UEFA Champions League Semifinals Betting: Second Leg Odds and Analysis

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Lopsided semifinal first legs might make a Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid seem inevitable, but there is ample betting fodder within that reality.

Both  carry big leads into the semifinal second leg this week. Reigning champion Real Madrid is now a -125 favorite on the Champions League futures board, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Juventus is listed at even money, while their respective opponents, Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco, are each darkhorses at +400.

Juventus, which leads 2-0, is a -165 favorite against AS Monaco (+450) with a 2.5 total for their match on Tuesday in Italy. The draw on the three-way moneyline is listed at +295. Juventus, which can lose the match by one goal and still advance, will likely try to pack it in around its goal, something its done well in European play (two goals allowed in 11 matches).

Juventus also comes in healthy and relatively rested, having rotated their lineup during a league match against Torino last Saturday.

Monaco should have everyone fresh, including teen phenom Kylian Mbappe, but the odds of pushing two away goals past Juventus would seem to be remote. The draw seems like a cagey play.

With the former carrying over a 3-0 lead from the first leg, Real Madrid (+155) and host Atletico Madrid (+160) are in a toss-up game with a 2.5 total in their betting matchup on Wednesday. The draw pays +245 on the three-way moneyline.

Real, led on the pitch by Cristiano Ronaldo, has not been shut out in more than a year. Scoring an away goal would all but seal the win on aggregate (road goals are the first tiebreaker). Atletico, which needs to win by at least three goals, has also had a collective struggle with creating opportunities that forwards Kévin Gamiero and Antoine Grieznmann can put away.

This could be a good match for in-game bettors to track, since Real knows an early goal would force Atletico into a desperate style of game to which it is unaccustomed.

The Champions League final – which is a one-game showdown – will take place at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on June 3.

 

Man City get test v. Tottenham on Matchweek 18 betting slate

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Thanks to Manchester City, the futures market in the English Premier League hinges on wagering on who will attain the top-four finish that secures an automatic berth into the 2018-19 Champions League.

Buoyed by a derby-day win at Manchester United last week, City are in deep minus money on the EPL championship odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Manchester United, 11 points adrift with 21 games left, is the nominal second favorite.

There is, however, some value in top four props. Aforementioned Manchester United (-900) and Chelsea (-400) offer plenty of chalk. Liverpool (-140) and Tottenham Hotspur (even) still have a modicum of value. Arsenal (+160) have been an enigma. But Burnley (+6600) are staying up with the big boys due to strong away play and tight defense

Leicester City (+4000) also loom as a value play, but the cachet the Foxes created with their 2015-16 league title means they are more likely to draw action than the other darkhorse.

Manchester City (-200 on the Matchweek 18 betting lines), with their record 15-win streak in the league are home against Tottenham Hotspur (+475, draw +330) which will be missing defenders Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez. It is hard to see how Spurs will have a path to a result with such a sub-optimal back line.

Brighton & Hove Albion (+155) have scored but once in their last five starts, and few teams defend better than Burnley (+215, draw +185). Even at -130 the under on the 2.0 total is still good value.

Leicester City (-115) offer great value at home against relegation-zone Crystal Palace (+330, draw +245). Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez has had the hot boot of late (three goals in four games). The under on the 2.5 total is tempting, to say the least, since Crystal Palace have yet to score an away goal in league play.

West Bromwich Albion (+500) take a 304-minute goal drought into action against Manchester United (-185, draw +290) in a Sunday betting matchup. Man United are just 3-3-2 over its last eight games against West Brom, and a low-scoring defensive struggle could unfold here.

Bournemouth (+500) are on a five-match winless skid as it hosts somewhat inconsistent Liverpool (-215, draw +360) on Sunday. The form says Liverpool can right itself away from the critical eyes of its supporters at Anfield, especially with Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho all projected to start.

And Everton (-150), which have taken 10 of 12 possible points from its last four games, host struggling Swansea City (+425, draw +260) in a Monday matchup. Against such a lower-placed side, Everton and Wayne Rooney likely will be on the attack, and the over on the 2.5 total offers a meaty +110 payout.

Manchester Derby Might Trigger Shift In English Premier League Futures

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Manchester United offers value on the field and the futures board heading into a derby against suddenly human-looking Manchester City.

With the rivals set to meet at Old Trafford on Sunday, Man City is a -1000 favorite on the odds to win the English Premier League at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Man United (+1000), eight points adrift, and Chelsea (+2000) are within eyeballing distance of City, while Liverpool (+5000) and Arsenal (+10000) are the long shots.

The three-game ban to midfielder Paul Pogba for a studs-up tackle that resulted in a red card last weekend has led to sharps giving a big moneyline on Manchester United (+240) against Manchester City (+115, +245 draw) in their matchup. However, United, if midfielder Maroune Fellaini is fit to play, could keep Man City’s brilliant passing attack at bay long enough to create counter-attacks and chances for Romelu Lukaku to score.

Manchester City, which may not have David Silva in the lineup, has conceded goals in three league games in a row, so the over on the 2.5 total looks like an odds-on hit.

Burnley (+145) and Watford (+195, +215 draw) are both surprisingly in the top half of the standings, but the host Clarets have done so through defending. Watford has thrived by attacking, but a lengthy injury list could diminish its firepower. Even with a 2.0 total, the under offers value at +120.

Last-place Swansea City (+160) is on a seven-match winless skid in the league, but it has won its last three matchups against West Bromwich Albion (+195, also +195 draw). Swansea’s Wilfried Bony, who tends to score in bunches, tallied in his last game and might be due to score again.

Huddersfield Town (+160) faces Brighton & Hove Albion (+200, +195 draw) in Premiership play for the first time. Huddersfield has lost four in a row and scored only one goal in that time. Brighton, thanks in large part to Glenn Murray, has scored in seven of its last eight games, and it’s posted a draw or win in five of its last nine away games at Huddersfield.

Newcastle United (+155), which hosts Leicester City (+180, +220 draw), has been lost defensively without Jamaal Lascelles, who’s doubtful for this week. Leicester has come on with winger Demerai Gray complementing Jamie Vardy in the goal-scoring department, so it stands a chance of winning a game that goes over the 2.5 total.

Liverpool (-360) has not lost at home against rival Everton (+950, +475 draw) in 18 years, and have been consistently starting well. Liverpool, with Philippe Coutinho and Mo Salah both slated to start, offers better value at -135 for the over on the 3.0 total.

Those who believe Everton has truly turned a corner under new manager Sam Allardyce could back the Toffees for the draw, with the +105 at plus-1.5 goals as a cushion.