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Juventus Falls From Top 3 UCL Contenders With Loss in 1st Leg of Round of 16

Ronaldo and Juventus lost in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16
Can Ronaldo spark Juventus to victory in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 match? By Oleg Dubyna (Flickr) [CC License]
  • After a 2-0 defeat to Atlético Madrid, Juventus’ odds have dropped to win Champions League 2019
  • Can Atléti see off Juve in the second leg and advance to the quarter-finals?
  • Or is now the time to bet on Ronaldo and Juventus?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus traveled to Spain and fell 2-0 in defeat to Atlético Madrid in the first leg of their Round of 16 matchup.

The loss has dropped Juve out of the favorites to win Champions League 2019. Has the loss, and resulting longer odds, presented a prime betting opportunity on the Italian giants?

Juventus had average odds as low as +600 back in December, but after defeat, their average odds to win the UEFA Champions League have stretched to +1100.

They’re now as long as +1400 at some sportsbooks. With the win, Atléti have seen their average odds shorten from +2100 to +1800.

Odds To Win 2019 Champions League

Team Odds
Manchester City +275
Barcelona +500
PSG +500
Real Madrid +900
Atlético Madrid +1000
Bayern Munich +1100
Liverpool +1200
Juventus +1400
Tottenham +1400

*Odds taken 2/23

Ronaldo, one of, if not the greatest player of all-time, was brought to Juventus from Real Madrid this offseason for one purpose: to win the Champions League. Now on the brink of elimination, that goal is in serious jeapordy.

Juventus have been cruising along in league play this season. They’re a full 13 points better than second place Napoli in Serie A. In fact, they’ve yet to drop a match in Italy at 21-3-0.

They’ve also outscored their opponents 52-15.

Juve topped their group during Champions League group stage play with four wins and outscoring their opponents 9-4. They did show some vulnerability in a 2-1 home loss to Manchester United and 2-1 road loss to Young Boys, though.

That carried over on Wednesday versus Atlético Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Though Juventus held 64% of the possession, they rarely showed much risk of threatening on goal.

Ronaldo managed seven shots but just one on target. The Portuguese star has struggled this Champions League season with only one goal and two assists.

As bad as it was for Juve, it really could’ve been much worse.

An Atléti penalty was overturned by VAR, Diego Costa missed on a breakaway, Antoine Griezmann hit the crossbar, and Álvaro Morata had a headed goal called back through VAR as well.

However, goals by José Giménez and Diego Godín at 78′ and 83′ finally gave Atlético the lead they deserved.

The loss clearly rattled Ronaldo, as he felt the need to point out his five previous Champions League titles during the game and to media afterwards.

Atlético Continue Home Dominance

For as poor as Juve were, there should be little shame in losing on the road to Atlético. In 204 home games under Diego Simeone, Atléti have 124 clean sheets while only conceding 120 goals.

The Spanish side have shown some weakness on the road during the Champions League this season, though. During the group stage they went 1-1-1 on the road.

The lone win was a 2-1 triumph over French side Monaco. And let’s be honest, who hasn’t beat Monaco this season – a side struggling to even avoid relegation from Ligue 1.

On the road to stiffer competition against Borussia Dortmund, they were run out 4-0. On their last road trip, where a victory would have gained them first place in Group A, they drew 0-0 to Belgian side Club Brugge.

Plenty of Value in Champions League Futures

From everything we just saw, it’s hard to make a strong case for Juventus to advance, much less win the whole tournament.

But unlike other sports, Champions League playoffs have a long wait in between matches and much can change from now until the second leg match on March 12.

Dating back to August 19, 2017, Juventus have won 37 of 46 matches on home soil, while only losing four times. Just one of those losses has come in the past 21 matches and they do still have the all-time leader in Champions League goals in Ronaldo.

Dating back to August 19, 2017, Juventus have won 37 of 46 matches on home soil.

During his time at Real Madrid, Ronaldo scored 21 goals in 30 games against Atléti.

This Champions League tournament has looked more wide-open than in years past. Nearly every top team has shown some cracks this year.

Even Man City found themselves moments away from a loss to Schalke and have dropped a couple matches to lower sides this Premier League season.

Honestly, being able to grab either of these teams at longer than 10-1 odds can be seen as great value.

Given their two-goal advantage in the tie, and the fact that a road goal could easily seal qualification for them to the quarters, Madrid have to be worth a bet.

But be sure to shop around. Atlético Madrid can be had for odds as high as +2500 at some books.

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