Champions League Soccer Pick: Juventus to Lift the Trophy Against Barcelona

Nikki Adams

Thursday, May 28, 2015 3:21 PM GMT

Barcelona and Juventus are set to collide in the Champions League final on June 6th, but with soccer odds already in full swing we're serving up our early Champions League picks.

Juventus In First Final In 12 Years
Juventus have booked their spot in the final opposite Barcelona, marking their first appearance in the ultimate round of Europe's top-tier club competition in 12 years. However, the soccer odds are stacked heavily against them on the Champions League odds board. Predictably, perennial favorites Barcelona have the nod from the soccer odds makers to lift the coveted title. Do the bookies have it right, or should soccer bettors back Juventus?

 

Juventus Have A Reasonable Shot
They may be matched as the +450 underdogs to win outright and at +225 underdogs to lift the trophy, but they are after producing one of the best runs in the competition that features nine straight games without a loss and conceding just three times in the last eight games. Yet that undeniable form clearly isn't recognised by such steep soccer odds.

As they are, soccer bettors could mistakenly assume Juventus are simply pretenders. Unfit competition for the side odds makers have been doting on since the very beginning. And now that their beloved Barcelona is in the final (proving their narcissism right all along) they are practically handing them the title already on  -275 soccer odds to lift the trophy and at -163 soccer odds to win the match itself.

 

Real Stunner
Nobody that watched the semi-finals could buy into this notion though, surely. Juventus overcame defending champions Real Madrid with a very convincing and focused display, better than anyboyd expected they would frankly. Including us, if we're being honest here. 

Heck, even odds makers installed Juventus as the hefty home underdogs in the first leg of their tie. Matched at +200 to win in Turin, La Vecchia Signoria were seriously undervalued and many soccer bettors missed a big opportunity to cash in when they went up over Real Madrid 2-1. An even bigger opportunity to cash in on Juventus presented itself in the 2nd leg where they were matched as the hefty +475 bet to win outright at Bet365. 

Admit it, you thought Real Madrid (with their precious away goal) would overturn the tie. We did. After all, they were the defending champions and had home advantage for the reverse leg. What's more, Juventus haven't been to the final of the competition in 12 years and the pressure of the occasion could have been overwhelming. All of which is perfectly reasonable (so did bookies, fans and soccer enthusiasts alike around the world share in this notion) but boy hasn't Old Lady pulled a fast one on everybody.

Or rather it was the tactical genius of Masimiliano Allegri. Incidentally, who has pulled off a 2-0 win over Barcelona two seasons ago in this competition, when he was the manager of AC Milan with, arguably, lesser quality players than he has at his disposal now with Juventus. Of course, Barcelona had a different manager then too. Still, it's something to consider when making your soccer picks on this much anticipated match.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict:
From consensus betting, winds of public betting blow in Barcelona's direction. With the most popular prediction being a 3-1 win by Barcelona. It's worth mentioning, that odds makers are tipping this game towards the UNDER at -118 on total betting rather than the OVER at -105 at bet365. Finally, a soccer betting outlook that actually takes stock of Juventus' form through the competition rather than swinging towards the swashbuckling duo of Lionel Messi and Neymar and their twinkle-toed scoring ways.

In any event, we digress. If there's one thing we learned about betting on the Champions League final in the last few seasons it's that it's been closer than the odds makers would have you believe. Case-and-point, last year's final between Real and Atletico that was finely poised on a 1-0 score for 90 minutes before Real equalised to send it into overtime. Bayern edged Borussia Dortmund 2-1 the year prior while Chelsea edged Bayern on penalties after the game settled on a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena three years ago.

The last time a clear-cut favorite actually played up to their loftiness on the Champions League odds was Barcelona, when they beat Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley Stadium in 2010-2011. They did so similarly when they beat Man U 2-0 in 2007-2008.

Barcelona have a way of underscoring their soccer odds and tapping to a higher level when it matters most. They soak up the pressure like no other team and it helps when they have lethal weapons such as Messi, Neymar and Suarez firing at all cylinders. But Juventus have stared down many a team without flinching (we repeat: nine undefeated and conceding just three goals in the last eight) and that has us considering the possibility that they'll actually stun Barcelona and soccer betting enthusiasts in a fortnight.

It's worth adding that there is a sentimental back-story to the June 6 date in the Champions League final for the Italian stalwarts Buffon and Pirlo. The Olimpiastadion venue in Berlin was the scene of their magical World Cup 2006 triumph, and the prospect of the pair returning to those hallowed grounds is something for the Hollywood scriptwriters. Imagine the misty-eyed narrative if they do pull off the improbable win at +475 soccer odds and lift the trophy at +275 soccer odds? Oh go, back Juventus to come through on your soccer picks.

If you're with us, fading the bookies' favorites and  backing these plucky underdogs to win outright and color the world black and white, then the Under 2.5 at -118 could be the savvy play in total betting markets. (Italy beat Germany 2-0 at the Olimpiastadion on 2006 on a night that Buffon was simply unbeatable). Of course, it's hard to imagine that Messi, Neymar or Suarez won't score. So, we're fading the bookies on this score and going with the OVER 2.5 at -105 instead.

Soccer Picks: Juventus to win outright at +475 and lift the trophy at +275
Bonus Soccer Pick: Over 2.5 at -105

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