Soccer Picks: Paris Saint German vs. Valencia in Champions League

Steven Suarez

Monday, February 11, 2013 7:49 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 7:49 PM GMT

The round of 16 begins this week in the Champions League, with Valencia set to host Paris Saint-Germain in a first-leg encounter. Let's run down the soccer odds for this tie.

 

Odds Overview

It's about as close as you can get in terms of the Champions League odds for this meeting inside Estadia Mestalla. Valencia is listed at 13/10 to win the first leg, with PSG at 2/1 and a draw at 11/5.

There's no limit to what kind of soccer betting options you can find. Goalscoring props, handicap bets, half-time wagers: everything is fair game and you can locate all those lines at a majority of the books out there, including Bovada and Bookmaker.

Check out my picks for the Celtic & Juventus Champions League matchup.

Valencia 

Since a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Real Madrid close to three weeks ago, the Goats have responded by going unbeaten over their last three La Liga matches.

They immediately got back on track with a 3-2 win over Deportivo before holding Barcelona to a 1-1 tie at home a week later. This past weekend, Valencia notched a 1-0 away victory against Celta Vigo, with Nelson Haedo Valdez scoring the winner.

Now the Goats will try to keep their good form going with a positive result against PSG.

How'd they get here? By doing well in their group, which also featured the likes of Bayern Munich, Lille and BATE Borisov. Valencia's only loss in the group came to the Germans on their turf, with the Goats then beating the other two outfits both home and away to help them lock down a spot in the final 16.

Key to Valencia's success in this massive European showdown will be the play of Roberto Soldado, who not only has scored 11 goals this term but has got on the score-sheet four times in five UCL appearances as well.

Paris Saint-Germain

A sluggish start it Ligue 1 has also but evaporated now, with the French side now firmly in control atop the table. They're up on second-place Lyon by six points as of now.

The run started on December 8 and has culminated in PSG going undefeated over their previous nine matches domestically. They've smashed the likes of Evian Thonon Gaillard, Troyes, Toulouse and Valenciennes (all 4-0 wins) and also recorded victories over strong opposition in the form of Lyon and Lille.

The Champions League group stages were a walk in the park for PSG. Of their six matches, they lost just once (1-0 away to Porto), beating Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb twice and then returning the favor against the Portuguese side in early December.

PSG's resurgence wouldn't have had happened if it wasn't for the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede has made an immediate and huge impact, scoring 21 goals with five assists in 21 Ligue 1 appearances.

Zlatan has carried that over to UCL play, notching two goals and five assists in six European matches thus far. Valencia will have to come up with something special defensively if they're to keep that man at bay.

[gameodds]8/218281/43/us[/gameodds]

Champions League Pick

As good as Zlatan and PSG have been lately, this encounter with Valencia isn't going to be nearly as easy for them.

This Spanish side held Bayern Munich at home and in La Liga action the Goats have managed to beat Atletico Madrid (2-0) and draw with Barcelona (1-1) at Estadia Mestalla. It's going to be a rocking atmosphere and the French will have their nerves tested.

Oftentimes we see conservative tactics in the first legs of knockout rounds, and we expect something similar on Tuesday. Goals may come at a premium, but ultimately think that a draw holds the best value for our sports picks.

Pick: Valencia 1 PSG 1
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