The Champions League Quarter Finals draw really created a two-tier system of teams, tightening the odds of the favourites and pushing out the odds of the dark horses. Here’s a refresher of the draw, and the outright odds (from Betfair) for each team:
- Man City (9/4) vs Spurs (25/1)
- Juventus (10/3) vs Ajax (33/1)
- Barcelona (7/2) vs Man Utd (16/1)
- Liverpool (4/1) vs Porto (100/1)
As you can see, the four favourites got the luck of the draw and creates a system with half the teams 4/1 or below and the other half 16/1 or above. But where is the value to be found over the coming weeks? There is a bit more on offer than backing a team outright, and certainly room for a few shocks:
Spurs to win the first leg vs Man City – 4/1 Bet365
City are purring at the moment and are rightful picks as Champions League favourites, despite flattering to deceive in this competition over the last few years. However, odds of 4/1 are on offer for Spurs to win the home tie – that’s cracking value. Moreover, it will be played in Spurs’ new stadium, so you might expect some extra incentive for the North London side in front of a buoyant home crowd. City should – and probably will – go through over the two legs, but 4/1 for Spurs at home looks a steal.
Liverpool to score three or more goals vs Porto at Anfield – 13/10 Betway
Get this for a stat: Liverpool have scored 3+ goals at Anfield in nearly 70% of Premier League games this season. In fact, it’s almost 50% of games for 4+ goals. They put five past Porto last season in the Last 16, and the Reds can do something similar here. That price of 13/10 from Betway, who offer one of the best football apps in UK sports betting, looks really generous, as some competitors are odds-on in that market. If you are a bit more ambitious on Liverpool’s dominance, Coral go 10/3 that Jurgen Klopp’s men can hit four or more under the lights at Anfield.
Manchester United to Qualify for the Semi Finals – 16/5 Betway
This is clearly a big shout, and one that could end up looking very foolish. The point is about value, though, as you would need rocks in your head to consider the 1/5 offered for Barcelona to make the semis a good bet. Yes, Barcelona look like they are approaching perfection again and Lionel Messi is on fire, but United have the tools to frustrate the Catalans, including a busy, pacey forward line that could give Pique and Co nightmares on the counterattack. If United can go to the Nou Camp with something to defend, we could be in for a special night.
Juventus to win first leg vs Ajax – 23/20 SkyBet
Punters will likely be shying away from betting against Ajax after that superb win against Real Madrid. However, Juventus are a different beast and will have a real belief that they can finally win this competition. Part of that belief will come from having Cristiano Ronaldo doing all kinds of ridiculous things. His hat-trick against Atlético was stunning, once again proving that he is able to find a way, regardless of the occasion and the pressure he is under. Look, Ajax are a good team and deserve to be in the quarters, but the result in the Santiago Bernabéu was a disaster of Madrid’s own making. Juventus will not be so generous.