Champions League R16 Predictions & Free Picks For First Leg Of Series

Nikki Adams

Monday, February 15, 2016 8:42 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 15, 2016 8:42 PM GMT

Champions League betting hits the forefront this week with a whole slew of stellar matchups. Join us as we rundown through the week’s slate and serve up choice soccer picks.

***Review Our Champions League R16 Props***

Champions League Round of 16 Futures Betting
At the cusp of the R16, Champions League futures to win the competition outright have settled on the soccer odds board. There’s really no surprise to be had with defending champions Barcelona leading the charge as the team to beat and with Bayern Munich following closely.

Here’s a complete serving of the Champions League Futures betting market according to Bet365 at the cusp of the first leg of the R16. It’ll be interesting to monitor how these odds move when the first leg is in the books. Will there be any dramatic changes?

Champions League R16 Fixtures Tuesday February 16 to Wednesday February 17
Getting Europe’s top flight club competition underway in the R16 are four matchups that we’re going to spot here. Beginning with an overview of the current market trading on the first leg and culminating with a brief analysis and choice soccer picks.

Only one home favorite emerges on the soccer odds board: PSG when they host Chelsea. Real Madrid enter their R16 clash with Roma as the road faves, largely down to their overarching outlook in the competition as the third overall faves at +500 (See Table 1). The remaining two matchups are priced in such a way that there’s a sense no clear-cut favorite exits, which might serve up contrarian value for Champions League bettors.

  

vs.  

Gent vs. Wolfsburg
Of all the R16 matchups this weekend, this is the most wide open on the soccer odds board. Wolfsburg won group B despite struggling on the away while Gent clinched second place in group H, largely down to a 2-1-0 record at home. In spite of this the hosts are at the slight disadvantage at +188 (or thereabouts depending your choice sportsbook) to Wolfsburg at +163. The way this market is set up has us casting our eye on the draw as the best potential soccer pick. Certainly, a draw would buoy Wolfsburg’s chances ahead of the return leg in Germany where they can rely on their solid home advantage to clinch the R16 series and advance.

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Soccer Pick: Draw +240
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

 

 

  vs. 

Roma vs. Real Madrid
This is going to be the popcorn matchup of the first week of R16 clashes. Predictably, Real Madrid enter as the road favorites to win outright. They won a tough group A with a 5-1-0 record, which included a 2-1-0 away record. By contrast, Roma limped into the knockouts with a 1-3-2 record and just 6 points – a full 8 points behind group winners Barcelona. That said they didn’t lose at home going 1-2-0 in group E play. That alone could set them up rather well for the draw against Real at home. Still, Los Blancos are riding a three-game winning streak into this game and are firing at all cylinders. Roma are tough to breakdown defensively, but if there were a side that could do just that it would have to be the Spanish side and all its weapons.

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Soccer Pick: Real Madrid -117
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

  vs.  

Benfica vs. Zenit
Zenit finished top of the group H with a 5-0-1 record while Benfica finished second in group C with a 3-1-2 record. Most importantly, Zenit went 2-1-0 away and Benfica went 2-1-0 at home, which shows both that the visitors can win away and the hosts can lose at home. It’s clearly obvious that the odds makers aren’t putting much weight into Zenit’s campaign, largely down to a soft group. But group C wasn’t exactly stacked steep in threats either and Benfica largely benefited from that too. It’s going to be very interesting to see how these sides stack up when they get underway, but we think they Russian side is being severely underrated. Last term, Zenit and Benfica were drawn into the same group and the Russian side took all six points. That track record of success has to augur well and could potentially be the catalyst for the upset.

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Soccer Pick: Zenit +300
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

 

vs.  

PSG vs. Chelsea
Paris Saint Germain are undoubtedly worthy of their favorable odds. They emerged from a tough group A with Real Madrid and maintained an undefeated record at home during group action (2-1-0). The lone misstep was a scoreless draw to Los Blancos in Paris. In Ligue 1 action, the French side is riding high with a 22-4-0 mark, which includes an undefeated 10-2-0 mark at home. On the other side of the coin is Premier League side Chelsea and their well-documented struggles this season. The defending champions have shown marked improvement since parting ways with Jose Mourinho and they are after their best effort on the season with a convincing win over Newcastle United at home, but they still strike an unconvincing pose overall. Particularly with an away record this season in several competitions that leaves much to be desired, such as UCL group play in which they went 1-1-1 on the road and their Premier League road record that stands at 3-4-5. This still isn’t the Chelsea of season’s past, making it rather hard to back them on our soccer picks. Their best shot is the draw on the road, but even that is a bit of a stretch at the expense of PSG.

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Soccer Pick: PSG -145
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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