Outright Betting Odds: Who will win the Champions League?
It is the usual suspects which are leading the outright betting markets and it is difficult to make a case against those.
Under Pressure Jollies Manchester City
Similar to that of PSG, there is a certain level of expectancy that money ultimately leads to winning the UCL. This season more than ever, that pressure if falling on English champions Man City.
Clearly an outstanding side and better this season on paper than last, but like PSG they have fallen short in recent years when so much more was expected.
In part in an attempt to fend off added pressure, Pep Guardiola will never publicly admit his desperation to win this tournament with Manchester City. However, they have a sensational team and all the experienced needed. This season more than any they will put everything winning the trophy. It makes total sense that City are the favourite at around 2.80 to 2.90.
Who are the next best in the betting?
Behind the dominant Citizens we have in this order, Bayern Munich (@5.00) with Liverpool, Napoli and Real Madrid all around 10.00.
The richest club of them all PSG lost the first leg against Bayern Munich and so drifted from being second favourites, right out to around 18.00/19.00. Should they manage to overturn the 1-0 deficit in Germany, those odds will tumble.
Who does the market believe will make the final four?
Let us take a closer look at not just the outright favourites to win the UEFA Champions League, but also those which are expected to make the final four.
Manchester City and Bayern Munich are the only odds on clubs to make the semi-finals, with the English giant at around 1.40 and Bayern around 1.70 to 1.80.
Hot on their heels are the exciting runway leaders of Italy Napoli, who are around 2.45 to emerge as semi-finalists. They have a team capable of beating anyone, but inexperienced in this competition.
Benfica have an extremely favourable draw (Brugge) and so their price to make the last four is very short at around 2.60.
Who are viewed as value bets in the outright market?
Due to the unfortunate draw, two absolute giants of the European game can be bet at inflated prices because they face each other in the quarter final.
For me, the winner of Liverpool and Real Madrid has a better chance of winning the competition outright, significantly better than the likes of Bayern Munich and Napoli, two of the clubs hot on the heels of the favourites Manchester City.
With the decline of PSG who look sensationally good on paper, my strong belief is that the winner will come from either Manchester City or Real Madrid.
Bayern Munich is a challenger which is highly rated by the bookies, but my suspicion is that whoever emerges from Liverpool and Madrid will zip ahead of them in the market, and that is only if they manage to fully dispose of the Parisians.
English Domination Expected
It is extremely likely at the very least, one of the English clubs will reach the final, and it would not be a shock if like 2020/21 or 2018/19, the final is an all English affair.
One must go back three years to 2020, and before that 2018 to see a final where there wasn’t a representative from the EPL in the Champions League final.
And The Winner is…
My belief is that with VAR being used and the officials highly likely to be extremely strict on timekeeping, this will not be a year for the underdog. In short, there are less hurdles to get in the way of the best team the way the game is played and refereed now. This should be a good thing for football and possibly a good for favourite backers!
And with this in mind, and it isn’t very original as they have been the favourites at least the last two seasons as well as this one, I believe Manchester City will be lifting the Champions league trophy in June.