Two down, two to go: Wednesday’s Champions League quarterfinal matchups in the second leg, poised ever so finely and far from decided. We cast our eye of the value prop bets you should be betting here.
Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona
Both Teams To Score
Although Barcelona are up 2-1 on Atletico Madrid and one foot into the semi-finals, so to speak, the tie is far from won and they’re sure to be mindful of that score. Indeed, just today Cristiano Ronaldo demonstrated just how flimsy a first leg lead is, even a 2-0 lead by Wolfsburg, as he single-handedly lifted Real Madrid out of the abyss and into the Champions League semi-finals through a hat-trick of goals that gave Los Blancos the 3-2 victory on aggregate. Of course, Barcelona have their own game-changing player, the twinkle-toed Lionel Messi. A player if ever there was one to show-up his La Liga counterpart on the field. Barca fans will be counting on their own diminutive goliath to ensure their side’s safe passage into the semis.
The foundation of Atleti’s successful season in both domestic and European competition has been defence – arguably, the best defence in Europe right now. Diego Simeone’s lads lost their heads at the Camp Nou last week and had a man sent off (again this season when playing against La Liga’s standard), which proved to be the undoing of their stoic defence. Even for a backline of their high standard, stopping the likes of Messi, Suarez and Neymar is a tall ask.
Los Rojiblancos will be looking towards their defence in the second leg to deny Barcelona the away goal, a feat that could see them through to the semis if they pull off a win at the same time. However, each and every instalment of Diego Simeone’s Atleti – all of which were as defensive-minded as they come – since beating Barcelona in the second leg of the 2013/2014 Champions League quarterfinal tie has conceded to the undeniable Catalan attacking front. A total of 14 goals across eight fixtures.
It’s hard therefore to imagine Atleti would shutout Barcelona. On the flipside of the coin, Atleti must score if they hope to revive their hopes of advancing in Europe’s top-flight club competition. Therein lies our first recommended soccer pick, which is the YES option for both teams to score that is available at most sports betting outlets at -118 soccer odds or thereabouts depending on which of those you choose from our sportsbooks.
Recommended Soccer Prop Pick: Both Teams to Score at -118 at 888sport
Lionel Messi To Score: As mentioned above, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are cut from the same silk. Time and time again, when it matters most, they rise to the occasion and galvanise their clubs into action. Lionel Messi is sure to have watched Ronaldo as he mercilessly ripped the hearts of Wolfsburg fans into shreds by scoring a hat-trick. He’s sure to want to put in a recognisable performance too in a game that is pivotal towards Barcelona’s continued European adventure. You can back Messi to score anytime at +120 soccer odds at bet365.
Recommended Soccer Prop Pick: Lionel Messi at +120 at bet365
To Qualify: Of all the prop bets this one has to be the most intriguing of the lot. By and large, everyone and their grandmother is betting on Barcelona to advance as the whopping favorites at -450 soccer odds at bet365 or thereabouts depending on your preferred sports betting shop. What if Atleti do pull off the upset though?
It’s not as if they’ve never done it before. Why, only two terms ago, they pulled off the feat at the very same stage of the tournament in the very same leg when they beat Barcelona 1-0 and advanced 2-1 on aggregate. It’s a tall order, mind, but not an improbable one. With all these Barcelona-inspired props above, we’ve decided to throw in one that is very Atleti-minded into the mix. Stir the pot a bit. Why not make it a bit more interesting. That said, don’t go betting the farm on it. Perhaps just a small tickle on Atleti at +333 to qualify.
Recommended Soccer Prop Pick:
Atleti to qualify at +333
Benfica vs. Bayern Munich
Both Teams To Score: While Bayern are up 1-0 in the tie, Benfica are sure to fancy their chances with home advantage and that sets up an intriguing affair for soccer bettors to spot particularly with some choice Champions League prop bets, beginning with the YES option for both teams to score. Benfica will be looking for the important tying goal while Bayern will be looking for the equally important away goal. Surprisingly, the YES option for both teams to score is slightly less favored at -105 than the No option at -125. For our money, given the talent of both sides we’re banking on the Yes option here.
Recommended Soccer Prop Pick: YES for both teams to score at -105 at bet365
Totals: Last week’s rather underwhelming 1-0 account at the Allianz Arena seems to have made an impact on this matchup as even the totals are trading with the UNDER 2.5 goals favored at -118 while the OVER is slightly less so at -105. If we can agree that the rather muted and tame affair was so uncharacteristic of Bayern Munich, then it follows there’s a good chance we’ll see the Bundesliga powerhouse light up in Lisbon. Indeed, just last weekend Bayern descended on Stuttgart to win 3-1 in Bundesliga action, snapping a string of 1-0 outcomes since storming back to win the second leg 4-2 over Juventus. Indeed, one could argue the second leg of their R16 tie with Juventus took something out of them, so emotional and highly-charged the victory was there’s bound to be a hangover effect. In any event, with Bayern firing at all cylinders and, potentially, Benfica finding their scoring verve –they’re not exactly shy in that department either having shipped 12 goals in their last five fixtures across all competitions, we could have a match that goes against the grain. As such, we’re chancing the OVER 2.5 on our soccer picks.
Recommended Soccer Prop Pick: Over 2.5 at -105 at bet365