Top Betting Picks For Champions League Qualifiers

Ajax FC

Martin Green

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 1:48 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jul. 25, 2017 1:48 PM GMT

It seems like only a few weeks ago that Real Madrid swept aside Juventus to win a second consecutive Champions League final, but already the prestigious tournament is back. 

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There have already been a couple of minor qualifying rounds, but the level of quality steps up several notches this week for the third qualifying round. Well-known teams like Ajax, Dynamo Kiev, Nice, Celtic and Legia Warsaw are all in action on Wednesday and we have chosen the best games, offering breakdowns and picks:

 

Dynamo Kiev v Young Boys

Swiss side Young boys shocked everyone last season by eliminating Ukrainian heavy hitter Shakhtar Donetsk to reach the fourth qualifying round, only to fall at the final hurdle and fail to make the group stage. It was a huge upset, by lightning is unlikely to strike twice. Dynamo Kiev is a strong side and finished second in the Ukrainian league last season, so it should be too good for Young Boys. What’s more, the Ukrainian league starts in March so Kiev will be well into the swing of things from a competitive point of view, while the Swiss league – like most others in Europe – is yet to start, so they will be comparatively rusty. Matters will be exacerbated by Young Boys having to travel 1,600km to Kiev, so they will be jet lagged. Kiev should get the job done and -181 at Betway looks good, but for more value go for Dynamo Kiev -1 on the Asian handicap at -110.

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Astana v Legia Warsaw

Legia Warsaw is the -150 favorite to qualify for the next round here, but as Kazakh side Astana has home advantage it has been made the +150 favorite to win the first leg. Astana is in good form in its domestic league, while Legia Warsaw has made a slow start in Poland, but the Polish league is far superior and Legia Warsaw is the bigger team. Legia Warsaw won 9-0 on aggregate in the previous round and should be full of confidence. Legia Warsaw-draw double chance looks the best bet at -175 with Bet365. Both teams to score also looks interesting at +100 with William Hill as Legia Warsaw does leave gaps at the back.

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Celtic v Rosenborg

Brendan Rodgers’ men made it through to the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in three seasons in 2016/17 and acquitted themselves pretty well, including memorable draws with Man City and Bayer Leverkusen. Celtic has a strong chance of making it once again after going unbeaten for the entire domestic season last time out. It should be too strong for Norwegian side Rosenborg, which scraped through via penalties against Irish team Dundalk in the last round. Celtic has more quality in every department and should not have too much trouble dispatching Rosenborg, so Celtic -1 Asian handicap at -140 with Bet Victor looks good.

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Nice v Ajax

This is undoubtedly the biggest tie of the round and Nice and Ajax can count themselves extremely unfortunate to have drawn one another as they are the two best teams in the round. Nice finished third in France last season, behind megabucks Monaco and PSG, but ahead of strong teams like Lyon. Ajax was the runner-up in a very competitive Dutch league and got all the way to the final of the Europa League, only to lose to Man Utd. In last season’s European campaign, Ajax was strong at home and poor away, so Nice will fancy its chances of getting a vital win in this first leg and is +140 favorite with William Hill. It is very early in the season, however, and this will be each team’s first competitive game, so when they are so evenly matched it is risky to call the winner. Instead, both teams to score might be the better option as it should be an open game full of exciting attacking and some defensive mishaps that are characteristic of both sides. You can get -118 on this with Bwin.

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Club Brugge v Istanbul Basaksehir

Brugge is the better known team on the European stage and starts as -110 favorite for this home leg, but the Turkish league is far stronger than the Belgian top flight and Istanbul finished runner-up last season. That left it above heavyweights Fenerbache and Galatasaray, and was the third consecutive season it had finished in the top four, so this is a strong team and can get a result in Belgium. All the action is going on the Turkish outsiders, and you can get +100 on Istanbul Basaksehir-draw double chance, which looks an intriguing bet.

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