The long, cold winter is over. OK, so that's not true at all. As I write this, it's three degrees and snowing where I am, but I am not affected by it. This is partially due to the blanket on my lap, but it's also because I am warmed by the knowledge the Champions League is returning.
I mean, I don't even have to shovel any of this snow. All I have to do is go outside with this song blasting, and the snow will just melt away.
Or it won't, who cares? I'm not going outside, anyway. I have Champions League to watch, and I also have Champions League to bet on. Here are my thoughts on the four matches taking place this week, with my favorite plays for each of them. All odds are via the William Hill Sportsbook, and all matches can be seen on CBS All Access.
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TUE: RB Leipzig vs. Liverpool, 3 p.m. ET (CBS All Access)
Of the four matches this week, this is the one I'm least interested in betting on because it's hard to know what it is we're going to get. My natural inclination involving any Liverpool match at the moment is to fade Liverpool because they're an absolute mess. They come into Tuesday having lost three straight matches and five of the last seven. Still, when I look at the line, I start to wonder if Liverpool are suddenly being undervalued due to their struggles, but I'm nowhere near comfortable taking them.
Nor am I excited to take a Leipzig team forced to play their home leg of this series in Budapest. They comes into the match having won four straight, so they're the side playing better now, but three of those wins have come against Schalke, Augsburg and Bochum. Schalke are the worst team in the Bundesliga, while Augsburg have the second-worst expected goal differential in the Bundesliga (only Schalke is worse). Bochum are in Germany's second-tier. So I'm not sure how seriously we should take this recent stretch.
My official advice is to stay away from this match, but if you want to bet something just to bet it, the play I dislike the least here is both teams to score. Liverpool have allowed a goal in nine of their last 10 matches, and it's hard to imagine Leipzig stopping Liverpool's attack entirely. Pick: Both Teams to Score (-180)
So who should you back in the UEFA Champions League match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see this week's best bets for the UEFA Champions League, all from the European soccer insider who's generated over $16,900 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season!
TUE: Barcelona vs. PSG, 3 p.m. ET (CBS All Access/CBS Sports Network)
PSG will be without Neymar in this match after he suffered a adductor injury last week. This is a significant blow to PSG because Neymar is one of the best players in the world, and as you'd expect, it's having an impact on the odds. Such an impact that PSG suddenly offer a lot of value on the money line.
Yes, Neymar is magnificent, but it's not as though PSG are a one-player team. We're still dealing with a team with Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi and Moise Kean, who has taken a big step forward this season. It's a team with plenty of remaining firepower. And it's facing a Barcelona team that has struggled against good teams and beaten up on bad teams.
Barcelona sit third in La Liga, eight points behind Atletico Madrid, but their xG differential per match is at +1.08. That's the best in the league and suggests that Barcelona are better than the results might suggest, but a different story emerges if we look closer. That's when you see a Barcelona team that has not beaten any of Spain's other Champions League teams. In four matches against Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Sevilla this season, Barcelona have three losses and a draw. They were outscored 7-2 in those four matches. Those struggles against the better teams Barcelona played suggest there's a lot of value on PSG in this spot, and that's where I'm going with my money. Pick: PSG (+240)
So who should you back in the UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and PSG? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see this week's best bets for the UEFA Champions League, all from the European soccer insider who's generated over $16,900 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season!
WED: Porto vs. Juventus, 3 p.m. ET (CBS All Access)
I've got two plays for this match I'm fond of. The first is that I'm all over Cristiano Ronaldo to score a goal, and I'm not sure I even need to go all that in-depth on the explanation as to why. But I will. Juventus' attack is basically structured around Ronaldo, and why wouldn't it be? He's one of the greatest to ever play the sport. He also loves the bright lights and big stage, which is why he's scored 134 goals in 169 career Champions League starts. That includes four goals in Juventus' last three Champions League matches. On the season, across all competitions, Ronaldo has played in 32 matches with Juventus. He's scored 26 of the 69 goals (37.7%) the team has scored in them.
I also like Juventus to keep a clean sheet because they have been magnificent defensively of late. Juventus have kept a clean sheet in six of the last eight matches, allowing only two goals. One of those goals was via a penalty against Napoli in its last match, and let me tell you, as a Napoli fan, I thought the decision to give Napoli a penalty was borderline. Picks: Ronaldo to score a goal (+105) and Juventus to keep a clean sheet (+129)
So who should you back in the UEFA Champions League match between Porto and Juventus? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see this week's best bets for the UEFA Champions League, all from the European soccer insider who's generated over $16,900 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season!
WED: Sevilla vs. Borussia Dortmund, 3 p.m. ET (CBS All Access)
This one is straightforward. Sevilla are playing outstanding soccer entering this match. They have won nine straight matches and lost only once in the last 19 (starting with a 3-1 win over Rennes in the final UCL Group Stage match) with two draws. While there's some concern about no having Lucas Ocampos, landing Papu Gomez from Atalanta is huge for Sevilla and should plug that hole. This is just a team that, when they're on, they are ridiculously entertaining to watch, and they are on right now.
Then there's Dortmund. A club that has plenty of young, exciting talent, but also a club that seems to lack direction at the moment. Edin Terzic has been serving as interim manager since Lucien Favre got dumped (and until Marco Rose arrives from Gladbach), but the team just hasn't looked sharp on his watch. So when I look at how these two teams are playing right now, and I look at the prices available to me, there's simply too much value on Sevilla here to pass it up. Pick: Sevilla (+140)
So who should you back in the UEFA Champions League match between Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see this week's best bets for the UEFA Champions League, all from the European soccer insider who's generated over $16,900 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season!