There is no real Cinderella story in the Champions League coming into the knockout rounds. Nearly all the favorites to advance out of the Group Stage and into the Round of 16 made it to this point, and it’s a list of usual suspects that are the favorites. The current Champions League betting odds have Manchester City, Liverpool, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Paris Saint-Germain in a class of their own with odds of 8-1 or less to advance, while the only three longshots with odds of 100-1 or more are Atalanta, Valencia, and Lyon. We’ll see whether the chalk holds up in the knockout rounds, or if a Cinderella team can emerge.
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Atletico Madrid PK -112 vs. Liverpool FC, O/U 2 and 2.5
This match has the lowest total on the board as Atletico Madrid continues to play exceptional defense. Despite playing in one of the top leagues in the world. Atletico has conceded only 10 goals in 17 games, and Diego Simeone’s club continues to win thanks to its stellar back line. Liverpool are the defending champions though, and Jurgen Klopp is the best tactician in the business. That will make it difficult for Atletico to get past Liverpool and into the quarterfinals.
Borussia Dortmund PK and +0.5 vs. Paris Saint-Germain, O/U 3
PSG have been phenomenal once again this season. They are so dominant in France that you can’t bet on PSG to win Ligue 1 anymore, and they are seven points ahead of Marseille with a game in hand. They have a whopping +30 goal differential, but Champions League success has constantly eluded this club. PSG have yet to make it past the quarterfinals of this competition, but this year might be different with Thomas Tuchel pulling all the right strings.
Tottenham Hotspur -0.5 vs. Red Bull Leipzig, O/U 3
Jose Mourinho has Spurs playing better than they were under Mauricio Pochettino, but this club is still not where it wants to be with so many stars. Tottenham made it all the way to the Champions League Final last year, yet they were thrashed by Bayern Munich 7-2 at home in the Group Stage. Fellow Bundesliga club RB Leipzig topped Group G, and Timo Werner is playing exceptionally well. The visitors could certainly secure a result here.
Atalanta PK and -0.5 vs. CF Valencia, O/U 2.5
Atalanta made history by becoming the first team in the history of the Champions League to overcome three losses in its first three games to make it to the knockout rounds. They play a very fun style of football that’s pleasing to the eye, and they are a short underdog to advance over more established side Valencia. There have been 63 goals in 16 Serie A games involving Atalanta this year, so we could see plenty of goals.
SSC Napoli +0.5 vs. FC Barcelona, O/U 2.5 and 3
It’s been a down year for Napoli, but at least they finally survived a tough Champions League draw. Unfortunately, they drew arguably the most talented team in the world in the knockout rounds, and they are sizable underdogs in southern Italy against the Blaugrana. This club will need to play mistake free soccer to advance, but Barcelona haven’t been as good as their talent this campaign.
Chelsea FC +0.5 vs. Bayern Munich, O/U 3
The Blues drew the short end of the straw by being paired with Bayern Munich. Munich are struggling again domestically, sitting in third place in the Bundesliga, but they were the only team to go 6-0 in the Group Stage. Robert Lewandowski is in great form, but Christian Pulisic would love to make his impact felt against a familiar foe.
Real Madrid PK -109 vs. Manchester City, O/U 3
Everyone in the world is ready for this match between a historic blue blood and a relative newcomer. Real Madrid are the most prestigious club in Champions League history, while Manchester City have yet to win this competition. Madrid have the seasoning and the experience, but City have a talent advantage even though they have repeatedly fallen short at this juncture.
Olympique Lyon +0.5 vs. Juventus, O/U 2.5
This is seen as the most likely blowout in the Round of 16. Lyon just don’t have the horses to stack up against Juventus, and the French club largely advanced thanks to a weak group. Juventus are playing excellent defensive football, so Lyon might not register a single goal in two legs.
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