Champions League group play is all but over, and most teams already know whether they’re going through to the knockout rounds. But just enough remains unsettled to justify one last look at odds, props, picks, and watchability rankings for group play.
Of the 16 teams that will advance to knockout play, 12 have already locked up a top-2 finish in their group. There are eight teams that remain mathematically alive and fighting for one of the four spots that are up for grabs. In order of how likely they are to advance, according to FiveThirtyEight, those teams are:
- RB Leipzig
- AC Milan
- Sporting Lisbon
- Eintracht Frankfurt
- RB Salzburg
- Shakhtar Donetsk
This week’s match-ups are the same ones we saw when group play kicked off on Matchday 1. Most of them, though, will have a very different feel given how many teams have little, if anything, to play for.
- 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.
- The first- and second-place finishers in each group advance to the Champions League knockout rounds.
- Each group’s third-place finisher will head to the knockout rounds of the Europa League.
TIER 1: MUST-SEE
1. Marseille (+200 odds) vs. Tottenham (+140 odds) Tuesday, 4 p.m.
Can Spurs get a result and advance?
This one is do-or-die for Tottenham … or something like that — they can go through with a draw, after all. Antonio Conte’s team has 8 points, while Marseille has 6. The pressure is on Tottenham, especially on the road against a Marseille side that few gave a shot to put up a fight in this group.
Pick consideration: Tottenham has to get it done in a tough environment, but between Conte, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, they have enough experience that I trust them, and even recommend Tottenham (+140). It helps Spurs’ case that they beat Marseille 2-0 on Matchday 1.
2. Sporting Lisbon (+135 odds) vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (+205 odds) Tuesday, 4 p.m.
How does Eintracht Frankfurt respond in a rematch of a game they lost 3-0?
Both sides enter with 7 points through their first five games and aware that a victory would allow them to advance in second play. That should make for a wide-open approach. Sporting would advance with a draw, but at home, they’ll likely (and hopefully) come out on the front foot.
Pick consideration: Given the talent disparity – at least on paper — between Tottenham and Marseille, this could be the most entertaining game on the board. Expect some back-and-forth, which makes Both Teams To Score – Yes (-160) enticing.
3. AC Milan (-195 odds) vs. RB Salzburg (+550 odds) Wednesday, 4 p.m.
Can AC Milan secure a trip to the knockout rounds?
A first-place finish is out of reach for the Serie A side, but they’d advance with a second-place finish with a draw or a win. At home, they’re heavily favored, but remember that these teams played to a 1-1 draw on Matchday 1. Even if you don’t like RB Salzburg’s chances of pulling the upset, tune in to this match to see their young Slovenian star, 19-year-old forward Benjamin Sesko.
TIER 2: WORTH A LOOK (AND A SHORTER BREAKDOWN)
4. Porto (+150 odds) vs. Atletico Madrid (+185 odds) Tuesday, 1:45 p.m.
Will Atleti at least lock down a spot in the Europa League?
A rough season for Diego Simeone’s team got a lot worse over the last week. They were eliminated from Champions League knockout play last week when a missed PK with no time left meant they drew a match they had to win. They then lost to Cadiz in La Liga in the 99th minute on Saturday.
Pick consideration: Given Atleti’s awful recent form and the fact Porto still have a chance to finish in first place, the Portuguese side look tempting at +150 at home.
5. Bayer Leverkusen (-170 odds) vs. Club Brugge (+425 odds) Tuesday, 1:45 p.m.
Current group leader Club Brugge just need a draw to clinch a shocking first-place finish in Group B. Bayer Leverkusen cannot advance to the Champions League round of 16, but they do have a shot to snatch third place – and a Europa League spot – from Atleti.
Club Brugge continues to get no respect from oddsmakers, even after going 3-1-1 in this group. Their victories include shutout wins over both Leverkusen (1-0 on September 7) and second-place side Porto (4-0 on September 13).
TIER 3: WHAT ELSE ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR AFTERNOON?
6. Juventus (+400 odds) vs. Paris St. Germain (-150 odds) Wednesday, 4 p.m.
PSG are going through, while Juve need a result just to guarantee a Europa League slot. Still, any game involving Lionel Messi (especially in his current form) deserves your attention.
Prop consideration: Messi, for those wondering, is +115 Anytime Scorer. He’s also +330 First Scorer. Given he has scored in nine of PSG’s last 10 matches in all competitions — with 12 goals over that stretch — Messi is good value at either of those goalscorer props.
7. Maccabi Haifa (+390) vs. Benfica (-150) Wednesday, 4 p.m.
Because Benfica and PSG both enter Matchday 6 with 11 points, the Primeira Liga leader still has a chance to beat Paris St. Germain to first place in this group. They should have no problem against a Maccabi Haifa side that just lost 7-2 to PSG, but a win may or may not be enough to top the final standings in Group H.
8. Shakhtar Donetsk (+400) vs. RB Leipzig (-145) Wednesday, 1:45 p.m.
RB Leipzig have nine points, while Shakhtar have only six. If Real Madrid (10 points) handle Celtic at home as expected, first place will be out of reach for Leipzig. But the Bundesliga side still needs to avoid a loss, as a win by Shakhtar Donetsk would see the Ukrainian club advance thanks to their head-to-head record.
9. FC Copenhagen (+390 odds) vs. Borussia Dortmund (-145 odds) Wednesday, 4 p.m.
Dortmund are guaranteed to advance, while their opponents will finish in last place regardless of the outcome of this match. The reason this is in Tier 3 instead of Tier 4 is because it felt harsh to put half the games in the least watchable category oddsmakers do not expect this to be a total cakewalk for Jude Bellingham and BVB.
TIER 4: BACKGROUND SOCCER (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
10. Liverpool (-120 odds) vs. Napoli (+295 odds) Tuesday, 4 p.m.
11. Bayern Munich (-245 odds) vs. Inter Milan (+600 odds) Tuesday, 4 p.m.
12. Rangers (+285 odds) vs. Ajax (-115 odds) Tuesday, 4 p.m.
13. Viktoria Plzen (+850 odds) vs. Barcelona (-330 odds) Tuesday, 4 p.m.
14. Man City (-475 odds) vs. Sevilla (+1300 odds) Wednesday, 4 p.m.
15. Real Madrid (-475 odds) vs. Celtic (+1300 odds) Wednesday, 1:45 p.m.
16. Chelsea (-310 odds) vs. Dinamo Zagreb (+850 odds) Wednesday, 4 p.m.
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