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.

Matchweek 12 Premier League odds: Manchester Derby highlights weekend

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The disparate fortunes of the teams involved in this weekend’s Manchester derby might lead bettors to seek out ways to restore betting value to Manchester City.

Playing at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City are the -250 moneyline favorite on this week’s Premier League odds with Manchester United coming back at +700, while the draw is at +400 with a 3.0-goals total for Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The away team has had a result in the last six games in this matchup (four wins and two 0-0 draws). The law of averages alone indicates it would be tough for that to continue, but there have also been OVER 2.5 goals scored in 21 of Man City’s last 24 home games, as well as OVER 2.5 goals scored in Man United’s last five Premier League games.

Taking Manchester City win/yes (+150) in both teams to score (BTTS) props is a higher-yield play, as they are an aggressive team at home and will work to set up Sergio Aguero (+275 first goal scorer, -145 anytime). Manchester City has also been leading at halftime in six of its last seven games. On the Man United front, Romelu Lukaku’s absence might make for a slow start, but at minus-1.5 (-125) on the goals line, the Red Devils might recoup some value.

Elsewhere, Cardiff City (+155) has not fared well over the years against Brighton & Hove Albion (+210, draw +215), which has drawn or won 11 of the last 12 matchups (all competitions). Since Brighton has won only one of its last 19 away matches in EPL play, its double chance odds (-185) could be a more secure play.

Leicester City (-200) visits Burnley (+650, draw +325) having shown, by winning its previous outing, that it is channeling grief over the tragic helicopter death of chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha two weeks ago. There have been OVER 2.5 goals (-120 on the betting line) in five of Burnley’s last six games, so Leicester might be able to pounce.

Crystal Palace (+355) and Tottenham Hotspur (-120, draw +270) has been a low-scoring fixture. Crystal Palace has failed to score in their last four tries against Tottenham and the teams’ last five matchups have been under 2.5 goals (in all competitions). Taking No/Under 2.5 (+175) in both teams to score props covers the possibility of Tottenham grinding out another win.

Liverpool (-950) takes on Fulham (+2400, draw +1000) in a Sunday matchup that is a mismatch on paper, with a rare 4.0-goals total. Liverpool has kept clean sheets in seven of its last eight games against Fulham in all competitions, and Fulham is on a five-game losing streak. Smarting from a Champions League loss on Wednesday, Liverpool could take out its frustrations and go OVER (+110) on its own 3.5-goals total.

And Chelsea (-240) hosts Everton (+650, draw +400) on Sunday with the expectation of a fully fit squad, save for Cesc Fabregas (illness), after playing a Champions League match on Thursday. Both Chelsea’s last four games and five of Everton’s last six games have gone OVER 2.5 goals, so this matchup’s 3.0-goals total could be bested.

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 Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Matchweek 9 Premier League odds: Chelsea in position to add to Man Utd misery

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Chelsea has typically had the edge against Manchester United, even when the Red Devils were playing at a much higher level than they have of late.

Chelsea is a -140 favorite on the Premier League odds for Matchweek 9 with Manchester United coming back at +400 for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The draw offers +285 on the three-way moneyline and the total is at 2.5 goals.

On top of being undefeated in eight EPL starts so far this season, co-leader Chelsea has won seven of their last eight matches against Manchester United and has had clean sheets in its last four home games against them at Stamford Bridge.

Eighth-placed Manchester United’s desperation for a result as it tries to keep in range of the top four might dictate a more offense-oriented game, contradicting a trend where eight of these teams’ last 10 matches have finished UNDER 2.5 goals

Manchester United’s defensive issues also provide ample opportunity for Chelsea winger Eden Hazard (+400 first goal scorer, +125 anytime).

Elsewhere this weekend, West Ham United (+315) often rises to the occasion against Tottenham Hotspur (-115, draw +290) and will be looking to avoid a second consecutive home loss against the Spurs for the first time since 2009. West Ham (-110 on the double chance) is burdened with some injuries, so steering clear of upset predictions and focusing on the OVER (+110) on the 3.0-goals might be the more prudent play.

Tottenham’s Harry Kane (+250 first goal scorer, -145 anytime) should be in the thick of a high-chance game.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (-135) and Watford  (+425, draw +270) each have strong totals trends, as the Wolves’ last seven matches have been UNDER 2.5 goals, as have five of Watford’s last six away games. Moreover, Wolves have had a propensity for scoreless first halves – seven in their last 10 games – and a draw (+110) might be the most likely outcome from the first-half moneyline.

Huddersfield Town (+1000), which hosts co-leader Liverpool (-325, draw +425), is burdened with several dubious trends, including six consecutive home matches without a goal and 12 consecutive league games. Liverpool is even money to win by more than 1.5 goals, while the Reds’ Roberto Firmino (+400 first goal scorer, +125 anytime) is facing a team he scored against during both league fixtures last season.

Everton (-115) is undefeated in its last seven matches against Crystal Palace (+360, draw +255), which it hosts in a Sunday matchup. Eight of Everton’s 10 matches (all competitions) this season have seen both teams score, so someone looking for more value than the moneyline offers might consider the both teams to score and OVER 2.5 goals prop (+125).

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha (hamstring) is listed as doubtful, which hurts the upset potential.

And Arsenal (-190) hosts Leicester City (+550, draw +355) in a Monday matchup with a high potential of going OVER the 3.0-goals total, as the Gunners have scored at least two goals in every league outing so far while the Foxes are having issues defending. The Arsenal to win/both teams to score prop (+160) restores some betting value for Arsenal.

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 Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.