The Champions League semifinals are upon us, with usual suspects Bayern Munich and Real Madrid on opposite sides of the bracket and both solid favorites to advance to the final. Let’s take a look at those odds, as well as some other betting tidbits around international soccer….
First up in the Champions League next week is Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid hosting Manchester City in the first leg of that semi on Tuesday, April 26. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has Real priced as the +120 chalk to win the game and -265 to win on aggregate and advance to Milan on Saturday, May 28. Bettors can get +225 odds on the Premier League side getting the better of the Spaniards over the two legs, and while that appears to be a daunting task, it’s a risk aggressive gamblers may want to throw a few bucks on.
Wednesday’s match features Atletico Madrid visiting Munich. Atletico, at +185 to emerge from Germany victorious and +170 to move on to the final, is a live dog here as well. They don’t give up many goals, they made it to the final in 2014 when they took Real to overtime, and they dispatched of Barcelona in the quarterfinals. This is a formidable squad.
Betting against a couple of powerhouses like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich takes some cojones, to be certain, but one upset makes you a winner and no one gets rich playing favorites every time out.
Here are your updated Champions League odds ahead of the semifinals:
Odds to win Champions League title
Bayern Munich 3/2
Real Madrid 2/1
Atletico Madrid 7/2
Manchester City 7/1
Odds to advance to final
Real Madrid -265 vs. Manchester City +225
Bayern Munich -190 vs. Atletico Madrid +170
First leg game lines and totals
Real Madrid +120
Manchester City +235
Total: 2.5 goals (-140 over, +120 under)
Bayern Munich +165
Atletico Madrid +185
Total: 2 goals (-140 over, +120 under)
Somebody’s ready to cash a big ticket
The story of Leicester City’s romp through the Premier League may the best story in all of sports right now. It’s only the side’s second year back in the top-flight, and they are five points clear of second-place Tottenham with four games to play. This in a league where “competitive balance” is an unheard-of concept. The last time a team not named Manchester (United or City), Chelsea or Arsenal won the title was Blackburn Rovers in the 1994-95 season.
Leicester may also be the greatest betting story of all time.
Bookies say if Leicester win PL title then 5000-1 will be longest odds on any successful single event (not accumulator), any genre, ever.
— sportingintelligence (@sportingintel) April 15, 2016
They were 5000-1 (!) when the season opened; they are now the prohibitive 1-to-5 favorite to finish the job.
Gotta have faith in Barca?
Before Wednesday’s match at Deportivo, Barcelona had lost three straight La Liga games and is 1-4-1 over its last six games overall. The betting market, though, has not lost faith in Lionel Messi and company through their slump.
Barca, Atletico and Real are pretty much dead-locked at the top of the table, yet Barca remains the odds-on choice to win another title at 1/2. That’s actually a shorter price than their 2-to-3 opener, while Real’s number was lengthened from 3/2 to start the season. Atletico opened at 14/1. Here are the current numbers:
La Liga odds to win
Real Madrid 4/1
Atletico Madrid 4/1