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Betting on the 2021-22 Champions League Round of 16 – Odds, Analysis, and Predictions

| December 14, 2021 8:57 am PDT

With the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League group stage in the books, it’s time to turn our attention to the knockout phase of European soccer’s premier club competition.

As always, the group stage dished up plenty of thrills and spills. For the first time in 17 years, Barcelona failed to qualify for the knockouts. Other heavy hitters such as Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan also fell at the first hurdle.

Three teams – Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Ajax – qualified for the round of 16 with a 100% record. Meanwhile, Portuguese side Sporting CP scraped through on goal difference.

Anyway, that’s enough about the group stage.

This betting preview contains the latest 2021-22 UCL winner odds, as well as my predictions for the Champions League round of 16. If that sounds good to you, then let’s get started!

Latest 2021-22 Champions League Winner Odds

Here are the latest odds for the Champions League winner. The prices below are courtesy of Betway.

Manchester City is the bookmakers’ favorite to lift the trophy in Saint Petersburg on May 28. Pep Guardiola’s men were runners-up last season, so they will be desperate to go one better this time around.

The Champions League oddsmakers view Bayern Munich as Man City’s nearest challenger. The German giant won the tournament in 2020 and cruised through the group stage this year.

Liverpool is also expected to compete for the crown, as is Chelsea. Liverpool went all the way in 2019 before Chelsea triumphed last season, but the Blues will be wary of the fact that only one team has won back-to-back UCL titles in past three decades.

Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax are in the mix, too, along with Manchester United and Real Madrid. The odds then take a significant leap to Juventus, with Atletico Madrid completing the top ten.

Even teams priced above 50.00 will fancy their chances of causing a stir. Inter Milan – the reigning Serie A champion – has won three UCL titles, while Villarreal lifted the Europa League trophy last season.

Before we get stuck into my Champions League predictions for the round of 16, let’s take a quick look at the draw.

Champions League Round of 16 Draw

Believe it or not, there were actually two draws for the round of 16. UEFA was forced to declare the first draw null and void due to a technical glitch, resulting in a complete rerun.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo would have gone head-to-head if the first draw had stood, as PSG was drawn against Man Utd. However, Messi and co. now face Real Madrid, while the Red Devils come up against Atletico Madrid.

Here is the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw in full.

  • Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid
  • Sporting CP vs. Manchester City
  • Red Bull Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich
  • Inter Milan vs. Liverpool
  • Chelsea vs. Lille
  • Villarreal vs. Juventus
  • Atletico Madrid vs. Manchester United
  • Benfica vs. Ajax

Defending UCL champion Chelsea will meet reigning Ligue 1 champion Lille. Man City – the bookies’ favorite – will face rank outsider, Sporting CP.

Elsewhere, Inter Milan vs. Liverpool promises to be a thrilling clash, while Bayern Munich has a favorable tie against Red Bull Salzburg. Villarreal vs. Juventus and Benfica vs. Ajax are arguably the tightest ties of the round.

It’s time for my UCL round of 16 predictions.

My Round of 16 Champions League Predictions

In this section, I share my Champions League predictions for all the round of 16 ties. I have included the UCL odds for the clashes to show you what the top soccer betting sites make of each tie.

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid

Paris-Saint Germain to Qualify1.75
Real Madrid to Qualify2.05
  • First Leg: Tuesday, February 15 (Paris)
  • Second Leg: Wednesday, March 9 (Madrid)

This is undoubtedly the standout tie of the round. In the blue corner, the Parisians are aiming to win their first-ever UCL crown. And in the white corner, Los Blancos are hoping to lift the trophy for a record 14th time.

PSG made it all the way to the final in 2020, only to lose to Bayern Munich. Alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, Messi will be eager to fire the French powerhouse to the title this season.

However, Real Madrid invariably rises to the occasion when the UCL knockouts get underway. The Spaniards triumphed in 2014 before securing three straight crowns between 2016 and 2018. They know what it takes to go all the way.

I expect PSG to push Real Madrid all the way, but I’m confident that Carlo Ancelotti’s side will come out on top.

  • My Pick: Real Madrid to Qualify (2.05)

Sporting CP vs. Manchester City

Sporting CP to Qualify5.00
Manchester City to Qualify1.17
  • First Leg: Tuesday, February 15 (Lisbon)
  • Second Leg: Wednesday, March 9 (Manchester)

As the bookies’ odds suggest, Man City should get past Sporting without any major problems. Granted, the Portuguese champions are enjoying another impressive season. But Man City is on a totally different level.

Guardiola’s men scored a whopping 18 goals across their six group games, averaging three goals per game. They faced some tricky opponents, too, coming up against PSG and RB Leipzig – as well as Club Brugge.

Over the course of two legs, the Cityzens’ superiority will almost certainly shine through.

  • My Pick: Manchester City to Qualify (1.17)

Red Bull Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich

Red Bull Salzburg to Qualify5.00
Bayern Munich to Qualify1.17
  • First Leg: Wednesday, February 16 (Salzburg)
  • Second Leg: Tuesday, March 8 (Munich)

Just like the previous tie, this matchup is pretty clear-cut. In truth, Bayern shouldn’t struggle to dispatch Salzburg.

The Germans took 18 points from a possible 18 in the group stage, scoring an unrivalled 22 goals along the way. On top of that, they conceded a measly three goals – keeping four clean sheets in the process.

GROUP E – FINAL STANDINGS
Club Goal Difference Points
Bayern Munich +22 18
Benfica –2 8
Barcelona –7 7
Dynamo Kiev –10 1

It is worth noting that Salzburg enjoyed a solid group-stage campaign. The Austrians beat Lille, Wolfsburg, and Sevilla on their way to finishing second in Group G. Still, they have yet to face a team of Bayern’s caliber.

As the subject of one of the biggest snubs in Ballon d’Or history, goal-machine Robert Lewandowski will surely be looking to prove his doubters wrong when the UCL resumes.

  • My Pick: Bayern Munich to Qualify (1.17)

Inter Milan vs. Liverpool

Inter Milan to Qualify3.50
Liverpool to Qualify1.30
  • First Leg: Wednesday, February 16 (Milan)
  • Second Leg: Tuesday, March 8 (Liverpool)

Mohamed Salah has been unstoppable this season. The Liverpool forward registered 21 goals and nine assists in his first 22 appearances across all competitions, including seven goals in six UCL matches.

Of course, soccer is a team sport – and Liverpool is an amazing team! But if Salah continues to operate at his current level, he could singlehandedly fire his side to glory.

Inter Milan is no pushover, though. Despite losing manager Antonio Conte and top scorer Romelu Lukaku during the offseason, the reigning Serie A champions are coping without their departed superstars.

Nevertheless, I expect Liverpool to get the better of Inter.

  • My Pick: Liverpool to Qualify (1.30)

Chelsea vs. Lille

Chelsea to Qualify1.30
Lille to Qualify3.40
  • First Leg: Tuesday, February 22 (London)
  • Second Leg: Wednesday, March 22 (Lille)

Chelsea and Lille were drawn against each other in the first draw before getting each other again in the redraw. It’s safe to say that Chelsea will be the happier of the two teams.

Ever since Thomas Tuchel back in January, the Blues have been immense. The ex-PSG head coach guided the Londoners to the Champions League trophy last season, and his team looks set to mount a serious challenge for the EPL title this term.

Lille won the previous Ligue 1 title but have fallen by the wayside this season. Les Dogues won just six of their opening 18 domestic games and have languished in mid-table of late.

At the end of the day, Chelsea is stronger than Lille in every department. That’s why I’m backing the Blues to qualify for the quarterfinals.

  • My Pick: Chelsea to Qualify (1.30)

Villarreal vs. Juventus

Villarreal to Qualify2.38
Juventus to Qualify1.57
  • First Leg: Tuesday, February 22 (Villarreal)
  • Second Leg: Wednesday, March 22 (Turin)

It is no secret that Juventus is going through a transitional period at the moment. Max Allegri’s men only managed to win four of their first 11 Serie A matches this term, underlining their fall from grace.

Villarreal’s 2021-22 campaign has also been wildly inconsistent up to now. The Spaniards drew seven of their opening 13 La Liga games, but they were able to beat Young Boys and Atalanta en route to finishing second in UCL Group F.

In all honesty, this clash could go either way. With that in mind, backing the team with the higher price makes sense to me.

  • My Pick: Villarreal to Qualify (2.38)

Atletico Madrid vs. Manchester United

Atletico Madrid to Qualify2.20
Manchester United to Qualify1.65
  • First Leg: Wednesday, February 23 (Madrid)
  • Second Leg: Tuesday, March 15 (Manchester)

We all know that Man Utd made a dreadful start to the season. A run of five losses in seven Premier League outings ultimately spelled the end for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, opening the door for Ralf Rangnick.

Don’t get me wrong, Rangnick still has a lot of work to do. But I expect the likes of Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford to be in fine form by the time the round of 16 comes around.

After losing both the 2014 and 2016 Champions League final, Atletico clinched the La Liga crown last season. That tells you everything you need to know about the resilience of Diego Simeone’s side.

Still, I’m confident that Man Utd will be firing on all cylinders by February. The Red Devils’ roster is stacked with world-class players, and they now have a proven manager to guide them.

  • My Pick: Manchester United to Qualify (1.65)

Benfica vs. Ajax

Benfica to Qualify3.25
Ajax to Qualify1.33
  • First Leg: Wednesday, February 23 (Lisbon)
  • Second Leg: Tuesday, March 15 (Amsterdam)

Ajax was one of only three teams to qualify for the round of 16 with a 100% record. The Dutch giant made light work of Sporting, Borussia Dortmund, and Besiktas to finish nine points clear at the top of Group C.

Erik ten Hag’s men netted 20 goals across their six group matches, ten of which were scored by Sebastien Haller. As the table below details, Haller outscored many of the world’s best forwards in the previous round.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TOP SCORERS (GROUP STAGE)
Player Team Goals
Sebastien Haller Ajax 10
Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich 9
Christopher Nkunku RB Leipzig 7
Mohamed Salah Liverpool 7
Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 6

By contrast, Benfica’s route to the last 16 was far from straightforward. The Eagles recorded two wins, two draws, and two losses in Group E – finishing just a single point clear of third-place Barcelona.

If Ajax’s group-stage campaign is anything to go by, Haller and co. should ease past Benfica.

  • My Pick: Ajax to Qualify (1.33)

Looking Ahead to the UCL Round of 16

That concludes my preview of the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Hopefully, the tips in this post will help you to win some UCL bets when the tournament resumes.

Remember – the competition gets back under way on Tuesday, February 15. In the meantime, make sure you keep up to date with all the latest UCL developments in our soccer blog.

And when the tournament returns, you will be able to find match previews and betting tips in the Champions League picks section of our site.

I will be back with more UCL content soon as the round of 16 draws nearer.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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