Soccer Picks: Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich

Nila Amerova

Monday, September 30, 2013 2:03 PM GMT

Monday, Sep. 30, 2013 2:03 PM GMT

Another round of Champions League betting is on the books and, arguably, the matchup that practically leaps off the page is the Group D clash between Manchester City and Bayern Munich. Join us we breakdown this certain thriller, complete with odds and picks.

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This matchup is the epitome of a big match. It doesn’t get bigger than this really: defending European champions Bayern Munich against the cash-rich upstarts Manchester City, who are determined to crash the established European soccer order.

This isn’t Man City’s first attempt; they’ve failed in previous attempts to announce their arrival on soccer’s biggest stage. However, this year, or more specifically, this instalment of the Sky Blues under new coach Manuel Pelligrini looks to be frightfully good, which only increases the anticipation that they might finally enjoy some success at the top level.

That Pelligrini and Josep Guardiola are set to reprise their well-documented rivalry in Spain’s biggest fixture when they lead their respective new teams into the Champions League second round of group matches only adds a dramatic backstory to this highly anticipated game.

Betting on the winner

Pelligrini’s Sky Blues enter this game as the underdogs listed at +250 at Bet365 despite having home ground advantage and rich vein of form. It’s not often that the Citizens are listed at the disadvantage at the Etihad. That is down entirely to the quality of Bayern Munich rather than any lack thereof by Manchester City. That being said Bayern enter this clash as the +125 sports betting favourites on the money line, just slightly larger than even money, so not exactly cornering the game as the runaway favourites.

While it’s not surprising the bookies are favouring Bayern Munich, it’s hard to ignore Man City’s impressive run of form of late and that makes one wonder whether this market is a bit of a trap.

Pelligrini’s revamped Sky Blues are finally coming together and firing at all cylinders. They are after a statement-making 4-1 win over city rivals Man U and a 5-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in League Cup action. At the weekend, Man City did lose to Aston Villa 3-2 but given the heavy schedule with four games in almost two weeks and the upcoming Champions League commitment, the last result can be chalked to fatigue and Pelligrini’s mindfulness of what lies ahead.

Still backing Man City would be a bold soccer pick to make here because it’s hard to get past the memories of Man City being outclassed and outplayed at this level in previous years. Moreover, Bayern Munich’s form this season is first-class as they remain undefeated on the season through nine games across several competitions and lead the Bundesliga table (alongside Borussia Dortmund) with 19 points in seven games.

Tempting though Man City is for the win at +250 soccer odds (and it’s not impossible make no mistake), we have to agree with the bookies here and back Bayern Munich to the win. Best part, at +125 soccer odds, a club of Bayern’s ilk at such a price is a steal.

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Soccer Picks: Bayern to win outright at +125 at Ladbrokes

Betting the Totals and Score

Both these teams have plenty of firepower that has been on unabashed display of late. Why just in the last four games, Man City scored 14 goals and conceded four while Bayern Munich scored 12 and conceded 1. Those are heady stats indeed. As such, odds makers have listed the Over 2.5 as the favoured outcome at -138. As well, they list the 2-1 score to Bayern Munich at +800. Only a 1-1 draw is tipped lower at +500.

What is revealing about the score markets is that scores that reflect both sides scoring are priced lower than any score that reflects a clean sheet. For example, a 3-1 win by Bayern is quote at +1400 while a 3-0 win by Bayern is quoted at +2000. On the flipside, a 2-1 win by Man City (for comparison) is listed at +1100 at Bet365 while a 2-0 win is tipped at +1800. What this suggests is that there is an inherent expectation that both sides will score and we have to agree with that.

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Soccer Picks: Game to go OVER 2.5 (-150) at William Hill

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