because of this perceived value with Basel at home with odds of well over 3/1, it’s very tempting to just automatically want to lock on to the Rotblau and with recent experience in UEFA Champions League Group Stage play, this team is definitely worth a look with your soccer picks here at home against the Reds and again, obviously, on Matchday 4 here at home against tournament newbies Ludogorets Razgrad (Nov. 4).

 

What Does This Particular Game Really Mean To Each of These Two Teams?
For Liverpool (11/1, To Make CL Final, Sky Bet), this game will provide an opportunity to go 2-0-0 in the group and have 6 points—a perfect start after two games and a sense of confidence heading into the last four matches. For Basel (350/1, To Make CL Final), this game is almost like a survival game and the Rotblau can’t upset the Reds they probably have to at least get a point with a Draw to not to be too depressed about the start of Group Stage play this time around. But a -4 GD is almost to be expected when you go up against the computer-like, billion dollar machine that is Real Madrid on Matchday 1 at Santiago Bernabéu against Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and the defending tourney champions. Besides the reality here of not having to play a club like the top-ranked one in FIFA’s latest club rankings, Basel (ranked #18) will have the benefit of the rowdy home throng rooting them on against the English Premier League giants Liverpool (ranked #44). And you know they’ll be in full throat.

Because Basel feels like it has nothing to lose chasing 4 goals after just one match, expect a frenetic, open pace of play, conducive of a potentially high-scoring affair meaning that the Total Goals 2½ Over -137 (bet365) as well as the Both Teams To Score -153 (William Hill), props must be considered, especially with attacking players present like Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli, Daniel Sturridge (21 goals EPL last season), Steven Gerrard (13 goals), Raheem Sterling (8 goals), Philippe Coutinho (4 goals), new signees Alberto Moreno, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren and Basel’s legendary 33-year-old striker and captain Marco Streller (86 career goals for Basel), Shkëlzen Gashi, Fabian Frei and Matias Delgado, among others. And with Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) and Tomáš Vaclík (Basel) the likely starting goalkeepers, there should be and will be goals scored in this one, as there always seem to be in most Reds games. Liverpool’s Sterling and Basel’s Streller are both pretty good candidates for an Anytime Goalscorer wager here in Switzerland when those numbers are posted closer to matchday and Balotelli, who had the game-winner against Ludogorets on Matchday 1, is always a good Anytime Goalscorer choice too as he takes a lot of free kicks and is almost automatic from the penalty kick spot.

 

Any Trends and Is This Really a Good Game To Make a Bet or Two On?
The RotBlau and the Reds have played two times in Champions League Group Stage history and both legs ended in Draws (1-1 on 9/25/02 at Anfield and 3-3 on 12/11/02 at St. Jakob-Park), so, these two teams could very well play to another tie again here, with the game meaning less to Liverpool than it does to Basel and head coach Paulo Sousa. One thing worth noting here against Basel is the fact that this match will be the club’s fourth game in 10 days—two Swiss Super League matches and one Schweizer Pokal match—and that could hurt some in terms of the team’s overall physical condition and energy level. But this is the Champions League and it is their first home game for the Rotblau and having Liverpool and manager Brendan Rodgers in town will certainly be reason for celebration.

As discussed, the Both Teams To Score -153 (William Hill) prop bet seems like the most logical approach here in this one with the Total Goals Over 2½ -137 (William Hill) a close second. The Marco Streller and Raheem Sterling Anytime Goalscorer props also could be worth a small play, as could be the Draw +250 (Sky Bet) as 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 scorelines are all very possible here in what should be a wide-open but very close affair, especially when compared to the other group game—Real Madrid at Ludogorets Razgrad—which will be going on at the same time over in Bulgaria.

The Liverpool To Score In Both Halves prop (Yes +160, Bwin) is also a sneaky smart bet in this match from where I’m sitting, with so many players on this Liverpool roster able to score, even with the departure of the club’s star and the EPL’s leading scorer, Luis Suárez (31 EPL goals LY) to La Liga and Barcelona over the summer transfer window. And, the Correct Score of 2-2 predicted below pays 14/1 (BetVictor) and with this being Matchday 2 and goals likely to be flowing like the nearby waters of the River Rhine, it really seems the score will be right in that 2-2ish neighborhood. And for those looking at backing Liverpool here, the best idea may be backing the boys from Merseyside on the Draw No Bet line at -250 (Coral). Like most games these days, if you do enough research and spend a little time really analyzing, one can find several approaches that best mesh with the final score and type of game the individual bettor sees evolving as this deceiving Champions League Group Stage game again proves.

PREDICTION: FC Basel 2 Liverpool 2

FREE PICK: Over 2½ -137 (bet365)

FREE PROPS PICKS: Both Teams To Score -153 (William Hill), Marco Streller Anytime Goalscorer (FC Basel)

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