UEFA Champions League Betting Picks for the October 2nd – 3rd Games

| October 1, 2018 12:00 am PDT
UEFA Champions League

The first week of the UEFA Champions League brought some mixed feelings when it came to my betting picks. The first one was on Tottenham to win against Inter Milan or at least tie the game, which would’ve returned my stake.

Spurs were ahead with only five minutes to go but lost the game because of the late goals by the Italian opponent. A bitter disappointment from a betting perspective, but a late goal for Liverpool on the same day was enough to bring a solid profit from my second pick and make up for that.

The final one was a push as Porto failed to defeat Schalke but at least didn’t lose the game, and I had the safer option for this one.

Overall, any profitable start is a good start, so I will take it. It’s time to move on to the second round of games that will be played this week. I will take a closer look at what the

href=”https://www.gamblingsites.com/sports-betting/soccer/#Best”>leading soccer betting sites have to offer and provide my UEFA Champions League free betting picks for the week.

Manchester United vs. Valencia

Here are the main betting markets available for this game.

Manchester United to Win1.67
Draw 3.503.50
Valencia to Win5.40
Over 2.50 Goals1.83
Under 2.50 Goals2.07

Both teams have been struggling domestically since the start of the season, but Manchester United is the much better side, at least on paper. This is the main reason why the bookies favor the hosts, but they do leave the door open for a surprise somewhat. I think the match result odds are fair, to be honest.

Where I fail to make complete sense is the under/over goals market. The line of 2.5 goals seems right, but neither team is really good at scoring right now. I think the prices for the over and under option should’ve been much closer together.

The current situation provides a decent opportunity, and you will understand what I mean once you check the analysis of each team.

Manchester United

The situation in Manchester United went from bad to worse this weekend, as the side was knocked out of the Carabao Cup and lost another match in the English Premier League. The defeat against West Ham contributed to the worst start of the club in the EPL in the last 29 years.

The club is in shambles right now, with many calling for the head of manager Jose Mourinho. Other fractions of the supporters blame Ed Woodward and the board for the mess, while guys like Paul Pogba seem unhappy at Manchester United.

The situation is getting uglier by the minute, and Mourinho needs to find a way to fix it fast.

Winning and performing well can be the best cure for all kinds of trouble. I think this team still has enough quality to overcome an opponent like Valencia, but it will have to improve.

The manager is trying to find working solutions, as we saw Alexis Sanchez left out of the squad for the game against West Ham. I think that showing his star players that they are not immune to losing their place when they under perform is a step in the right direction.

This should open the door to the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. I expect at least one of them to start the game against Valencia and prove to his manager that he has a place in the team.

The biggest concern is the defense, though. Manchester United is allowing far too many chances in many of their games. On the positive side, the club will face a Valencia team that is struggling to score, which gives United the edge.

Valencia

The Valencia supporters had high hopes for this season, but the start has been shambolic. The club sits 14th in the Spanish La Liga, having won only two of the opening seven games.

On top of that, Valencia missed a great chance to get some points against Juventus in the Champions League opener after Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off.

It doesn’t look good for the team, especially if you take a closer look at the performances.

While the defense is somewhat steady, Valencia simply can’t score.

The Spanish side is not creating enough chances in most of their games so far, and even when it does, like against Juventus, the forwards lack efficiency.

The injury of Santi Mina doesn’t help, either, and something has to change sooner rather than later. I’m not sure if this could happen against Manchester United, though. Valencia will have to somehow up the tempo.

The good news is that the back line of the team is decent. Valencia has managed a couple of clean sheets already this season. The manager, Marcelino, will be hoping for his team to resist the pressure from Manchester United by keeping it tight at the back.

If his boys succeed for long enough, this could change the whole atmosphere. The pressure surrounding Manchester United might take over once again, and Valencia will have the chance to get something from this match.

Betting Pick and Prediction

I feel that the match result market is rather balanced. Manchester United is the favorite in this game, as the quality of the side is superior. You could say the Red Devils are not at their best, but the same applies to Valencia.

I will stay away from picking a winner, though, as I can’t recognize an option that provides solid value. The same is true for the Asian handicaps offered by the bookies.

Instead, I will go for the under 2.5 goals price of 2.07. The reason is simple; I expect Valencia to rely mostly on their defense for this match. The Spaniards will try to sit back and not leave any space for Manchester United.

This would be the smart approach, as the English side is having issues up front already. If you add Valencia’s own woes in front of goal, this looks like the most sensible option, and the odds are right, too. I can easily see a tight game and a narrow win for Manchester United, something like 1-0 or 2-0.

PICKUnder 2.50 Goals2.07

 Atletico Madrid vs. FC Brugge

Here’s what BetOnline has prepared for this game.

Atletico Madrid to Win1.32
Draw4.40
FC Brugge to Win11.50
Over 2.75 Goals2.01
Under 2.75 Goals1.85

It’s not a surprise to see Atletico Madrid as the overwhelming favorite in this game. The Spanish side is among Europe’s elite, while FC Brugge is more than happy to simply be part of the UEFA Champions League.

That doesn’t mean that the team will lay down and let Atletico simply win, but the difference in the squad quality suggests it’s Atletico’s game to lose.

The goals market is hardly a shocker, either, as the line of 2.75 seems perfect for this game. I feel the prices are fair, so I’m not really interested in this particular option.

Let’s take a look at both teams before I actually share my final pick for this one.

Atletico Madrid

On the surface, the start in the Spanish La Liga has not been perfect for Atletico Madrid. The side won 12 points in seven games, but the leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid only have two more. I feel that the Spanish domestic league is as competitive as ever this year.

Traditionally, the defense of Atletico Madrid is the team’s strongest weapon.They’re having problems at the other end of the pitch, though.

The runner-ups from last season have conceded just four since the start of the season. This impressive run includes a goalless draw against Real Madrid this weekend.

In terms of the attack, new signing Thomas Lemar has started well, while Antoine Griezmann is doing his usual job. But finding the net doesn’t happen nearly as often as Simeone would like it to.

However, there is an improvement in this area, as Atletico managed to score at least twice in three out of the last four games in all competitions. The only exception was the match against Real Madrid, but an away fixture against one of the best teams in the world can’t be compared to a home against FC Brugge, with all due respect to the Belgian side.

I expect Atletico to methodically keep the ball, play it safe, and find the right spots to break the resistance of their opponent. I don’t think that the visitors will have a lot of chances under such circumstances.

FC Brugge

Club Brugge is dominating the Belgian League this season. The side sits at the top, having won 25 points from a possible 27, scoring an average of three goals per game. That’s an impressive feat, but the competition in this tournament can hardly be compared to what FC Brugge faces in the UEFA Champions League.

The Belgian side was dominated by Borussia Dortmund in the first match but almost snatched a respectable point. The Germans broke the hearts of the hosts late in the game when Christian Pulisic scored the only goal.

The best thing about this game is that Club Brugge actually limited the opportunities of their opponent, despite Dortmund having more of the ball. Still, Atletico Madrid doesn’t need many chances. The side is built around efficiency up front and discipline at the back.

I don’t think that Club Brugge is going to be able to cope with the efficient and organized Atletico Madrid.

There’s only one scenario I see in which the Belgians don’t lose this one, and it’s related to the attacking players of Atletico Madrid. If they have a day off for some reason, Brugge might snatch a point, but that’s highly unlikely.

Betting Pick and Prediction

Atletico Madrid is hardly the most spectacular team to watch if you are a fan of attacking soccer. The side reflects the character of the manager, Diego Simeone. He always demands his players stay focused, keep a clean sheet, and take full advantage of every opportunity at the other end.

After underestimating a couple of games in last year’s UCL group stage, I don’t think the Spaniards will repeat the same mistake. I expect the side to go hard on Brugge and win comfortably. I don’t see the Belgians scoring, but Atletico should be able to find the net more than once.

The odds for a straight Atleti win are actually somewhat decent, but I have something else in mind. A home win -1.5 Asian handicap can be found at the price of 2.01. Since I expect Atletico Madrid to win 2-0 or 3-0, this seems like the perfect opportunity.

PICKAtletico Madrid -1.5 (Asian Handicap)2.01

Lyon vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

The main betting markets for this match show the following.

Lyon to Win1.83
Draw3.50
Shakhtar Donetskto Win4.10
Over 2.75 Goals1.89
Under 2.75 Goals1.96

I’m not sure why the odds for the match result are such, as I feel that Lyon is the favorite here. Sure, the French side is not expected to trash Shakhtar Donetsk, but the current price for a home victory equals around a 54% probability.

Considering the players at the disposal of both clubs and their ambitions, I feel the actual probability is closer to the 60% mark. I will elaborate on that later in this post, so let’s take a look at the other mainstream market.

I see no surprise here, as both the line and the prices pretty much match my expectations of a game that should feature a couple of goals. I don’t think there’s any value to be found here, so I will skip the goals market and jump to the analysis of each team.

Lyon

Lyon is one of the most exciting French teams right now, simply because of the attacking power of the squad. The likes of Nabil Fekir, Memphis Depay, and Moussa Dembele can be devastating against pretty much any opponent out there.

Just ask Manchester City, as Guardiola’s side was beaten at their own stadium in the first round of the UEFA Champions League group stage. Fekir was instrumental and showed that his participation in the soccer World Cup won’t harm his form at the start of the season.

In fact, he looks as strong as ever, and the Lyon supporters will be delighted that the club managed to keep him for another campaign. The player himself will embrace the opportunity to cement his stellar reputation, and the most popular UEFA club competition is the best stage to do so.

I have the feeling that this Lyon team senses a great opportunity for a deep run in the Champions League.

The likes of Hoffenheim and Shakhtar are both beatable, while the French side already won three points from the big favorite in the group.

This is why I expect to see a fully motivated Lyon side and a hostile crowd that should help the hosts against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Shakhtar Donetsk

I expected Shakhtar Donetsk to beat Hoffenheim in the first round of the group stage, as the home games are crucial for the Ukrainians. In the end, it was their opponent that came closer to the victory, but the points were shared.

A draw against Hoffenheim was a big blow to Shakhtar’s ambitions.

Shakhtar is aiming at a solid performance in Europe because the domestic league is hardly a match for this squad. It currently sits at the top of the table and already has an advantage of four points in front of Dynamo Kyiv.

The team is scoring goals for fun, but that’s to be expected against the lesser teams from the local league. I would say that even the game against Hoffenheim can’t be compared to the fixture against Lyon. The Germans have issues at the back, while Lyon will be a tougher test.

Still, if the Ukrainians keep their composure and find a way to hit their opponent on the counter, they could get something from this match.

Betting Pick and Prediction

I have the feeling that the defense of Shakhtar Donetsk will be under immense pressure in this game. Nabil Fekir will be eager to make up for his crucial penalty miss against Nantes this weekend, and his partners in the attack can be equally devastating.

I don’t think that the Ukrainians can keep a clean sheet. Their only hope is to score first, but even then, Lyon seems too dangerous up front. I expect the French side to win, so the price of 1.83 is actually decent enough to be my final betting pick. A scoreline such as 2-1 or 3-1 seems like the logical prediction here.

PICKLyon to Win1.83

Final Words

As always, I considered a couple of other games, but the odds are not quite what I wanted to take a shot at. My strategy always relies on finding the most valuable pick, not simply guessing what will happen.

Let’s hope I did a good job this week and that I hit at least two winners from this batch of UEFA Champions League betting tips.

What do you expect to happen this week? Do you agree with my picks? Are there any other betting opportunities that I might have missed? If that’s the case, let me know in the comments section below.

Good luck!

Jerry Summer
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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