Champions League Soccer Picks for Tuesday's Juventus vs. Real Madrid Clash

Nikki Adams

Monday, May 4, 2015 1:16 PM GMT

Defending champions Real Madrid kick off their clash with Juventus in the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday. The anticipation fit to bursting, we preview this matchup and deliver our soccer picks.

Juventus Host First Leg As Underdogs
Juventus have home advantage for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie with Real Madrid, but they are matched on underdog soccer betting odds across sportsbook platforms and justifiably so. After all, it's no ordinary team that is coming to call on Tuesday night. Real Madrid are the defending champions of this competition, their undeniable pedigree and superior individual talent quite rightly tip the scale in their favor in Turin.

Entering the game at hefty +200 on the Champions League soccer odds to win outright, bookies are implying "La Vecchia Signora" are going to have their work cut out for them against the defending champions. Yet, Juventus might well fancy their chances for several reasons, particularly in the home leg of their tie.

To begin with, Juventus are after a fourth straight Serie A title. Winning the Scudetto already takes one of the objectives on the season off the table and with it the pressure. Juve can play freely in this game, unlike Real Madrid, who are still giving Barcelona chase in La Liga and trailing two points behind the Catalan giants in the table.

Another aspect that goes in Juventus' favour is home form, which stands at a gaudy 45-8-1 in the last 54 home games. In the knockouts of Champions League, they haven't lost a home game either. Beating both Borussia Dortmund and Monaco in Turin and, crucially, holding on to the advantage after going up in the tie.

 

Real Madrid Have Edge
Predictably, Real Madrid enter their semi-final clash as the choice favourites to win outright and advance into the finals. They are favoured to win this tie at -275 soccer odds in Champions League futures betting, and they are matched at shorter odds than Juventus for the first leg  – at+160 soccer odds to win outright. Thus, making them the soccer betting faves for this game.

This market stance is underscored by their obvious pedigree, championship credentials and enviable talent. Where there might be some discord is in their account in the knockouts thus far. They've gone 2-1-1 in the knockouts, including a shocking 4-3 loss to Schalke 04 at the Bernabeu in the R16. Indeed, they barely squeaked through to the quarterfinals.

Speaking of the quarterfinals: Real were made to work hard by Atletico Madrid. It wasn't an exhilarating tie between these city rivals, by any stretch of the imagination. It settled on a scoreless draw at the Calderon before Real finally broke the deadlock with two minutes left to win the second leg  1-0, and with it a place in the Champions League semi-finals.

That it was a rather dull affair has prompted some concern about Real's chances to defend their title, particularly as the competition gets stiffer and the opponents get better. The lack of offense was a point of contention too. However, to be fair, that was down to Atletico's tactics rather than a lack of effort by Real. Los Blancos did have the lion's share of possession in the game, more total attempts and strikes on target. Let's not forget, it was a rematch of last season's final, making it all the more nervy.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict:
The mark of champions is to win under any circumstance, even if it means winning ugly. So Real had a tough time of it in the quarterfinals. They were even handed a scare in the R16 by the Bundesliga upstarts. Yet, here they are in the semi-finals. One round away from a final and a potential to repeat as champions. That speaks to the quality and depth of this team and their ability to dig deep, even when the going gets tough. As it is sure to in Turin, make no mistake.

Although the odds makers have priced Juventus at large +200 soccer odds, their home form is undeniable and they could draw on that for confidence against Real. Based on that aspect, Juventus makes sense as the soccer pick. Except for one tiny detail. So teeny weeny it's easy to miss: this instalment of Bianconeri is set to make its debut in the Champions League semi-finals. As debutantes, their lack of experience against the defending champions is hard to ignore, which makes them the long shot soccer pick in the end.

Put into such context, you must agree betting on the win by Real or the draw is the smart option. You can back either Real Madrid at +160 or the draw at +225 soccer odds separately on your soccer picks. Or better yet, hedge your bets with a combined bet on both at -250 soccer odds. Less attractive odds they maybe, but much better chance of coming through.

Soccer Picks: Real Madrid +160

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