It’s crunch time in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Since only two group matches will be played after this week, the urgency for those teams with their backs to the wall is increased. We saw the first teams to win in the round of 16 (Juventus, Bayern Munich) and one team has already been eliminated (Malmo FF).
The stakes and desperation should produce some wild results in the remaining games, making it hard to choose. We’ve identified four of them for this week’s best bets, with the choices being three home teams and one away team.
The two picks for Wednesday are followed by those previously hit before the slate on Tuesday (quotas courtesy of DraftKings):
MORE: Updated Champions League group ranking
Best bets on the Champions League: Wednesday 3rd November
Inter Milan wins in shutout (+105)
Sheriff Tiraspol’s run at the head of Group D was entertaining while it lasted. After a surprising start in the group stage, the Champions League debutant was finally able to catch up with the favorites in the overall standings on matchday four.
Inter Milan, who beat Sheriff 3-1 in the last Champions League game in Italy, will not take the Sheriff lightly on their trip to Moldova. The Italian club know that a win would put them in the top two with two games left. Another reason Inter can’t miss the opportunity: One of their last two games is at the Santiago Bernabeu for Real Madrid.
The Serie A defending champions have shown strong defensive form. In the past four games in all competitions, they have had two shutouts and were only beaten by a penalty and a penalty. With Sheriff likely taking a defensive stance hoping to score a point to keep his Cinderella run alive, the chances of an inter shutout increase. The challenge for the Nerazzurri is to find a street destination to decide the game. A rested Lautaro Martinez should help.
RB Leipzig Asian Handicap Pick’em (+115)
With three defeats in a row in the group stage, RB Leipzig’s Champions League season ends in this home game against the much-vaunted Paris Saint-Germain. The German team made it to PSG in France and arguably deserved a win if it weren’t for two costly mistakes. That was Leipzig’s only defeat in the past six games across all competitions.
A desperate RB Leipzig, trained by American Jesse Marsch, won’t get the best version of PSG. Not only does the French leaders have another inconclusive result that left them behind again, but there are also a handful of major injuries to contend with. Lionel Messi’s retirement due to Achilles tendon and knee problems will hit the headlines but central midfielders Marco Verratti (top right) and Leandro Paredes’ injury failures could be more difficult to cope with.
The Asian Handicap Pick’em is essentially a tie bet without a bet. It wins when RB Leipzig wins and pushes in the event of a tie. If PSG win, it’s a loser, although it is worth noting that PSG have set a 1-1 record in their last four away games and the only win came from a dramatic margin from Achraf Hakimi at FC Metz.
Best bets on the Champions League: Tuesday November 2nd
Tip: Villarreal -1.25 Asian Handicap (+105)
Final result: Villarreal 2, Young Boys 0
Villarreal may not have the best start to their La Liga season (13th place), but head coach Unai Emery has banned the Yellow Submarine for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Matchday four face a critical home game against a Young Boys team that should beat Villarreal if they pretend to be a round of 16 contenders.
Apart from a single defeat (to seventh place Osasuna), Villarreal has had results in its five other home games this season (2-1-3) and all expected goal fights at the Estadio de la Ceramica except for. won this one setback. Villarreal will miss last year’s 30-goal goalscorer Gerard Moreno, but you need to estimate Emery’s chances after having a full two weeks to plan against a Young Boys side who beat them 4-1 in Switzerland.
MORE: Champions League top scorer
The -1.25 Asian handicap requires Villarreal to win by two goals to be a winner. If Villarreal wins with one goal, half the stake will be refunded. If the rumors linking Emery with the Newcastle United job don’t derail the team, a home win is expected.
Juventus -1 Asian Handicap (-105)
Final result: Juventus 4, Dynamo Kiev 2
Juventus are a shadow of the team that has dominated Italian football for the past decade. It has not won three games in a row in Serie A and is ninth in the league game, 16 points behind the league leaders. It’s safe to say that Massimiliano Allegri’s squad (below) is all about the UEFA Champions League at the moment.
With three shutout wins in a row in the group game of the Champions League, Juventus is at the top of Group H. A home win against FC Zenit from St. Petersburg would secure a place in the round of 16 and keep the club in position. You end as group leader with two Games before the end (group winners are the top seeded for the draw for the round of 16).
The -1 Asian Handicap is a winner if Juventus wins by two or more goals. If Juventus wins, the entire stake will be refunded. But only a convincing victory will calm the storm that hit the club after the second consecutive defeat against Verona at the weekend.