Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has human and global ramifications much larger than anything that touches our world of sports betting. But since sports betting is what we do, we examine here the impact UEFA’s decision to move the Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris is having on odds and betting markets.
On Friday morning, UEFA, Europe’s administrative body for soccer, announced it is moving the final from Saint Petersburg’s Krestovsky Stadium to Stade de France, and oddsmakers reacted by shortening the futures price of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
PSG, listed at 7-to-1 odds on Tuesday at SuperBook USA to win the Champions League final, saw their odds shrink to 5-to-1 Friday morning, before another adjustment later in the day to 11-to-2.
UEFA Champions League updated
Man City 12/5
Bayern Munich 9/2
Man United 25/1
Real Madrid 30/1
Atletico Madrid 50/1
RB Salzburg 250/1
Inter Milan 250/1
Sporting Lisbon 10,000/1
— Jeff Sherman (@golfodds) February 25, 2022
Jeff Sherman, VP of Risk Management at the SuperBook, acknowledged the betting action PSG is bound to see based on the team potentially hosting the final.
“I moved it to 5/1 this morning based on anticipated action of potential home match,” Sherman said Friday in a direct message to Gaming Today. “… we’ve always seen it on that scenario before and with this team at this stage it will only attract more.”
DraftKings tightened PSG’s futures odds from 7/1 to 6/1, Director or Race and Sportsbook Operations Johnny Avello said in an email.
Adam Pullen, Assistant Director of Trading at Caesars Sportsbook, said in a text that Caesars has adjusted PSG’s odds slightly, but added, “They have to get there first.”
There was no change to PSG’s price at Circa, per Jeff Benson, Sportsbook Operations Manager.
Is PSG’s Odds Adjustment Justified?
Similar to other sports that host finals at predetermined neutral sites, there’s not a large sample of clubs that have contended for the Champions League trophy within its country’s borders.
Since the 1992-93 campaign — the first season the European Cup was rebranded as Champions League — four finals have featured a team playing on home soil. Juventus defeated Ajax in Italy in the 1996 final, before falling to Borussia Dortmund in Germany in 1997. Manchester United was defeated by Barcelona in England in 2011, the year before Bayern Munich ceded victory to Chelsea in the German side’s home stadium.
Again, we’re looking at a small sample size, so perspective is key. Still, it’s worth consideration for bettors anticipating a greased slope toward silverware for Les Parisiens.
In the Round of 16, PSG looks to protect a 1-nil lead when they visit Spain for the second leg of their tie with Real Madrid on March 9. While the odds may be in PSG’s favor, a one-goal advantage against a side of Real Madrid’s quality is hardly secure — especially at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.
Are Champions League Futures Bets Still Action?
Despite the change of venue for the final, Champions League futures bets are still on at all four aforementioned books.
SuperBook’s Champions League odds sheet states, “wherever/whenever game is played,” and Benson said as long as UEFA declares a champion, bets on the winner will be paid.