Pick Barcelona -2.5 vs. Ajax in Champions League Betting

Nikki Adams

Monday, October 20, 2014 6:41 PM GMT

Find out what soccer odds are trading for the pivotal Champions League group clash between Barcelona & Ajax. Here are the best value soccer picks we’ve put together.

Barcelona Flying High In Primera
Although Barcelona are flying high in Primera Division action, they slipped up in Champions League behind a 3-2 defeat to PSG in round 2. As a result, the Catalan side dropped to second place in Group F with a 1-0-1 mark and 3 points, three points behind PSG and a point ahead of third-placed Ajax. Needless to say, with just two rounds in the books, Barcelona’s campaign is far from over. Indeed, they are installed as the third favourites in the competition on +600 future soccer odds, behind Real Madrid (+350) and Bayern Munich (+400).

However, they must overcome Ajax on Tuesday, if they hope to stay in the hunt for a spot in the knockout stages, not to mention keep the pressure on PSG in Champions League group betting.

Barcelona are after a 3-0 win over Eibar at the weekend, marking their second straight win across all competitions since the 3-2 defeat to PSG in September. It also marks their second straight clean sheet all while scoring 5 goals in La Liga betting.

By their Spanish top-flight campaign alone, Barcelona are enjoying a stellar season: they remain undefeated through eight rounds with a 7-1-0 mark and 22 points. What’s more, they’ve scored an incredible 22 goals and conceded ZERO. Indeed, the three goals they conceded to PSG are the only goals they’ve conceded this entire season. Such auspicious form is a privilege as they looked ahead to another tough week with Champions League duties on Tuesday, and –even more importantly – a date with Real Madrid at the weekend that marks the season’s first instalment of the famed El Classico.
 

Ajax Searching For European Win
Ajax enter round 3 of Champions League betting still searching for their first win of the prestigious competition. Their first two rounds settled on lacklustre stalemates against PSG and APOEL. That being said, the fact they managed to hold PSG to a 1-1 draw might send them into this pivotal clash at Camp Nou with some measure of optimism.

A source of additional encouragement for the Dutch is a 1-1 head-to-head edge with Barcelona after the pair split their Champions League meetings last season with both winning at home. It was the first time these clubs ever met: Ajax won 2-1 in Amsterdam before Barcelona reversed the edge behind a 4-0 win at Camp Nou, inspired by Lionel Messi’s hat-trick.

Ajax are currently second in the Eredivise table with a 5-2-2 mark and 17 points, four points adrift of PSV at the top of the table. Most recently, they are after back-to-back draws in domestic action, including a 1-1 draw to fifth-ranked Twente on Saturday.
 

Soccer Betting Verdict
Barcelona have home advantage and formidable form ahead of this clash, two key factors behind their prohibitive soccer odds at -900 to win outright. Their incredible defense this season, coupled with their perfect 4-0-0 record at Camp Nou to start La Liga is going to be nigh impossible for Ajax to overcome, you’d think. Hence, they are appropriately priced at large +1600 soccer odds to win outright at Camp Nou. In fact, Ajax are deemed the biggest underdogs of the entire Champions League betting slate for round 3. That is telling.

Of course, Barcelona can’t take Ajax for granted. The Dutch did after all hold PSG and APOEL to draws – soccer bettors can back the draw at improbable +800 soccer odds, if they so choose to. That said Champions League betting trends are against Ajax particularly on the road. They are enjoying a run of eight away games without a win – dating back to a 2-0 win over Zagreb in October 2011. What’s more, the last time Ajax ever accomplished a win in Spain was in 1996/97 when they beat Atletico Madrid 3-2 in extra time in Champions league quarterfinals.

Undoubtedly, backing Barcelona in this clash is the only way to go. Towards that end, we’ve collated a few soccer betting odds for your consideration. Firstly, we like Barcelona to win both haves and the Over 2.5 in totals betting, both of which can be backed at -250 soccer odds at Bet365.  On the handicap, we fancy Barcelona to cover as the 2.5-point chalk at +110 as our value soccer picks.

Soccer Picks: Barcelona -2.5 (+110) at Pinnacle