The UEFA Champions League round of 16 continues with the second legs of four matchups taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The remaining four matchups will finish up next week, after which time the quarterfinals draw will take place.
With all that in mind, let’s get to this week’s games. As always, remember that these bets are for results at the end of regulation only.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
Benfica (-255), Club Brugge (+675), Draw (+370)
If Benfica (currently up 2-0 on aggregate) do manage to finish off Club Brugge, do they have any realistic chance of advancing further?
Paul Carr: Benfica will likely be in the weird spot of being the club everyone wants to draw in the quarterfinals, while still having as much of a chance as any of the bottom four teams in the quarters. The Portuguese league leaders have won eight consecutive games by multiple goals and, while they obviously don’t need to do that here, the price is too tempting to pass up against the weakest remaining team. Benfica dominated the first leg, outshooting Brugge 14-4 with 2.9 expected goals to Brugge’s 0.4. I’ll take Benfica -1.5 in the second leg at +120.
Dan Thomas: Benfica were so dominant in the first leg and I can see this being one-way traffic once again in Portugal. I think Paul has this spot-on. Benfica -1.5 +120
Chelsea (-118), Borussia Dortmund (+310), Draw (+260)
If Chelsea lose this game against Dortmund, is Graham Potter out? If Dortmund (up 1-0 on aggregate) get past Chelsea should they be favorites to win the Champions League?
Carr: If Chelsea go out versus Dortmund, there’s not much reason to fire Potter now, given that Chelsea will be out of all three cup competitions and sitting 10th in the EPL. However, we all know that logic isn’t exactly running rampant in many front offices.
Anyway, Dortmund are running a little hot, as any club on a 10-match win streak does, but still have at least 1.5 expected goals in eight of those 10 games. Dortmund could easily get a goal here, and then Chelsea would need two, something the Blues haven’t done in any of their last 12 games, winning only twice in that span. I can’t imagine trusting Chelsea here, even at Stamford Bridge. Give me Dortmund on the double chance (-111).
Thomas: I think the fact they beat Leeds United gives Potter a little more breathing room. As always, their issues are going to be goals. Dortmund very much held on against RB Leipzig, despite the one-man advantage on Friday. This is really difficult to call. I’m going to go Chelsea under 1.5 goals (-115).
Tottenham Hotspur (-105), AC Milan (+285), Draw (+245)
Milan won the first leg 1-0. Who currently has the worst form between these two sides?
Carr: The first leg was a pretty good microcosm of the recent form for both teams. Tottenham had 11 shots worth 0.4 expected goals, with only one shot of above-average quality. Milan was a little better, with nine shots and 1.9 expected goals, although most of that value was on the goal and a couple of late chances. Tottenham of course needs a goal but has only topped 1.5 expected goals in a match once since the World Cup. This should be a tight game with both teams happy to play for one goal. I’m taking under 2.5 goals at -115.
Thomas: Both teams are on a miserable run at the moment. I don’t think this game will be one for the purists. I’ll also take under 2.5 goals at -115.
Bayern Munich (-125), Paris Saint-Germain (+285), Draw (+305)
With Neymar injured, how will it impact the game, and do you believe this is Lionel Messi’s last chance to win a championship? Has João Cancelo made Bayern favorites to win it all?
Carr: In the first leg (won by Bayern 1-0) PSG presented almost no threat until Kylian Mbappe entered for the final half hour. Mbappe will be healthy for this second leg, but Neymar is out, and Bayern’s Sadio Mane will be available to run at what should be a stretched PSG back line. Bayern are still rolling, winning seven of their last eight and with the underlying numbers to match. The exception was a loss to Borussia Monchengladbach when Bayern got an early red card. Give me Bayern to win this game at -125, a price that would be closer to -150 were this not a second leg.
Thomas: Here we go then. I’m very much looking forward to this one. Mbappe is healthy and hungry for goals going into this match and what a price this is to go with Mbappe scoring two or more goals (+1000).
Former ESPN senior researcher Paul Carr is director of content for TruMedia.
Source: Read Full Article