Can PSG Power Past Bayern – ECL Matchday 2 Wagering
Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League commences this week and there are some massive matchups on the slate. The first set of games had some exciting contests, but for the most part, no results were particularly shocking. Aside from a few of the groups with a clear “three teams fighting for two spots” situation, nearly every team that is expected to advance got the result they were expecting. The only real shockwaves (and they were minor ones at best) were perhaps the margin of the Tottenham win over Borussia Dortmund, who now is behind the eight ball NEEDING a result against Real Madrid to avoid falling six points behind a pair of teams in their group.
This round of games has another large batch of expected results. More than half of the games have at least a one-goal spread. But the games that aren’t foregone conclusions… wow, are they delicious. Tuesday features a fun road test for Liverpool at Shakhtar, a tense match with Monaco hosting Porto in an up-for-grabs Group G, and then the show-stopper of Dortmund hosting suddenly-vulnerable Real Madrid. A full three for Dortmund would make the Group H ‘Group of Death’ really, really interesting.
Wednesday is a loaded slate as well. Manchester United will look to continue it’s mighty 2017 resurgence on the road at CSKA Moscow, Basel hosts Benfica in a near toss-up with MAJOR ramifications in Group A, Celtic looks to rebound from a humiliating 5-0 loss to PSG at Anderlecht, and then we get two MASSIVE clashes of titans with Paris Saint-Germain hosting Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid hosting current Premier League holders, Chelsea.
It’s going to be an awesome two days of Champions League action. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the more interesting wagering lines.
Paris Saint-Germain -1/2 (EVEN) vs. Bayern Munich +1/2 (-120)
- PSG -105, Bayern +250, Draw +280
- Total 3.5
This is easily the marquee matchup of the Matchday Two Group Stage games, though in reality, the result likely matters little. It is unlikely that either Celtic or Anderlecht can challenge for the second spot and advance, so both teams’ lives in the ECL are going to be prolonged past the Group Stage. But there is still something big about two of the three or four best teams in the world getting a measuring stick game this early in the competition, and you can bet both will be significantly up for the match.
One of the most telling statistics might be that both are coming off of draws in their respective leagues to team’s less than their equal. PSG drew at Montpellier and Bayern drew 2-2 at home to Wolfsburg. That indicates their focus wasn’t on a piddily league match, it was on THIS GAME. Paris has won four of the last six matches head to head against Bayern, but each has netted eight goals in the process. That alone makes the 3 ½ goals total an interesting UNDER wager and my favorite play on the game. Of course, the historical data isn’t particularly relevant since they haven’t met in over a decade, but 3 ½ between two teams as talented defensively and as stout in the midfield still allows for a lot of goals AND a winning wager. A 1-1 or 2-1 result cashed the ticket.
My second play would be Bayern on the two-way line, solely for the fact they are getting a half goal and a draw also cashes a winning wager. Could PSG win at home? Certainly. But Bayern could win on the road as well – it isn’t like they are an inferior squad. Bayern has only lost once in their last eight trips to a French club and has taken the full three points in five matches. PSG’s mark at home in international competition is a strong one as well, having lost just one of their last 43 European home games since in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage (W27 D15).
There is some nice long value in a draw at +280, but the conservative play is the UNDER 3.5 and taking the half goal on Bayern.
Atletico Madrid -1/2 (+105) vs. Chelsea +1/2 (-130)
- Atletico +105, Chelsea +280, Draw +250
- Total 2
This is another big-time matchup and was it not for the massive PSG v. Bayern tilt happening at the exact same time, this would be the easy marque match of the day. Keep your clicker handy, as it will be tough to decide which match to watch – I’ll be bouncing back and forth with both televisions running at the same time!
Atletico has made the semifinals and finals in the last two UEFA Champions League seasons but still fails to get the same global recognition as their countrymates, Barca and Real Madrid. They lack the prestige of some of the more highly touted EPL squads (like today’s opponent and the Manchester squads) and they aren’t often mentioned when one starts talking about contenders; Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern, Juve… oh yeah, Atletico…
The atmosphere will be feverish as Atletico open, against an old rival with a ton of Spanish players, Chelsea. Atletico is eleven games unbeaten at home in ECL play and hopes that their new residence is equally hospitable.
Chelsea is fresh off their largest ECL win in club history, a 6-0 drubbing of Qarabag, and fresh off an impressive 4-0 weekend result in the EPL. Most importantly, they have not lost in their last nine trips to Spain, winning twice and earning seven draws. It makes the draw wager of +250 an intriguing possibility in this match. It also adds some significant value to the +1/2 on the two-way.
But call me a sentimental fool, but I buy into the “new stadium opening” emotional advantage. This is going to be a HUGE occasion for Atletico and I think they celebrate it in style. Chelsea is playing well but is by no means an unbeatable juggernaut. Were Atletico hosting PSG or Bayern, I’d be more skeptical. Even if they were hosting an English side who has shown more early dominance like Manchester City. But I think they get a tough-fought win over Chelsea and open their new building in style.
Borussia Dortmund +110 vs Real Madrid -130
- Dortmund +170, Real Madrid +130, Draw +300
- Total 3.5
This is a BIG game for Dortmund. After opening with a 3-1 loss to Tottenham, they can ill-afford to miss a home opportunity to get at least a point, preferably all three, against current two-time reigning ECL Champions, Real Madrid. Easier said than done.
Real Madrid has shown some vulnerability lately, promoting some reactionary, “what’s wrong with Ronaldo?” columns. While doubting Cristiano seems foolish, there is a reason to wonder if Real Madrid is still a clear cut above the competition or if the field has narrowed a bit. They drew to Levante three weeks ago, and last weekend in La Liga they lost 0-1 at home to Bettis. Is it a sign of some slippage and fatigue, or just some boredom that will fade away today when the lights are a little brighter?
Real Madrid has scored – staggering – so Borussia is most likely going to need to find the net if they want a result today. BVB has tallied 14 in their last three Bundesliga matches, so perhaps they are up to the task.
I don’t have a strong wagering opinion on this game, as I could see it going either way. I could see the firepower of BVB being too much for a road-weary Real Madrid squad and lots of goals being scored. I could also see the Champions flex some muscle, regain some focus, and go and get a big road victory to all but seal up a spot in the Round of 16, despite four more games remaining.
I do know Dortmund won’t be afraid of the highly decorated Spanish squad. They are 3-5-4 in their previous 12 meetings, a more than respectable mark.