Champions League Betting: Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich

Steven Suarez

Monday, April 21, 2014 7:04 PM GMT

Who's ready for a battle of epic proportions in the Champions League semi-finals? Cristiano Ronaldo will try to lead Real Madrid to a positive result in the first leg of their clash with holding champions Bayern Munich.

Odds Overview

The soccer betting odds are extremely close wherever you look. Real Madrid is barely favored at right around +140 to win the first leg, while Bayern is mostly trading at +200 or so at the top sports betting sites. A draw is available at just above +250.

 
Real Madrid
It's been an eventful couple of weeks since Real Madrid's last exploits in Europe. They barely got past Borussia Dortmund (3-2 on aggregate) in the quarter-final, but have since won each of their latest two matches. 

The first came easy in a 4-0 victory over Almeria in La Liga action. Angel Di Maria, Gareth Bale, Isco and Alvaro Morata all scored in the win.

Four days later, Los Blancos were really put to the test in the Copa del Rey final against none other than Barcelona. Di Maria got Real off to a fantastic start with a goal after only 11 minutes, but Marc Bartra equalized for the Catalans in the second half.

Then Bale took over. He scored a wonderful solo goal in the 85 minute, racing past Bartra on the far side and slotting through Jose Manuel Pinto's legs, giving Los Blancos the cup in the process.

These latest two wins, as well as that second-leg loss to Dortmund, all came without star player Cristiano Ronaldo. However, he's been training and is expected to make the squad for this crucial showdown with the defending Champions League title holders. Will he guide Real to a third successive win across all competitions?

Champions League Picks & Tips for Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea

Bayern Munich
Like Real Madrid, Bayern has been busy since stamping out their place in the semi-finals of the competition. They scooted past Manchester United 4-2 on aggregate with a 3-1 home win a couple weeks ago.

Only days later, the Bavarians looked all over the place in a 3-0 home loss to Borussia Dortmund in the league. They've since bounced back though, beating Kaiserslautern 5-1 in the DFB Pokal semi-finals and then topping Eintracht 2-0 in the league.

Bayern had to wait quite a long time before breaking the deadlock against Eintracht, but Claudio Pizarro finally got a goal in the 75th minute and then Mario Mandzukic made it 2-0 approximately 11 minutes later.

The Bundesliga has already been won by the Bavarians, so now their top focus will be on the Champions League, that is until their cup final against Dortmund next month.

There's no doubt this will be Bayern's toughest test of their European campaign so far, but they've given us no reason to think they won't be up for the challenge. What kind of result will they take back to Munich?

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":263780, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Champions League Pick
Obviously, the return of Ronaldo is a massive boost for Real Madrid, especially when you consider how good the likes of Bale and Di Maria have looked recently. Bayern's defense will need to be practically mistake-free here in the first leg.

The same holds true for Los Blancos though. They have to contend with the duo of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, both of whom have looked extremely dangerous throughout the campaign.

We expect no shortage of goals here, basely solely on the sheer amount of attacking quality that will be on display. It should be a fantastic spectacle at the Bernabeu, but in the end we'll be going with the draw as one of our soccer picks.

Pick: Real Madrid 2 Bayern Munich 2