The Champions League is now underway and online betting sites are offering a range of options for football fans that want to cash in on their predictions. Alongside betting on individual match outcomes, score lines and goal scorers, you can bet on who will lift the trophy in May, who the finalists will be, who will finish top scorer and who will win each group.
Barcelona, who won the famous trophy in 2015 and reached the semifinals last season, are favourites, with odds of 3/1 with most online betting sites, although some will go to 10/3. They are Spanish champions and have a fearsome attacking triumvirate in Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, while their 7-0 demolition of Celtic in the opening game set tongues wagging.
Bayern Munich have also started the season in sensational form and are 7/2 second favourites with many online betting sites. Holders Real Madrid are 6/1 and that looks like a good one to avoid seeing as no team has ever successfully defended the Champions League. There are various outsiders worth a punt, but one that surely has to be taken very seriously is Man City, who have won their opening eight games of the season in style and are 10/1 to win it.
Perennial challengers Atletico Madrid are also an interesting option at 14/1.
Choosing the finalists is extremely tricky, particularly as you don’t know who will be drawn against whom in the knockout stages, but you can spread a stake across a few different outcomes. The favourite is Barcelona/Bayern Munich at 8/1, while Barcelona/Real Madrid and Bayern Munich Real Madrid are both 10/1. A couple of interesting options are Barcelona/Man City and Barcelona/Atletico Madrid with various online betting firms.
The usual suspects are in the running for top scorer, and Messi is out in front after an opening day hat-trick against Celtic. He is hard to ignore at 3/1 as he seeks to edge ahead of bitter rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Ballon d’Or. Ronaldo was Champions League top scorer last season and is 9/2, behind Barcelona’s Luis Suarez, who took the European Golden Boot last year and scored two against Celtic, and Man City’s Sergio Aguero, who also got an opening day hat-trick against Borussia Monchengladbach. He looks a great bet at 4/1, as does Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich at 9/1. Carlo Ancelotti is really building his team around the Polish centre forward and seems to be getting the best out of him, so you would expect him to rack up a decent tally in Europe this season after he finished second behind Ronaldo last time out.
Online betting companies are also offering odds on who will win each group. PSG are 19/20 to win Group A but Arsenal look a good bet at 13/10 after drawing away at PSG in their opener. In Group B Napoli are clear favourites after beating Dynamo Kiev and seeing Besiktas draw with Benfica. Man City have the misfortune of being drawn in the same group as Barcelona, and you would expect Barca to edge it, although the online betting odds of 4/9 don’t look particularly attractive. Another pair of heavyweights, Bayern and Atletico, are in the same group as well, and it seems a bit tough to call between those two, so the 1/2 on Bayern doesn’t look attractive either, and many may favour the 2/1 on Atletico instead. Considering there are two great teams in Groups C and D, it is surprising to find none in Group E, where Monaco and Tottenham are the favourites to progress. Both are good sides, but a long way from European heavyweights.
Considering there are two great teams in Groups C and D, it is surprising to find none in Group E, where Monaco and Tottenham are the favourites to progress. Both are good sides, but a long way from European heavyweights. Monaco are favourites after beating Tottenham on opening night, but that group looks unpredictable with Bayer Leverkusen also in the mix. Real Madrid should walk Group F, despite the presence of Borussia Dortmund, and the 8/15 on them topping it looks good. Leicester are looking good in Group G but may eventually be overhauled by Porto, who are 11/4, while Juventus should dominate Group H and look a good bet at 8/11 to finish above Sevilla.