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UEFA Champions League Betting Picks for October 23rd – 24th

| October 22, 2018 12:00 am PDT
UEFA Champions League Betting

After more than 20 days of a pause because of club soccer and the international break, the UEFA Champions League is finally back.

The third week of the group stage will bring some exciting matches, and the pressure is building.

Some of the favorites are not doing as they expected, but there’s still time to turn things around and qualify for the next stage.

Other teams had a strong start, and a win this week could almost cement their place in the knockouts.

As always, I will go through the odds offered by the top soccer bookies and explore the betting opportunities.

Here are my Champions League betting picks for this week.

Young Boys – Valencia

Let’s start by looking at the main betting markets for this match.

Young Boys to Win3.50
Draw3.30
Valencia to Win2.05
Over 2.50 Goals1.91
Under 2.50 Goals1.94

It’s tough to determine the match result odds for a couple of reasons. On the surface, Young Boys has been the punching bag of the group so far, losing both of the first two games with a score of 3-0. The side looks miles behind the rest of the teams.

On the other hand, Valencia had a shaky start of the season, both in the UEFA Champions League and especially in La Liga. The side should be much better on paper, but the performance and the results aren’t there.

This is why the Spaniards are only a slight favorite against Young Boys. It seems like the logical choice, so the odds for this market make sense.

I am more interested in the goals market, to be honest. The fact that Young Boys has failed to find the net yet and Valencia’s reliance on the defense since the start of the season makes me think this could be a tight affair.

Let’s take a deeper look at both sides first, though.

Young Boys

The situation of Young Boys is somewhat weird. A quick look at their last a couple of games shows that the team is not at its best, even in the Swiss League. At the same time, the club sits on top of the table, with an advantage of ten points after only eleven games.

It’s obvious that Young Boys is the best team in Switzerland and an overwhelming favorite for the title.

This is why the main focus of the team is the UEFA Champions League, but the terrible draw makes it close to impossible for Young Boys to reach even the third place in the group and a place in the UEFA Europa League.

Simply take a look at the way both Juventus and the struggling Manchester United dismantled the Swiss side in the first two rounds. Young Boys didn’t manage to score and conceded a total of six goals.

I believe that the home game against Valencia is the side’s last chance to stay in contention for the third spot in the group.

With Valencia next in line for Young Boys, we have to ask whether the side has enough quality to beat its Spanish opponent.

If you take a look at the domestic league, Young Boys is a lethal team that scores more than 3 goals on average. But the lack of many chances in the UCL so far shows that the forwards of the team are not that good against top-level opposition.

The defense is leaking a ton of goals, and even the record in the Swiss league is not that solid. Young Boys has conceded ten goals so far, including six in the last two matches. This could be a big deal against a side like Valencia.

Valencia

The start of the season has been shaky for Valencia, and that’s probably an understatement. The team has won only one game in the Spanish La Liga so far and sits in the lower half of the table.

It’s curious that Valencia has seven draws from nine games up to this point.

This side might struggle to beat opponents, but it’s not losing often, either.

I think the last three games of Valencia will tell you the story of the season so far. The team earned respectable draws against Manchester United away in the UEFA Champions League and Barcelona at home in the Spanish La Liga.

However, Valencia almost lost against the struggling Leganes at home. The manager, Marcelinho, wasn’t happy after the game, issuing his concerns with the lack of goals. He will somehow have to find a way to improve his team’s attack.

The good news is that Valencia will now face Young Boys twice in a row in the UEFA Champions League. If the Spanish side manages to win six points, it will actually remain in contention for a spot in the knockout stage of the tournament.

I expect Valencia to rely mostly on its defense, especially in the first game that will be played this week. The side can certainly keep a clean sheet, and considering how bad the Young Boys defense is, the Spaniards might be able to nick a goal or two.

Betting Pick and Prediction

To be honest, I’m a bit torn between two options here. I feel that Valencia is the favorite in this match, and the price of 2.05 for the visitors to win is solid. At the same time, backing a side that has only one victory since the start of the season seems risky.

This is why I’m more inclined to go for the under 2.5 goals market. The attack of Young Boys seems toothless against elite teams, while Valencia hasn’t been able to fulfill its potential up front since the start of the season.

While I can see the Spanish side scoring this time around, it’s hard to see more than one or two goals.

The price of 1.94 for the under 2.5 goals is worse than the 2.05 offered for the away team to win, but I feel it offers the better value.

If I have to pick a correct score for this one, I would probably go for something like 1-0 or 2-0 in favor of Valencia.

PICKUnder 2.5 Goals1.94

Liverpool – Red Star Belgrade

Let’s take a look at the odds offered by BetOnline for this UCL match.

Liverpool to Win1.06
Draw10.50
Red Star Belgrade to Win40.00
Over 4.00 Goals1.96
Under 4.00 Goals1.90

You won’t often see me say that a price of 1.06 is fair, but I think that’s the case here. Liverpool is on another planet compared to Red Star Belgrade. The English side is one of the strongest in the UEFA Champions League and could very well go all the way.

Red Star is returning after a long absence, and the point against Napoli was a monumental success.The desire of the Serbs could’ve been enough for a decent performance if this was the last match of the group stage and Liverpool was already qualified.

Unfortunately for Red Star, this is not the case. Liverpool will certainly want to take the full six points from the games against the Serbian team, as it will put Klopp and his men in a strong position for the finale of the group stage.

The goals marker is also easy to explain. The line of 4 goals might seem a bit high, but Liverpool could easily cover this one alone. But let’s analyze both teams before I share my final pick for this one.

Liverpool

There’s a lot that can be said about Liverpool, and we all know this is one of the strongest teams in England. Jurgen Klopp built a formidable attack last season, which was enough for the club to reach the Champions League final.

In this campaign, the German manager kept his offensive players and decided to focus on the defending. He got one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and found a partner for Virgil Van Dijk.

Liverpool seems much stronger at the back this season without sacrificing any firepower.

It’s obvious that the English club is much better than Red Star Belgrade, so I won’t go into too many details about the tactics and strong sides of the team.

Instead, I will share the two main reasons why I feel Liverpool will be pushing hard in this match. First of all, the side needs the points. The group is tough, and the loss against Napoli means that the English club needs to win both matches against Red Star to qualify.

The second reason is the next fixture in the English Premier League. Liverpool will face Cardiff City at home, and this is one of the weakest teams in the league. The Reds could very well push hard in the UCL and make some rotations for the home fixture on the weekend.

And finally, there’s the Salah factor. The Egyptian was under some pressure after failing to score, but his cool finish against Huddersfield at the weekend should bring some of his mojo back.

Red Star Belgrade

I think that Red Star already surpassed the expectations after the 0-0 draw against Napoli in the opening day of the UEFA Champions League. It was a fantastic start of the competition, but the result is a bit deceiving.

The Italians had a total of 20 shots and 74% possession. They dominated the game but missed a ton of chances to find the net. Under normal circumstances, Napoli could’ve scored a couple of times.

This is exactly what happened in Red Star’s next match against PSG. The French giant put six past the Serbians and had a ton of opportunities to score even more goals.

Honestly, I expect more of the same against Liverpool. Red Star will most probably sit deep and try to defend in numbers.

An ultra-defensive approach could work for some periods of the game, but Liverpool’s attacking power should prevail.

Betting Pick and Prediction

I expect a trashing in this match for a couple of reasons. The difference in quality between both teams is the most obvious one, but Liverpool’s need of points and the opportunity to put a strong lineup out there contribute as well.

The price of 1.06 for the home side is not very tempting, but there’s the option to back Liverpool to cover the -3 Asian handicap. The price for that to happen is 1.92, and I feel it’s a solid choice.

A win with a three goals margin returns your stake, but if the Reds convert enough chances, the bet will be won.

I expect something like 4-0 or 5-0 for the hosts, so this is my final pick.

PICKLiverpool – 3 Asian Handicap1.92

PSV Eindhoven – Tottenham Hotspur

Here’s what the main betting markets for this game include.

PSV Eindhoven to Win3.65
Draw3.45
Tottenham to Win1.93
Over 2.75 Goals1.85
Under 2.75 Goals2.02

Spurs are in a tough spot after losing their first two games in the group. The leaders Inter Milan and Barcelona both have six points, while Tottenham has zero so far.

There is still hope, though, as the next two games in the group are against PSV Eindhoven. With all due respect to the Dutch champs, they are the weakest team of the bunch.

That doesn’t mean that Spurs will have an easy task on their hands, as the first match will be played in the Netherlands. The English side is better on paper, and this is a must-win, which is the reason why Tottenham is the favorite in this game.

As for the goals market, I’m a bit surprised. I expected the line to be 2.5 goals or the prices to be reversed for the current one. This is the betting option that certainly caught my attention, but let me elaborate on that later.

PSV Eindhoven

The reigning Dutch champions have enjoyed a flawless start in the Dutch Eredivisie, winning all of their opening nine games. It’s an impressive start, but the draw in the UEFA Champions League ruined the hopes of the team for something special in Europe.

Facing the likes of Barcelona, Spurs, and Inter is simply too much for the current PSV squad. The side was trashed in Spain on the opening day and lost against Inter at home. It was a close game, but the second straight defeat put the team in a tough position.

I don’t think that PSV will even be able to fight for the third place in the group.

The only way for PSV to stay in contention for a spot in the UEFA Europa League, at least, would be to take three points or more from the two games against Spurs.

I don’t think that PSV can win in England, but the home tie is another story. I expect the home side to patiently try to defend well against Spurs and create some chances up front.

Unlike the domestic league, I don’t think PSV can afford to play a too-open game, as the opponent has all the means to punish a more adventurous approach.

Tottenham Hotspur

It’s been a weird season so far for Tottenham. The team has been widely inconsistent in its performances, but the results in the English Premier League are solid.

Spurs sit just two points behind the leaders and somehow manage to grind wins on a regular basis.

That hasn’t been the case in the Champions League, though, as the side is in danger of missing the knockouts.

The dramatic defeat against Inter Milan on the opening day is the main reason for the current situation, as there’s no shame in losing against Barcelona.

Spurs will have to find a way to win both games against PSV, or they will almost certainly be out. The biggest issue they have right now is up front. Christian Eriksen was out for some time, Dele Alli is currently injured, and skipper Harry Kane is inconsistent.

This has forced the manager, Mauricio Pochettino, to adopt a more defensive approach and rely on his back line. I think this will be the case in this match, as Spurs can contain the opponent and hope that their world-class players up front can do the job and find the way to the net.

Another reason to expect a more conservative approach from Tottenham is the clash against Manchester City this weekend. It’s a crucial game, and the manager will certainly want to preserve some energy for Sunday.

Betting Pick and Prediction

I think that Tottenham will outsmart PSV in this clash, but the price for Spurs to win is way too short. Instead, I love the odds available for under 2.75 goals. I think that the visitors will try to make this game tight and slow-paced.

I can’t see that many chances, so a result like 0-1 or 0-2 in favor of Spurs seems like a reasonable prediction.

Even if there are three goals here, half of the stake will be returned. This makes the price of 2.02 too good to miss, in my opinion.

PICKUnder 2.75 Goals2.02

Final Words

I had some thoughts about placing a wager on Real Madrid to demolish Viktoria Plzen, as the team desperately needs a big performance. And yet, the crisis there is too deep, and I’m not quite sure if the dressing room is truly behind the new coach Lopetegui. This is why I decided to skip this one.

What do you think of the current round? Do you agree with my UEFA Champions League picks, or do you think I’m wrong? Let me know in the comments below.

Good luck!

Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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