Soccer Picks: Chelsea vs. Galatasary in Champions League

Nila Amerova

Monday, March 17, 2014 7:43 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 17, 2014 7:43 PM GMT

Chelsea host Galatasaray in UEFA Champions League with the tie teetering on a 1-1 draw.  Find out what odds are currently in swing and where the value is to be had.

Level after the First Leg

Thus is the case in arguably one of the most anticipated R16 clashes, teetering on a 1-1 draw as a coveted spot in the quarterfinals of the Champions League hangs in the balance.

Chelsea, with home ground advantage mainly, are tipped as the favourites to win outright but with soccer odds listed as high as -250 at Bet365 to win outright, are sportsbooks overrating the Blues’ chances?  On the flipside, Galatasaray are listed at whopping +800 soccer odds or thereabouts depending on your preferred sports betting exchange. Is the Turkish side therefore being underrated?

Galatasaray descend on Stamford Bridge riding a 12-game unbeaten streak across all competitions, a run of form that augurs well for them as they attempt to do the unthinkable. Why, Chelsea had difficulty beating them in Istanbul after all (which incidentally was a result we correctly predicted on our soccer picks). And – lest you’ve forgotten – Galatasaray muscled their way into the knockout stages after finishing second in group action behind Real Madrid and expressly in Juventus’ stead by all accounts as the Italians were heavily favoured over Galatasaray to finish second.

Certainly, Roberto Mancini’s side won’t be pushovers at Stamford Bridge. Granted, the dapper Italian manager is being careful ahead of the second leg, assessing his side’s chances rather modestly at well under 50% to win. But those are just mind games that Jose Mourinho is only too familiar with. Fact is Galatasaray have already proved their worth by rising to the occasion in European competition to reach the knockout stages and by holding Chelsea to the draw in the first leg. There is no reason to assume they can’t go one better.

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What’s more, with Didier Drogba leading the Turkish side against his former club, with which he won the coveted European title, you must agree that such a game-changing player would considerably increase Galatasaray’s chances at masterminding the huge upset. Indeed, compared to the large match betting odds at +800, Galatasaray are matched at much shorter +350 futures odds to advance into the quarterfinals and that reduced price tag is rather revealing wouldn’t you say.

Chelsea can’t take anything for granted even if odds makers are tipping this tie firmly in their camp at both -250 soccer odds to win outright and at -550 future odds to qualify. Basel found a chink in their armour in the group stage, beating the Blues twice (home and away). And, just this weekend, in week 30 Premier League betting, Aston Villa delivered the 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Villa Park, a result that shocked soccer bettors and sent seismic shockwaves through sports betting exchanges.

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Chelsea vs. Galatasaray match betting tips and picks: Conventional wisdom suggests backing Chelsea to the outright win and to advance into the quarterfinals are the smart soccer picks here. But are they really the prohibitive favourites at -250 and -550, respectively? Hardly. In some respects, they don’t merit such hefty soccer odds because a) the pressure is entirely on them to produce the result given the home advantage they have; b) the tie is wide open, available for the taking by either side; and c) Didier Drogba and Company are strong enough to cause Chelsea some worry even if the Blues defence is one of the best in Premier League this season.

So from a sports-betting perspective (in other words return value on investment) there is value on both sides of the coin; more so however on the visitors and their tempting +800 soccer odds to win outright, not to mention the draw at +400, both of which just seem too good to ignore. An instance when the price is better and which deserves at the very least a small tickle; that is, if you are so inclined.

Soccer Free Picks: Draw at +400; Galatasaray to advance +350
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