Free Soccer Picks: UEFA Champions League Outrights & Futures

Nikki Adams

Sunday, April 17, 2016 7:01 PM GMT

Sunday, Apr. 17, 2016 7:01 PM GMT

Four teams remain in the UEFA Champions League, vying for the coveted prize. Find out how the soccer odds stack up in outright betting markets.

Champions League Quarterfinal Recap
The main talking point of the Champions League quarterfinals is Barcelona’s untimely exit. The defending champions were tipped to triumph on Europe’s grandest stage right from the start of the competition. Preseason markets had the Catalan giants installed as the top favorites, a market outlook that never wavered through the rounds and all the way into the quarterfinals (See. Table 1).

Even drawing Atletico Madrid (2013/2014 runners-up) did little to unsettle Barcelona at the top of the market’s hierarchy. Quite the opposite, from the R16 to the quarterfinals, Barcelona’s odds were cut from +250 all the way down to +150, or thereabouts depending on your choice sportsbook.

Atletico pulled off the exact same upset two seasons ago, en route to a runner-up finish to Real Madrid, so it really can’t be all that surprising that they did it again, even if few soccer bettors truly believed they would repeat. Heck, odds makers had Atletico Madrid priced long in the competition at +1600 to win it all at the start of the quarterfinal round, making Diego Simeone’s side the sixth overall bet out of eight to triumph.

In any event, Barcelona are done and done. The remaining four clubs in the competition are the main focus and from the mix, Bayern Munich, second fiddle to Barcelona since markets opened last summer, are now the newly-minted favorites to win outright at +150 at Bet365.

Here we look at the Champions League odds board according to bet365 and below we analyse the moves and their importance towards your soccer picks.

Table 1: Comparing Champions League Futures To Win Outright from Quarterfinals to Semi-finals

Bayern Munich Team To Beat, Real Nipping At Their Heels
Although Bayern Munich now emerge as the team to beat in the competition as the +150 favorites, Real are nipping at their heels at +188 soccer odds – so just a smidgen above. That has all to do with Friday’s semi-final draw that pit Bayern Munich with upset mongers Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid with first-time semi-finalists Man City.

Indeed, Real are considered winners of the draw, acquiring the so-called easiest matchup in the last four. Granted this is the penultimate round of Europe’s top-flight club competition, so there are no really easy matchups. The fact that Man City are through to their first-ever semi-final and taking on the Spanish side, the competition’s best club in history as holders of ten titles, makes all the difference on balance.

As such, Real Madrid quite fittingly were backed in from +500 soccer odds boards, where they were trading at the vanguard of the quarterfinals, to +188 soccer odds going into the semis. It marks the most noteworthy move of the Champions League outrights market.

Bayern Munich did shorten from +250 to +150 given their undeniable quality this season and in the competition proper. As it is, they currently lead the Bundesliga and they have a history of success in this completion. Not to mention so does Pep Guardiola, who guided Barcelona to a couple of success in Champions League over his four-year tenure with the Catalan giants. All those things have conspired to improve Bayern’s odds in the market.

However, it’s debatable whether they might be priced too short right now considering the merit of their opponents, Atletico Madrid. The La Liga hopefuls have seen their futures odds to triumph in this prestigious competition shaved from +1600 to +350, which is the biggest move in terms of amount but how significant is it when they remain third best bet out of four teams.

In short, they are still considered long shots in the competition, with all to do in the semi-finals. Of course, Atleti have proven they can take the measure of any club, including defending champions Barcelona. Question is can they do it again? Defy the soccer odds and move into their second Champions League final in the last three terms.

As it is, the market forecasts a Bayern Munich-Real Madrid showdown in May’s highly-anticipated final, but what if we see a repeat of the exact same final that saw Real win La decima? Heady thought indeed. It’s worth pointing out that few are predicting a Bayern Munich-Man City final and, eve, fewer a Atletico Madrid-Man City final. Neither though is an unreasonable probability though.

In the interests of prestige, the ideal final certainly is a matchup between the top two favorites, a bet that can be backed at +100 soccer odds. It’s the top soccer pick according to consensus betting polls. In the interest of the competition and sports in general, though, any matchup would be sensational for the game and fans.

A repeat of the 2013/2014 final between the two Spanish clubs is trading at +250 soccer odds while a clash between Bayern and Man City is priced at +400. The least likely scenario between the two underdogs in the semi-final round, a date between Atletico and Man City, is on offer of +650.

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