Betting on the winner
Olympiakos enter the final round of group fixtures of Champions League in perfect position to advance into the knockout stages, sat second in the table on seven points, level with SL Benfica but ahead of their Portuguese rivals on head-to-head record.
The Greeks beat Anderlecht 3-0 on match day 2, a victory that got their European campaign up and running following an opening 4-1 defeat to PSG. After beating the hapless Belgians, Olympiakos went on to back-to-back dates, home and away, with Benfica , earning the 1-1 draw on the road and then wining 1-0 at home in order to gain the crucial but slim edge in Group C. On match day 5, despite a valiant effort in Paris, Olympiakos were dealt a minor setback as they succumbed 2-1 to PSG.
It’s down to the wire now. Olympiakos can secure advancement with a win over bottom-placed Anderlecht or by rivalling Benfica’s result at home to Paris St. German in the section’s other match. Should Benfica take more points than Olympiakos on match day six, it would spell the end of the road for the Greeks as far as Champions League is concerned.
It’s interesting to note that no such apprehension is prevalent in group qualification futures, as odds makers have installed the Greeks at favourable -700 soccer odds to advance into the knockout stages while tipping the Portuguese at staggering +450 soccer odds. A market stance that has little to do with the quality of these two sides but rather the quality of the opposition each has to face on match day six, where ‘on paper’ Olympiakos benefit considerably with the prospect of the group’s bottom-stragglers Anderlecht and Benfica have to advance their cause at the expense of the section’s winners, a Zlatan-Ibrahimovic-inspired PSG.
Predictably, that perceived benefit correlates to favourable match betting odds as well; Olympiakos are not only the hot favourites to advance but also deemed the hot favourites at -300 to win outright over Anderlecht, who are on offers hovering above +800 to win outright depending on the online sportsbook of choice. Then again, Anderlecht’s account in top-flight action has led to this disparity of treatment in the market. Their campaign to all intents and purposes is done. With a 0-1-4 mark in five laps and just one point, they have nothing but pride to play for really and, perhaps even, the role of spoilers as an incentive, but that really isn’t much to hang one’s hat on really in sports betting.
Underscoring Olympiakos’ favourable odds across the board is impressive form this season. They are undefeated in 19 of their last 21 competitive matches for a 17-2-2 mark across all competitions; their only two defeats coming to PSG so far. If we were to ignore the PSG clash, home form has been sublime, winning all nine, scoring 32 goals and conceding just three goals. As well, five of their last six home matches (seven of nine overall) were clean sheets.
Soccer Betting Verdict: If Olympiakos want to be the masters of their own destiny this is a must-win match over Anderlecht. Nothing could be worse than leaving fate delicately resting on the outcome of the section’s second match. Fortunately, Olympiakos have before them a very winnable game over Anderlecht – not only are the Belgians beatable but they have little motivation really. As such, Olympiakos at -300 to win outright does seem to be the only reasonable soccer pick here. Given their solid defending at home as well as penchant to score, the Over 2.5 at -154 looks a good bet as well as Olympiakos to win both halves at +125.
Soccer Free Picks: Olympiakos to win outright at -300; Over 2.5 -154
Bonus Free Picks: Olympiakos to win both halves at +125[gameodds]8/244723/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]