Manchester City, PSG Champions League favorites entering Round of 16

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Manchester City is the slight favorite in Champions League futures, but Paris Saint-Germain can do the field a solid by bouncing two-time defending champion Real Madrid.

With the Round of 16 beginning next week, Manchester City and Kevin De Bruyne are a +350 favorite on the odds to win the Champions League, followed by Paris Saint-Germain at +400, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The next tier down includes Bayern Munich (+550), Barcelona (+600) and Real Madrid (+800) before a plunge to Manchester United (+1400), Liverpool (+1400), Juventus (+1800) and Tottenham Hotspur (+2200).

The tried-and-true sorting method of fading teams that are focused on winning league titles doesn’t apply. The top four teams on the board all lead by healthy margins. Juventus, running second in Italy’s Serie A, is the only high-on-the-board offering that fits this description.

The injury bug that Manchester City is fighting shouldn’t be a factor as it starts the knockout stage at FC Basel (+50000), the lowest team on the board, on Tuesday. The favorable draw buys Manchester City a little time as it embarks upon trying to be the first English team to make it to March extant in four competitions (EPL, Champions League, F.A. Cup and League Cup).

The matchup between Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid is more the calibre of a semifinal, but the timing might be in favour of the French club. Real Madrid, which hosts the first leg on Wednesday, has been in a funk and has conceded goals in seven of its last eight games – hardly a promising sign ahead of a game against a team with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. In other words, one who thinks Paris Saint-Germain has the goods to be the first French team in 25 years to win the Champions League likely shouldn’t hesitate, since its price will probably be halved (and then some) if it advances.

Suffice to say, the guarantee that either the defending champs or a ballyhooed contender will be out should be a boon to the rest of the field.

Bayern Munich simply does not get enough of a push in the German Bundesliga to be a threat in Champions League, which it last won in 2013. Barcelona offers a great price that might owe to facing an EPL team, Chelsea, in the last-16 as well as lacking major signing Philippe Coutinho for this competition. However, with attacking midfielders Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, they are dangerous. Barcelona will not have defender Gerald Pique in this round, however.

Manchester United (+1400), with its penchant for defense, is a credible darkhorse play since the Champions League format does lend itself to trying to wring out an ugly tie in road legs. Liverpool, who starts away at FC Porto (+10000), should advance but might be too offense-oriented to make a run at European supremacy. Tottenham and Harry Kane, who start away at Juventus, might not be deep enough to juggle top-flight European competition with a race for a top-four spot in the EPL.

The first legs of the Round of 16 take place over the next two weeks. The return legs are slated for March 6-7 and March 13-14.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

EPL Week Betting Preview: Man City Slim Favorite Facing Tottenham

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The recency factor might point to Tottenham Hotspur and Harry Kane instead of Manchester City, which is lagging after having run out front all season.

Manchester City is a super-slim +150 favorite with Tottenham Hotspur coming back at +160 and the draw offers +255 on the three-way moneyline for this English Premier League betting matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

However, Tottenham has yet to lose an EPL match since January 1, while Manchester City has lost three games in a row and has seen its ambition of an EPL/Champions League double go up in smoke.

Four of the last five matchups between the Citizens and Spurs have had at least three goals with both teams scoring. The over on the 3.0 total still offers +105. There should be scoring. Tottenham is also even-money on the draw no bet prop, offering a fallback to Spurs backers in the event of a tie.

The twist for the matchup between relegation-threatened Southampton (+345) and Chelsea (-120, +255 draw) is that the sides will soon meet again in an upcoming F.A. Cup semifinal. Southampton will have to play desperate attacking football, which makes both the over (2.5 total) and Chelsea on the goals line (-1.5) worth considering.

Burnley (+155) will not have captain Ben Mee in the center of its back four for a big match against Leicester City (+195, +210 draw). Each team is healthy up front, though, which means the over on the 2.0 total should hit. Both teams have scored in five of Burnley’s last seven home games and in 10 of Leicester’s last 12 away games.

Huddersfield Town (+160) and Watford (+180, +215 draw) are on five- and four-match winless streaks and have both been porous defensively. Neither team is more than a hunch play but taking the -140 over on the 2.0 total seems self-explanatory since eight of their last nine matchups have had three or more goals.

Swansea City (+150) catches Everton (+195, +210 draw), who is struggling to create scoring chances and has won just two of 16 away games in the league. Swansea City needs the full three points and also has Jordan Ayew back as a potential finisher.

Newcastle (+220) has won only one of its last 22 matchups against Arsenal (+115, +255 draw), whom it hosts in a Sunday betting matchup. Newcastle has an excellent chance to end the drought, since Arsenal seems to be saving itself for Europa League. Newcastle’s draw no bet price is a still-generous +135.

And West Ham United (-105) faces last-place Stoke City (+295, +240 draw) in a Monday betting matchup with a chance to solidify its place in the 2018-19 EPL. West Ham forward Marko Arnatovic is facing his former team, making him worth looking at in goal scorer props.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Manchester City Betting Favorite vs. Manchester United in Highlight EPL Clash

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The outlook, in the greater scheme, has changed for Manchester City and they just may try to take out some frustrations on their cross-town archrival.

With a chance to clinch the English Premier League crown this weekend, Manchester City is a -115 betting favorite while visiting Manchester United comes back at +310 with the draw priced at +260 and a 2.5-goal total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

 It is just a matter of when Manchester City will wrap up the title, so bettors will have to stay alert about whether manager Pep Guardiola goes with a first-choice lineup or rests players such as Sergio Aguero. Man City, which is expected to have midfielders Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva ready to go, might be eager for a big show to wash away the stain of a 3-0 defeat against Liverpool in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg.

Manchester United has a good record in this matchup, with a 3-1-2 (wins-draws-losses) mark in the last six matchups. But they don’t play the pressing style that can give Manchester City trouble.

A late-season derby often means more to the lower-placed team, which means Everton (+310) offers value against Liverpool (-120, draw +260) on the Premier League betting lines in this edition of the Merseyside derby. Liverpool might scratch Mohamed Salah (groin) and could make further lineup decisions to preserve other core players for Tuesday’s quarterfinal second leg at Manchester City. With that in mind, Everton is worth taking for the upset.

Neither Brighton & Hove Albion (-120) nor Huddersfield Town (+365, draw +240) is in good form, as Brighton has failed to score in three games, whilst Huddersfield has been shut out in its last four. The home team has not lost in the last 10 editions of this matchup, and given the teams’ perilous position in the standings (13th and 16th) it’s worth taking the under at +105 on the 2.0 total.

Last-place West Bromwich Albion (+140) has brought in Darren Moore as interim manager after sacking Alan Pardew and the shake-up might lead to some fact-facing ahead of its match with Swansea City (+215, draw +210). Swansea City, which will essentially be clear of the relegation zone with three more points, is poised to pounce for an away win with midfielder Sam Clucas back in the lineup.

Arsenal (-195) takes on Southampton (+500, draw +325) in a Sunday betting matchup, but forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not play. However, Arsenal has won its last two league games and also has an attainable minus-1.0 goals line (priced at -110). With Southampton averaging fewer than one goal per goal, Arsenal has a strong chance at a shutout as well.

And Chelsea (-385) takes on West Ham United (+1000, draw +475) in a Sunday betting matchup. Chelsea has the motivation of playing a London derby, but with Champions League qualification out of reach, this could be a trap game. West Ham, with Joao Mario providing a boost up front, could be worth taking on the win/draw double chance.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.