UCL Betting – The Best Third-Fixture Picks
The Champions League continues on October 18 and 19 with an intriguing set of fixtures. The top dogs are proving to have just as much bite as they do bark, once again, this season. Will the status quo continue in the third fixture? Let’s take a look at the betting outlook for a few of the more intriguing games.
UCL 2016 Picks: Third Fixture (Oct. 18 and 19)
Borussia Dortmund (-123) at Sporting (323), Draw (268)
High-scoring German side Borussia Dortmund (1-1-0, 4 pts) travel to Lisbon to face Sporting (1-0-1, 3 pts) on Tuesday, October 18 (2:45 PM Eastern at Estadio Jose Alvalade, Lisbon). Dortmund has pasted Legia 6-0 (away) and earned a point against defending champion Real Madrid (2-2 home). They’re currently tied with the Merengues for top spot in Group F.
Sporting opened with a win of their own over Legia (2-0) home, but were edged 2-1 (away) by Real. They’re third in the group after two fixtures.
This match will be a contrast in styles. Sporting are a patient, ball-possession team; Dortmund push a frenetic pace, always on the hunt for goals. They’re defense suffers for it, and Sporting are likely to find the net at some point, but I don’t think they’ll be able to keep Dortmund off the board. Given all the skill on the German sideline, I’ll take Dortmund to garner three big away points.
Pick: Borussia Dortmund (-123).
Tottenham (231) at Bayer Leverkusen (114), Draw (242)
Tottenham (1-0-1, 3 pts) meet Bayer Leverkusen (0-2-0, 2 pts) in a match that could prove crucial to both teams’ knockout stage hopes (Tuesday, October 18, 2:45 PM Eastern at BayArena, Leverkusen). The Totties are a point up on Leverkusen for the all-important second spot in the group. (Monaco leads with four points.)
Tottenham lost a crucial home game to Monaco (2-1) to start the tournament but bounced back with a road win over CSKA Moscow (1-0). They also earned a massive domestic win over Man City recently and bring great form into mid-October, especially on defense. (They’ve surrendered just three goals in seven EPL games.)
Leverkusen have played to two draws so far, earning a nice point on the road against Monaco (1-1), but letting a couple slip away at home to CSKA (2-2). They’re just 3-1-2 in the Bundesliga and don’t face the same level of competition that Tottenham sees on a weekly basis in the EPL. But with the game in Germany, the draw (+242) looks like solid value.
Pick: Draw (242).
Manchester City (426) at Barcelona (-169), Draw (313)
I’ve saved the best for last. It’s the class of England versus the class of, arguably, the world as Man City (1-1-0, 4 pts) head to Spain to tangle with Barcelona (2-0-0, 6 pts) on Wednesday, October 19 (2:45 PM Eastern at the Camp Nou).
Barcelona have already opened up a two-point lead on City in Group C thanks to wins over Borussia Monchengladbach (2-1 away) and Celtic (7-0 home). City were held to a draw by Celtic last time out, giving up three goals to the Scottish side (3-3 away). They breezed past Borussia (4-0 home) in their first fixture.
Despite losing to Tottenham recently, City still lead the EPL with 18 points through seven fixtures.
Barcelona have faced a rockier start to their La Liga season, currently sitting an unheard of fourth thanks to two losses in their first seven matches (4-1-2). They’re just two points back of first, but Lio Messi is dealing with a groin injury.
Messi’s ailments notwithstanding, facing Barcelona has not been kind to Man City, nor to former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. The last time the coach came back to face his former club, he suffered a 3-0 setback with Bayern Munich. City, as a team, has lost four straight to Barcelona over the last two years.
Pick: Barcelona (-169).
Photo credit: funnydae, CC BY 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons].