UEFA Champions League Round of 16 – Best Bets For Week 1


Feb 14, 2023

There is always a break between the UEFA Champions League Group Stages and the Playoff rounds, but the wait has been agonizing this time. Despite the break being extended by only one month, it feels like ages since we saw Europe’s elite clubs go at each other in one of the most thrilling group stages.

Finally, the moment has arrived. The Champions League is back with the first legs of the Round of 16 set to play. Some exciting matchups are in store for Week 1, with Bayern Munich visiting Paris, and Chelsea making a trip to Dortmund.

This season’s Champions League is it is harder to predict than ever. Due to the World Cup break, many club teams have struggled to find their form. Current favorites Manchester City (+200) and Bayern Munich (+600) have dropped points since the break. Previous winners, Real Madrid and Chelsea, have been inconsistent. It truly is anyone’s title to win this year. 

However, despite being hard to predict, there is always value to be found when betting on Soccer. Below are my favorite bets for the first week of the Round of 16.

All Odds Courtesy Of Fanduel Sportsbook

SGP: PSG Double Chance + Over 1.5 Total Goals (-120)

Paris Saint-Germain fans were understandably upset when their team finished second in Group H. To pile onto their misery, they are now facing Bayern Munich in the Round of 16. Both sides were expected to make deep runs in the tournament, so it’s almost criminal that one of them will be knocked out in two weeks. To add insult to injury, Kylian Mbappe is still not fit enough to start the game.

However, luckily for PSG, the first leg takes place at home. They haven’t lost a game at the Parc Des Princes since April 2021.

I’m backing that trend to continue, as I expect the French to dominate this game even without Mbappe. Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Achraf Hakimi, and Marco Verratti are all slated to return to the starting lineup, and Neymar is in the best form of his PSG career. Taking them at +170 on the moneyline is enticing because I would be shocked if the Parisians lost this match. 

To be safe, I made a same game parlay instead. Take PSG Double Chance and Over 1.5 Goals in the match at -120. Both teams know how to score goals and were among the highest-scoring teams in the group stage. Furthermore, nine out of the last ten matches played for both clubs have had at least two goals. Easy money.

Benfica ML (-120)

I must ride the hot hand in Benfica, taking them on the moneyline (-120) against Club Brugge.

Being away from home in a knockout game will not scare Roger Schmidt’s men. The Eagles beat Juventus in Turin, tied PSG in Paris, and thrashed Maccabi Haifa 6-1 in Israel. They went undefeated in the Champions League Group stages and have only lost one game in the Portuguese League. They are amazing offensively, scoring an outstanding 51 goals in just 20 games. This squad is a force to be reckoned with. Expect an easy win in Belgium.

I would also consider taking Benfica to score at least two goals (-111). They have scored at least two goals in four out of their last five away games and are one of the highest-scoring teams in Europe.

Under 2.5 Total Goals In Dortmund vs. Chelsea (-106)

The odds are split even for the over/under in this match, despite both teams being stingy on defense. This game will be the most boring of the batch, so back the Under 2.5 total goals (-114).

Dortmund has not been great on defense recently, but at home in Signal Iduna Park, they are one of the more challenging teams to break down. The team has been undefeated in Dortmund since October. Offensively they’ve had issues all year, especially in the Champions League, where they’ve only scored ten goals.

On the flip side, Chelsea has one of the best defenses in Europe. They have allowed three goals in their last five matches and have the third-best defense of all the teams in the group stages. The Champions League is the only competition they can still win, so they’ll be fighting for their lives in this one. This creates the perfect recipe for a low-scoring game.

The cherry on top, the Blues have also struggled to score, with only three goals in their last six away games. Take the Under at even odds as soon as you can.

Favorite Player Props

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a list of player props I’m banking on this week:

  • Neymar anytime goalscorer (+170)
  • Lionel Messi anytime assist (+200)
  • Eric Choupo-Moting 2+ shots on target (+140)
  • Sergio Ramos to be booked (+160)
  • Joao Cancelo to be booked (+180)
  • Rafael Leao 2+ shots on target (+240)
  • Harry Kane anytime goalscorer (+170)
  • Joao Felix to score or assist (+165)
  • Jude Bellingham anytime goalscorer (+600)
Thumbnail photo via USA TODAY Sports Images

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