UEFA Champions League Odds, Picks, Watchability Rankings: Group Stage, Matchday 2

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Matchday 2 of Champions League group play features 16 games, including one true blockbuster showdown: Bayern Munich-Barcelona. Here are betting odds, picks, and a ranking of the appeal of the days’ games.

Results like Napoli’s 4-1 win over Liverpool on Matchday 1 prove anything can happen in Champions League group play.

Notes:

  • The tiers are self-explanatory.
  • All kickoff times listed are U.S. Eastern and the home team is listed first.
  • All matches are available to watch in the US on Paramount+.
  •  The moneyline odds listed for each game are from DraftKings Sportsbook.

TIER 1 – MUST-SEE

1. Bayern Munich (-115) vs. Barcelona (+255) Tuesday, 3 p.m.

Fans who only have time to watch one of these games should make it this one. The intrigue here starts with Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski meeting his old team. Barcelona has one of the best attacks in Europe thanks to the Polish striker, who has six goals and two assists in Barcelona’s last four games in La Liga. The 34-year-old (+110 Anytime Scorer) faces much stiffer competition Tuesday afternoon than he did in his Champions League debut for Barcelona last week, when he provided three goals and an assist in a 5-1 win over Viktoria Plzen.

Robert Lewandowski , champions league odds
Robert Lewandowski leads Barcelona to face his former team Bayern Munich. The Spanish side are underdogs on oddsboards (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

Bayern’s early-season struggles in the Bundesliga have done little to convince oddsmakers they won’t win the Bundesliga again – per DraftKings, they’re currently -1000 to win the league. Still, it is worth noting that this team has drawn three of its first six games domestically.

Picking against Bayern at home seems insane, but Barcelona are red-hot offensively, so the Catalans offer good value at +255. Two other bets worth taking in this game are Over 3.5 total goals (-110) and Double Chance – Tie or Barcelona (-110).

2. Liverpool (-175) vs. Ajax (+400) Tuesday, 3 p.m.

Liverpool (currently in seventh place in the EPL) hardly resemble the team that has been so imposing in both the Premier League and Champions League in recent seasons. Coming off an embarrassing 4-1 loss to Napoli in the Champions League last week, the Reds are expected to bounce back against Ajax.

The Dutch side lost several key contributors from last year’s team to Manchester United, including Manager Erik ten Hag, defender Lisandro Martinez and winger Antony. Still, they showed last week that the players left in Amsterdam are dangerous, beating Rangers 4-0.

3. Bayer Leverkusen (+170) vs. Atletico Madrid (+165) Tuesday, 3 p.m.

Neither of the teams in this match-up offer as much star power as Bayern, Barcelona or Liverpool, but the line tells you to expect a very close match. Coming off a loss to Club Brugge on Matchday 1 and with just four points through six games in the Bundesliga, Bayer Leverkusen should be a beatable opponent for Atleti. Diego Simeone’s team beat Porto on Matchday 1 one with two goals in extra time after being hold scoreless through 90 minutes.

Given Leverkusen’s struggles in the Bundesliga, Atletico Madrid should take this one, making Atletico Madrid (+165) a strong play.

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TIER 2 — WORTH A LOOK (AND A SHORTER BREAKDOWN)

4. Man City (-525) vs. Borussia Dortmund (+1100) Wednesday, 3 p.m.

Just like Lewandowski vs. Bayern, this one pits an unstoppable scorer (Erling Haaland) against his former Bundesliga team (BVB). The difference is that Haaland left Dortmund for Man City with less acrimony, and at a much different point in his career than Lewandowski. The 22-year-old Haaland already has scored 10 goals in his first six EPL games for City.

The prices tell you this will not be a close game. Still, this one is worth watching to see if how many goals Haaland (-270 Anytime Scorer) will score. Haaland as Anytime Scorer does not offer value at that price, but Haaland (+185 First Scorer) does seem like a worthy bet.

5. Sporting Lisbon (+270) vs. Tottenham (+100) Tuesday, 12:45 p.m.

Tottenham, undefeated through six Premier League matches (4-2-0), opened Champions League play with a 2-0 win over Marseille last week. Sporting Lisbon also impressed on Matchday 1, shutting out Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0.

This game might provide a stiffer test for Spurs than casual fans of European soccer realize, which explains Tottenham being priced at even money.

6. Chelsea (-280) vs. RB Salzburg (+700) Wednesday, 3 p.m.

On paper, RB Salzburg appears overmatched, but the first Chelsea match of the Graham Potter era deserves viewers’ attention. Most importantly (at least for USMT fans), will Potter give Christian Pulisic more playing time?

7. Juventus (+125) vs. Benfica (+225) Wednesday, 3 p.m.

Juve’s rough start to the season (they’re currently in eighth place in Serie A) continued with last week’s 2-1 loss on the road at PSG to open UCL play. Benfica is coming off a 2-1 Champions League win over Maccabi Haifa last week and is perfect (6-0-0) — with 14 goals for and just three allowed — through six games domestically.

The main reason Benfica is the underdog is the Juventus brand. The Portuguese side (+225) is the best bet of any of the clear underdogs to pull an upset on Matchday 2.

8. Real Madrid (-185) vs. RB Leipzig (+425) Wednesday, 3 p.m.

At full strength, Real Madrid would be even more heavily favored than -180. But Karim Benzema’s absence due to injury changes a lot for Los Blancos, even though they’ve shown more balance up top this year than in years past. Real Madrid-RB Leipzig will provide a good look at Vinicius and Rodrygo.

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TIER 3 – WHAT ELSE ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR AFTERNOON?

9. Shakhtar Donetsk (+220) vs. Celtic (+120) Wednesday, 12:45 p.m.

This one might feature two teams that lack household names, but the line indicates a likely close match.

10. Marseille (-105) vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (+285) Tuesday, 3 p.m.

The description of the case for watching Shakhtar Donetsk-Celtic also applies to Marseille-Eintracht Frankfurt.

TIER 4 — BACKGROUND SOCCER (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)

  1. Rangers (+310) vs. Napoli (-120) Wednesday, 3 p.m.
  2. FC Copenhagen (+260) vs. Sevilla (+110) Wednesday, 3 p.m.
  3. AC Milan (-360) vs. Dinamo Zagreb (+1,000) Wednesday, 12:45 p.m.
  4. Viktoria Plzen (+650) vs. Inter Milan (-230) Tuesday, 12:45 p.m. Eastern
  5. Porto (-235) vs. Club Brugge (+650) Tuesday, 3 p.m.
  6. Maccabi-Haifa (+1,400) vs. PSG (-650) Wednesday, 3 p.m.

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About the Author
Tyler Everett

Tyler Everett

Tyler Everett has been a sportswriter since joining the student newspaper at his alma mater, NC State, back in 2008. He's covered sports and sports business for a number of newspapers and websites, including the Denver Broncos, Charlotte Observer, High Press Soccer and Sports Business Journal, where he currently works full-time.

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