The Champions League is Europe’s most elite competition, sporting the best clubs in the world. While we are relatively early in the tournament, there are a couple of matchups that are certain to excite – Napoli and Liverpool will battle it out with their high-powered teams and Barcelona will look to prove their dominance once more.
However, I’m not interested in the biggest matchups. Instead, I’m looking for the best value for bettors in this week’s round of matches. I’ll take a look at all 16 games and find the picks with the most upside. Let’s get started!
Napoli vs Liverpool
Odds – Home Win (3.50)
Away Win (2.05)
Without a doubt, this is the week’s most hotly anticipated matchup. Napoli come into this game off a loss to Juventus, and the Partenopei were surprisingly unable to earn more than a point against Red Star Belgrade in the first week of the Champions League. Unfortunately for Napoli, they find themselves in the toughest group in the tournament, and they’ll need to get three points at home if they wish to have a chance to move on to the knockout stages.
The Reds have had a much different start to the season. A win against PSG put them in a great position to make it to the knockout rounds, and they seem to only have improved since their Champions League final appearance last year. They sport the best attack in England – filled with pace and talent – and their defense is nothing to laugh at either.
And yet, Napoli are not the underdogs that they may seem. The Partenopei remain Italy’s second best club by far, and the deadly trio of Insigne, Mertens, and Callejon can cause any team trouble. They can consistently create opportunities, and it only takes one for them to get off to a fast start. I think that Napoli have the weapons to give Liverpool some trouble, and with the odds set to more than triple your bet, this is great value in what should be a wildly entertaining battle.
Prediction: Napoli 2-2 Liverpool
Lyon vs Shakhtar Donetsk
Odds – Home Win (1.84)
Away Win (4.40)
Lyon remain one of France’s most underrated teams. While PSG are still the kings of the Ligue 1, Lyon always seem to find themselves in contention for a Champions League spot. With an incredibly talented roster featuring Fekir, Depay, and Dembele, they have the weapons to score goals, evidenced by their shocking away win over Manchester City.
Shakhtar are the best team in Ukraine, but they have struggled to find much European success in their stint as their country’s top club. Their team simply lacks the talent of the bigger leagues, and they can’t break through more experienced and skilled defenses.
This matchup seems more lopsided than the odds suggest. Lyon are a stellar team, and if they play like they did against City, Shakhtar will be thoroughly outmatched. I think the French will win this one comfortably, especially with the support of the home crowd behind them.
Prediction: Lyon 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk
AEK Athens vs Benfica
Odds – Home Win (3.80)
Away Win (2.20)
AEK Athens suffered defeat at the hands of Ajax last week, and while they’re still at the top of the pack in the Greek Superleague, they haven’t been nearly as dominant as they were last season, failing to get anything going against fellow rivals, PAOK.
Benfica are still Portugal’s premier team, and they defeated none other than PAOK to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League. After a rough start to their league campaign, they’ve gotten back on track, and Benfica’s offense has continued to produce.
Priced at 2.2, Benfica look like a good pick for this week. They are a much better side than AEK Athens, and Greek teams have never been too successful in the Champions League. I think Benfica’s defense will prove difficult to break down for the Greek club, and Benfica’s relatively young strike force could cause serious issues.
Prediction: AEK Athens 1-2 Benfica
PSV vs Inter
Odds – Home Win (3.00)
Away Win (2.30)
PSV started their Champions League campaign off on the wrong foot, getting thoroughly outplayed by Barcelona. Their results in the Eredivisie have been much more reassuring. In the Dutch league, PSV have yet to drop a point, earning a full 21 points in their first 7 games. Simply put, they are looking unbeatable.
Inter were lucky to grab a win against Tottenham, two last ditch goals pushing them past the English side. They have just begin to come into form recently, and they’ve won all four of their last matchups, brushing off the dust and forming a true team identity.
This matchup seems to be incredibly even; Inter and PSV play with radically different styles which could make for an interesting style. PSV’s explosive attack could cause trouble for Inter, who are used to seeing slower-paced offenses in the Serie A. Dutch clubs are often underestimated in the Champions League, but I think PSV have a serious shot at taking down the Nerazzurri on Wednesday.
Prediction: PSV 2-1 Inter
If you didn’t see the matchup you’re interested in above, I’ve listed the remaining matchups below along with my personal picks. There are certainly some good opportunities here as well, so if you do some research, you’ll be able to find value.
Hoffenheim vs Manchester City
Odds – Home Win (8.00)
Away Win (1.37)
Prediction: Hoffenheim 0-4 Manchester City
Juventus vs Young Boys
Odds – Home Win (1.16)
Away Win (21.00)
Prediction: Juventus 3-0 Young Boys
Bayern Munich vs Ajax
Odds – Home Win (1.20)
Away Win (16.00)
Prediction: Bayern 3-1 Ajax
CSKA Moscow vs Real Madrid
Odds – Home Win (6.25)
Away Win (1.60)
Prediction: CSKA Moscow 1-3 Real Madrid
Roma vs Viktoria Plzen
Odds – Home Win (1.33)
Away Win (10.00)
Prediction: Roma 2-0 Viktoria Plzen
Lokomotiv Moscow vs Schalke 04
Odds – Home Win (3.05)
Away Win (2.45)
Prediction: Lokomotiv Moscow 1-2 Schalke 04
PSG vs Red Star Belgrade
Odds – Home Win (1.06)
Away Win (15.00)
Prediction: PSG 6-0 Red Star Belgrade
Atletico Madrid vs Club Brugge
Odds – Home Win (1.30)
Away Win (11.50)
Prediction: Atletico Madrid 3-1 Club Brugge
Porto vs Galatasaray
Odds – Home Win (1.47)
Away Win (7.40)
Prediction: Porto 2-0 Galatasaray
Tottenham vs Barcelona
Odds – Home Win (3.55)
Away Win (2.00)
Prediction: Tottenham 0-2 Barcelona
Manchester United vs Valencia
Odds – Home Win (1.70)
Away Win (5.75)
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Valencia
Borussia Dortmund vs Monaco
Odds – Home Win (1.35)
Away Win (8.00)
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Monaco
Extras – Other Opportunities Around The Tournament
An Absolute Beatdown – PSG Take No Prisoners
- Odds – PSG -3 (2.17)
- PSG -4 (3.65)
PSG are one of the best teams in the world. Led by a stellar attack and young star, Kylian Mbappe, they have no shortage of weapons. While they haven’t seen the success that they’ve wanted, they have one of the most talented sides in the world, and their attack is second to none.
After a disappointing loss to Liverpool, PSG will be hungry for their first points of the group stage. Taking on Red Star Belgrade at home, the Parisian club will have plenty of opportunities to feast on. We’ve seen how ruthless PSG can be in the past, often winning by four or more goals against their domestic rivals.
This week, they’ll face arguably the weakest team in the whole tournament, and if this isn’t a lopsided matchup, I don’t know what is. The only limit to the margin of victory should be in the interests of sportsmanship, not the game itself.
Napoli and Liverpool – A Goalscoring Fiesta
- Odds – Over 2.5 (1.62)
- Over 3.5 (2.60)
- Over 4.5 (4.80)
Both Napoli and Liverpool have excellent attacks. Insigne, Mertens, and Callejon round out the attack for the Partenopei while Salah and Mane continue to prove just how good they are. At the end of the day, this matchup should come down to a battle of offense.
Neither team has a stellar defense, and we’ve seen a similar situation play out in Liverpool’s game against PSG. I think this game could be a high-scoring affair; both teams will be looking for the goal, and the pace of Liverpool’s play might force Napoli to match their aggressiveness. I see four goals comfortably being scored in this week’s marquee matchup.
PSV vs Inter – An Even Affair?
- Odds – Both Teams To Score (1.56)
PSV and Inter seem to be two evenly matched sides. PSV’s attack is incredibly quick, and the speed with which they attack and create chances is difficult to cope with. Inter, on the other hand, prefer to play a slower style of football – distributing the ball around and making the most of the chances they create.
Despite their different stylistic tendencies, both teams love to score, and they’ll be looking for goal. Inter have struggled against lower tier teams in the Serie A, and their defense is not nearly as good as the other top Italian teams. Both teams should find the back of the net at least once this matchup, and they’ll both be trying to win if they wish to progress to the next round.
Messi Mayhem – Will Leo Decimate The Spurs?
- Odds – 1 Goal (1.87)
- 2 Goals (4)
- Hat-Trick (14)
Lionel Messi is the best player in the world. I said it. No one can match the Argentinian’s pace, skill, creativity, and finishing. Simply put, Leo can do it all.
He is a natural goal scorer, and he’s already scored three in this year’s edition of the tournament, earning a hat-trick in Barca’s win over PSV. While the Blaugranes will face a more stout defense against Tottenham, Barcelona’s defense is nearly unstoppable, and Messi seems to be firing on all cylinders as of late.
Leo has already scored five and assisted another four times in La Liga, and he remains Barcelona’s leader. Messi is unfazed by the spotlight, and he’ll be keen to add on to his tally when he takes on the Spurs on Wednesday.