Outright Predictions & Free Picks On All Champions League Matchups

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 4:25 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2016 4:25 PM GMT

We return with our match-betting previews for the Champions League quarterfinals, the second leg with a pair of fixtures finely poised on the soccer betting odds board. Here are the soccer picks.

Quarterfinal Recap First Leg and Soccer Picks Record
Tuesday’s round of Champions League kicked off the first round in fine style, and, for a moment there it was looking rather good for the upset soccer pick: Atleti to win or draw against Barcelona. It was 2013/2014 all over again as Atleti went up 1-0 in the first half, but, then, Diego Simeone’s lads lots their heads, went down a man and the momentum shifted towards the hosts. It was all a side of Barcelona’s ilk really needed to storm back and win the first leg 2-1, coming through as the -185 soccer pick at Pinnacle.

On the same day, Bayern Munich lived up to expectations by defeating Benfica at the Allianz Arena as the whopping -425 favourite at Pinnacle. Yet, it wasn’t quite the dominating performance one expected of the Bundesliga leaders as they merely edged the Portuguese hopefuls 1-0 on the scoreboard. Nevertheless, they prevented the pivotal away goal, which could still stand them in good stead when the pair resume hostilities in Lisbon.


Wednesday’s round of first leg Champions League quarterfinals served up a couple of surprises but none bigger than Wolfsburg upsetting Real Madrid and wreaking havoc with our soccer picks. Wolfsburg pulled off the stunning 2-0 win as the +450 home underdogs and took a step forward into the semi-final frame, something few would have predicted.

In the other matchup of the day, the highly anticipated clash between PSG and Man City at the Stade de Paris, the Citizens, not to be outdone as upset mongers, rose to the occasion to give the French Ligue 1 leaders a run for their money and, once again, wreaking havoc with our soccer picks. In a pulsating clash in the French capital, Man City forced the draw on PSG, a bet that was trading at +310 soccer odds on the Champions League odds board.

Admittedly, Wednesday’s round was a setback for our soccer picks record in the quarterfinal round, forcing us to a 1-3 record in straight up picks. A come back is in order in the second leg.

Quarterfinal Record SU: 1-3
Here we look at the complete Champions League Soccer odds board for the second leg according to bet365, and below we preview each and every matchup and serve up choice soccer picks with the best current prices trading across sports betting platforms.

Table 1: Champions League Match Betting Odds Second Leg According to Bet365

 

Man City vs. PSG
Tie: 2-2
To be fair, Manchester City punched above their weight class last week by holding PSG to the 2-2 draw. It’s no secret form is hardly much to cheer about over the last couple of months, a calamitous dip that cost the Citizens, preseason favourites, not only the Premier League title but also threatens their very existence inside the league’s Top 4. As it is, they are fighting to stay in contention for a Champions League spot next season. It’s worth mentioning one relevant dynamic to this matchup: PSG have practically won the Ligue 1 title and, therefore, can freely focus on their European bid.

On paper, recent form is auspicious with just two defeats in Man City’s last eight fixtures across all competitions. Looking closer at the sheet though reveals wins over relegation threatened Aston Villa (4-0) and bottom of the table stragglers AFC Bournemouth (4-0) and West Bromwich Albion (2-1) during this stretch. Not a single quality side was beaten, rather they lost to Liverpool (0-3) and Manchester United (0-1) and settled on draws to Norwich City, Dynamo Kiev (both were scoreless) and PSG.

That’s hardly a ringing endorsement of form ahead of a pivotal clash with PSG at the Etihad. In fact, home form is rather concerning with just two wins, a draw and three losses in their last six home engagements, the latter of which featured setbacks to Leicester City (1-3), Tottenham (1-2) and Man United. PSG’s away form, however, is nothing to sniff at with a four-game winning streak across all competitions, including a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge over Chelsea in the Champions League R16. Delving deeper, Les Parisenes have won eleven of their last 12 away games across all competitions.

Although Man City are well in it and now, even, favoured to advance into the semis as the -163 soccer pick at bet365 over PSG at +125 future odds, the hosts are nevertheless at the slight disadvantage to PSG to win the second leg in match betting odds, trading at +180 while PSG are slightly shorter at +155 to win. The market outlook is contradictory in these juxtaposing markets, yet the reasoning for it is Man City have home advantage and two precious away goals in the bank.

Still, for our money, we’re shading the visitors to right the table as the +155 bet to win straight up. Not only is their away form impressive but the Citizens are there for the taking based on their recent accounts at the Etihad when the pressure was on. There’s also the growing injury list to consider.

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Free Soccer Pick: PSG +150
Best Line Offered: at William Hill

 

Real Madrid vs. Wolfsburg
Tie: 0-2

Real Madrid bottled it in Germany last week. Chalk it to underestimating their opponents somewhat as well as a touch of bad luck – Ronaldo had a goal ruled offside, which would have been a precious away goal to hang their hats on at the Bernabeu. Nevertheless, despite the setback, Los Blancos are the runaway favourites at -500 soccer odds to win the second leg while the upstart visitors are trading as the ridiculous +1400 away underdogs. That has everything to do with home advantage as well as Real’s undeniable quality.

It’s going to be a tough ask for Wolfsburg to replicate the result at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, where the hosts are riding a four-game winning streak across all competitions, and where they’ve won 12 of their last 13 fixtures. Indeed, the 1-0 loss to Atletico on I February was their only home loss in 2016 and just second loss of this season period.

Looking at Wolfsburg’s recent form and away form is discouraging. The win over Real came out of nowhere and marked their first win in five fixtures. On their travels, they 2-1-3 in their last six, which includes back-to-back away losses in Bundesliga to Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen all while shutout by the pair 0-4 combined.  

Undoubtedly, Real Madrid are the smart play here to win even at their overinflated soccer odds – the best price currently available is at Bookmaker where Real are trading at -475 to win. It must be mentioned that the market curiously tips the pair equally at -110 future odds to advance into the semis, but that’s more likely a reaction to balance the bets rather than an indication of parity between these two clubs and genuine expectation.

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Free Soccer Pick: Real Madrid -494
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona
Tie: 1-2
Although Barcelona won the first leg, they still have all to do in the return leg in the Spanish capital on Wednesday. There are those soccer bettors that would even go so far as to say the Catalan giants were rather lucky to win the first leg as Diego Simeone’s side look to be the better side at the Camp Nou from the start until they lost their cool.

At the weekend, Barcelona lost to Real Sociedad while Atletico defeated Espanyol resoundingly on the road and Real Madrid defeated Eibar. The upshot of which was to revive the three-horse title race in La Liga with the gap closing to just three points between Barcelona and Atleti and four points between Barcelona and Real.

In no uncertain terms, the pressure is now even greater on Barcelona both in domestic and European action and it remains to be seen whether this is just a mere hiccup or a sign of something more serious. Diego Simeone and his Rojiblancos might interpret this as a sign that Barcelona are really there for the taking, and they must fancy their chances at the Calderon where they’ve lost just three fixtures in 22 this term across all competitions. Of course, one of those was a 1-2 defeat to Barcelona in La Liga.

In 2013/2014, they dismissed Barcelona out of the Champions League quarterfinals with a 1-0 win at the Calderon (2-1 on aggregate). They’re probably a long shot soccer pick to do so again seeing as they haven’t beaten their lofty rivals since, but, fortune favours the brave so they say. So sticking to our original soccer pick of the first leg, we’re backing Atleti to stifle Barcelona and win.

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Free Soccer Pick: Atletico +240 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

 

Benfica vs. Bayern Munich
Tie: 0-1

There are those soccer bettors that would suggest Benfica got off lightly at the Allianz Arena, where so many prestigious and renowned clubs have been laid to waste. A 1-0 defeat is by no means campaign-ending and with home advantage in the second leg they could fancy their chances, more so than the odds makers would have it. Benfica are rather disingenuously priced at +475 to win outright while Bayern Munich are the firm favourites at -150.

To be fair, those soccer odds are a testament to Bayern Munich’s pedigree and credentials in this competition. They didn’t perform to expectations in the first leg, but that might be down to the hangover effect after beating Juventus in thrilling style at the Allianz Arena. Some credit must be given Benfica for their stoic defending as well on the day.

Yet, when push comes to shove, Bayern Munich are amongst the best in Europe and with the tie so finely poised we expect Pep Guardiola to pull out all the stops to ensure a winning account. So we’re backing Bayern Munich on our soccer picks as the road favourites at the best price of -144 at Pinnacle, but, at the same time, we’re conceding the tie is far from won and Benfica are definitely worth the tickle as the home underdogs.

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Free Soccer Pick: Bayern Munich -145
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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