Bayern Munich started their UCL campaign with an impressive win in Italy, and they look like a value betting option in the winners’ market.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Looking across the main sports online betting sites, it’s clear that the bookies have made significant changes to their odds in response to the UCL action from midweek. After their win over Sevilla, Manchester City is trading at a lower price than PSG, currently valued at +450. The other notable moves came with Barcelona and Napoli, currently at +1100 and +4000, respectively. Liverpool, currently at +800, made the biggest move in the opposite direction.
The scheduling ramifications of the 2022 World Cup play a significant role in how teams prepare for this year’s UCL Group Stage. The World Cup will take up a significant portion of the schedule from mid-November through the end of December. Hence the Group Stage timeframe has been shortened.
All 32 teams will still play six games, but those games will be closer together, and the Group Stage now ends on November 2, rather than in early December, as it would in a normal year.
The Group Stage’s shortening will likely favor in-form teams more than normal, while teams like Liverpool, who have had a difficult start to the season, may find that they swiftly fall out of contention. The impact of the reduced schedule can also be felt by teams with smaller rosters who will play two games a week throughout the fall.
Betting on the Main Contenders
Manchester City made a clear statement to rival clubs with an impressive 4-0 victory in Sevilla. In their quest to win the one title the club desires above all others, Pep Guardiola’s already powerful team appears to have reached a new level with the addition of Erling Haaland.
Haaland has scored 12 goals in his previous eight games for the reigning Premier League winners in all competitions. If he maintains this rate, it will be challenging for anybody to beat City. However, we advised City at +285 before the start of the tournament, so their current odds make little appeal.
One of the other strong contenders, Paris St. Germain, also got off to a good start by defeating Juventus at home. But all is not well behind the scenes in Paris. The French club is reportedly considering selling Neymar to resolve a quarrel between Kylian Mbappe and the Brazilian. Given the significant amount Neymar would demand at this point, that seems doubtful, but the ongoing rumors of unrest in the dressing room make PSG a risky gamble at low odds.
Although Jurgen Klopp’s team may eventually turn things around, Liverpool’s downturn may still have a way to run, and their 4-1 loss to Napoli deeply concerned for Reds fans. One of the other leading contenders, Bayern Munich, could still offer some value in the futures market after their creditable 2-0 victory over Inter at the San Siro: a potentially tricky game they dealt with well.
Barcelona’s opening-game 5-1 victory over Victoria Plzen, the weakest team in their Group, has led their price to drop in the UCL winners’ market. Still, that result doesn’t indicate anything about their tournament chances. At this stage, fellow Spanish challengers Real Madrid look a better option after their impressive victory against Celtic in Glasgow. Given that they are the defending champions and are still improving under the guidance of Europe’s most successful manager, they still look value at anything over +900
When we last examined this market, I indicated that Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel might be in trouble, and the German coach was duly fired after Dinamo Zagreb defeated the Blues. However, soccer bettors need to be careful not to overreact. Anyone who has watched Chelsea since the early 2000s will be aware that this event doesn’t indicate a crisis, nor is it particularly exceptional.
Under the previous owner, Roman Abramovich, Chelsea had a reputation for changing managers every season or so. Yet throughout the last 20 years have usually finished in the top four of the Premier League and have consistently won trophies. Their long-term strategy focuses on creating dependable hiring and coaching frameworks, with the manager being the most disposable element.
At most clubs, dismissing a manager in September would be a sign of problems, but that may not apply in Chelsea’s case. Although it might appear to go against logic, now is the best time to wager on Chelsea to win the competition. If you need more evidence, remember that Tuchel led the squad to Champions League victory after taking over for Frank Lampard in January last year.
For more than a decade and a half, Teri Geis has carved a niche in the world of betting. Her writing has graced the pages of some of the industry's heavy hitters, including the likes of Betfair, ESPN, and Sporting Life. With her extensive understanding of sports betting, readers can now peruse her insightful reviews, features, and previews here on this website.