The biggest question of Matchday 3 of Champions League group play is whether Inter Milan can slow down red-hot Barcelona. At first glance, the Catalans look like good betting value at -125 odds in that match-up. That’s saying something, because clear moneyline favorites playing on the road rarely offer much value in Champions League play.
Inter vs. Barca stands out as the most compelling of the 16 games this week, but several other matches deserve fans’ attention as well.
Also worth noting: UCL Group Stage Matchday 4, scheduled for October 11-12, gives fans a second look at the clashes they see this week. Next week, the teams playing at home on Matchday 3 hit the road.
- All kickoff times listed are US 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.
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TIER 1 – MUST-SEE
1. Inter Milan (+320 odds) vs. Barcelona (-125 odds) Tuesday, 3 p.m.
Are Barcelona the rare road favorite worth backing?
The addition of Robert Lewandowski over the summer was expected to improve Barcelona’s attack. So far, he’s managed to exceed expectations, with nine goals and two assists in La Liga.
Barcelona and Inter Milan both enter this one with three points through their first games and well aware that only one of them will join Bayern Munich in advancing from Group C. Given Inter Milan’s form in Serie A – they’re currently in ninth place, with 12 points through eight matches – they’ll be desperate to get at least a point in this one.
Pick consideration: Bettors impressed with Barcelona’s early-season dominance in La Liga but wary of a moneyline road favorite should consider Barcelona (Draw No Bet) -275.
2. Chelsea (-140 odds) vs. AC Milan (+380 odds) Wednesday, 3 p.m.
Chelsea favored at home in crucial clash with AC Milan
With a draw and a loss in their first two Champions League games, Chelsea are desperate. That makes this a must-see, must-win game for a side coming off a dramatic win over Crystal Palace last weekend. It’s hard to imagine Chelsea remaining in fourth place in an underwhelming Group E through three games, but that’s where they’ll be if they fail to get a result on Wednesday.
3. Benfica (+320 odds) vs. Paris St. Germain (-135 odds) Wednesday, 3 p.m.
Can Benfica follow the Matchday 2 upset of Juventus with a win over PSG?
Benfica, coming off an upset win at Juventus on Matchday 2 (as predicted on Gaming Today in our Matchday 2 preview), get a chance to stun the soccer world again this week when they host PSG.
Pick consideration: The Ligue 1 side is always susceptible to a head-scratching loss in knockout play. But their track record in group play is good enough that I actually recommend taking them here at -135. Benfica have been outstanding defensively in domestic play this season, making Under 3.5 Total Goals (-155) a solid bet. Under 2.5 Total Goals (+160) is riskier, but also worth a look.
4. Sevilla (+180 odds) vs. Borussia Dortmund (+145 odds) Wednesday, 3 p.m.
Is Sevilla Manager Julen Lopetegui on his way out?
Two reasons this one should be considered a must-watch: Julen Lopetegui
- Lopetegui is on the hot seat despite an impressive run with Sevilla prior to this season. Sevilla is just 1-2-4 through seven matches in La Liga, and they currently sit just one point clear of the relegation zone. A UCL loss to BVB could be the final straw.
- The line says it all — this game looks like a coin flip on paper.
TIER 2 — WORTH A LOOK (AND A SHORTER BREAKDOWN)
5. Ajax (+125 odds) vs. Napoli (+200 odds) Tuesday, 3 p.m.
Can Ajax make another run to UCL knockout play?
Through two Champions League games, an Ajax team that lost a ton of talent this summer looks like it has (stop me if you’ve heard this before) once again reloaded. The Dutch side blew out Rangers 4-0 on Matchday 1 and nearly drew Liverpool on Matchday 2 before giving up a late winner to Mo Salah.
At first glance, if there’s one home favorite on UCL Group Play Matchday 3 that looks like good value, it’s Ajax at this price.
Pick consideration: But Napoli have been too sharp in both Serie A and this group (with a 4-1 win over Liverpool and a 3-0 win over Rangers) to pick against them. In fact, even on the road against a tough Ajax side, Napoli look like outstanding value at +200.
6. Porto (+115 odds) vs. Bayer Leverkusen (+225 odds) Tuesday, 3 p.m.
How do Porto respond to their embarrassing effort on Matchday 2?
Pick consideration: Coming off a 4-0 loss to Club Brugge, Porto look like one of the weakest teams in the field. That makes Bayer Leverkusen a tempting road underdog, especially at this price.
7. Marseille (+125 odds) vs. Sporting Lisbon (+220 odds) Tuesday, 12:45 p.m.
Why is Group D leader Sporting Lisbon +220?
Pick consideration: The line in this matchup does not make a ton of sense. Marseille has lost both group play matches, while Sporting has beaten Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 and Tottenham 2-0. At the risk of disrespecting the atmosphere at Marseille’s Stade Velodrome, Sporting Lisbon offers tremendous value at +220.
8. Eintracht Frankfurt (+240 odds) vs. Tottenham (+110 odds) Tuesday, 3 p.m.
Can Tottenham win in Frankfurt?
Pick consideration: Tottenham is coming off a tough Premier League loss at Arsenal on Saturday, while their opponent in this match-up has won four of five in the Bundesliga. Expect a close game, and consider Eintracht Frankfurt (Draw No Bet) +140.
TIER 3 – WHAT ELSE ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR AFTERNOON?
9. Liverpool (-600 odds) vs. Rangers (+1500 odds) Tuesday, 3 p.m.
How could you possibly ignore Liverpool right now?
Pick consideration: Liverpool’s strange, disappointing start to the season continued with Saturday’s 3-3 draw against EPL foe Brighton. Liverpool might be the last team you should bet on right now, but they’re unpredictable form also makes them a compelling side to watch.
10. Club Brugge (+275 odds) vs. Atletico Madrid (+105 odds) Tuesday, 3 p.m.
Is Club Brugge a lot better than people realize?
With six points through two matches, Club Brugge could all but seal a trip to the knockout rounds with three more points at home against Atleti.
Pick consideration: On DraftKings, the Belgian side is currently -150 to qualify from Group B, for anyone looking for safe, solid futures bets right now. Club Brugge also looks like an intriguing bet at +225 to win Group B – expect those odds to change dramatically if they draw or defeat Atleti.
11. Juventus (-340 odds) vs. Maccabi Haifa (+850 odds) Wednesday, 3 p.m.
Will Juventus avoid another upset?
The Serie A side has to have a win against Maccabi Haifa this week, and probably needs one next week as well. If Juventus takes all six possible points from their games against Maccabi Haifa, they’ll have a great shot to advance from Group H. Juventus will be in danger of failing to advance with anything short of that, though.
TIER 4 — BACKGROUND SOCCER (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
12. RB Leipzig (-185) vs. Celtic (+475) Wednesday, 12:45 p.m.
13. Bayern Munich (-1800) vs. Viktoria Plzen (+3500) Tuesday, 12:45 p.m.
14. RB Salzburg (-140) vs. Dinamo Zagreb (+370) Wednesday, 12:45 p.m.
15. Man City (-1800) vs. FC Copenhagen (+2500) Wednesday, 3 p.m.
16. Real Madrid (-575) vs. Shakhtar Donetsk (+1300) Wednesday, 3 p.m.