Pick Atletico Madrid & Astana to Go 'Over' in UCL Group C Fixture

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 4:23 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 4:23 PM GMT

Atletico Madrid are overwhelming favorites against the soccer odds ahead of their clash with FC Astana. Can the visitors spring the surprise or will the results fall in line?

Atletico Madrid Hot Faves
Atletico Madrid are hot favorites matched at runaway -700 soccer odds to win outright over FC Astana on Wednesday at the Vicente Calderon (soccer odds courtesy of Bet365). Put another way, to look at the whopping +2500 soccer odds Astana are trading on the Champions League odds board, the largest price tag of the third round of group play of any team, is to get a sense of the uphill battle the Kazakhstan upstarts are facing in the Spanish capital.

Yet, Diego Simeone and his Rojiblancos aren’t taking anything for granted. In round 2 of Europe’s top flight competition, Atleti suffered a setback behind a 2-1 loss to Benfica at the Vicente Calderon. The Portuguese champions came from behind, scoring once on either side of halftime to take their second group match in a row and move to the top of Group C. On the heels of the loss, Atleti slipped to second place in the table with a 1-0-1 mark and 3 points. They’ve scored three goals and conceded two for a plus 1 differential.

Atleti must rebound against group minnows Asanti, who are 0-1-1 in the competition, if they hope to keep their campaign healthy and kicking. Both Galatasaray and Asanti are level on 1 point in Group C with a 0-1-1 mark and where the Turkish side are concerned, they are dangerous floaters in the section with the advantage of closing their group campaign at home (match day 6) against Asanti.

A lot of money was spent in the offseason to shore up Simeone’s roster in an attempt to outdo their banner season of 2012-2013 when they won the La Liga title and came within touching distance of the Champions League trophy, only to lose to city rivals Real Madrid in extra time. As far as domestic action is concerned, Atleti are off to a bright start with a 5-1-2 mark and 16 points, putting them two points adrift of the top triplet Real Madrid, Celta de Vigo and Barcelona.

Of course, expectations on Atleti run high and transcend domestic action. Failure to advance into the knockout stages in their third straight appearance in the competition after coming out of the pocket for the sole purpose of becoming a force to contend with both domestically and on the European front would be deemed a disappointment.  

Asanti are after opening with a 2-0 loss at Benfica and settling on a 2-2 draw to Galatasaray in Astana, Kazakhstan, which marks a positive enough start for a side that is flying the Kazakhstan flag for the first time in the competition. Being unknown and unheralded on the European front can be an advantage to the Kazakhstanis in this competition. That said their away form doesn’t inspire much confidence: even during their qualifying campaign they struggled to win matches going 0-2-1 on the away. They held APOEL an HJK to draws (1-1 and 0-0, respectively) and lost to Maribor 1-0. At home, though, they stunned all three sides by winning each and every single game and outscoring the triplet 8-4.

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Soccer Betting Verdict
The strength of Asanti is their home form, where they’ve enjoyed their best results in the European competition. Indeed, they measure of their campaign hinges on how well they’ll account there. There’s no denying their road form, which leaves much to be desired. Whether they deserve to be so massively disadvantaged remains to be seen. We expect they’ll put in a commendable account against the heavily favored hosts, but succumb to the loss. Take Atleti to win outright at -700 soccer odds if you have silly money to play with on your soccer picks. For our money, the value plays are OVER 2.5 at -150.

UCL Soccer Picks: Over 2.5 -150 at Bet365

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