The third slate of Champions League fixtures sees the first leg of the double-headers within each group. Back-to-back wins can suddenly reignite a team’s hopes of being crowned champions of Europe this season. Real Madrid and Inter were expected to qualify from Group B, but they are currently in danger of dropping out of Europe’s elite competition before the knockout stage. Bayern Munich is one of five teams looking to maintain their 100 percent start in the competition after this week’s slate of games, which sees the champions travel to RB Salzburg. Here are some bets that I think are worth considering on DraftKings Sportsbook for the midweek slate of UCL games.
Bayern Munich Over 2.5 goals (-150)
It’s business as usual for Bayern Munich, whose domination in the Champions League continues with every fixture played. The last team to beat the Bavarians was Liverpool on March 13, 2019, when Bayern was beaten, 3-1, at home. RB Salzburg is the latest team to try and stop the defending champs, which is easier said than done. Bayern can take a step closer to the knockout stage with a third successive win against a Salzburg side which has one point from its opening two games. Bayern is looking for its ninth straight win in all competitions this season after winning 2-1 at Cologne on Saturday while the home side won’t be an easy pushover, having won nine of 11 league and cup games. Over 2.5 goals (-455) has landed in all 11 of Bayern’s matches this campaign and in 10 of Salzburg’s 11 fixtures. If Bayern can get an early goal, then the team could make it eight games this season in which it has scored three or more goals.
Both teams to score (-220)
The next two UCL games for both Real Madrid and Inter could define their respective seasons. One of these two giants of European football could miss out on the elimination stage of the competition and there is a scenario where both could drop out of the competition before the knockout stage begins. Real Madrid has been slow out of the blocks in its opening two Champions League games. In Real Madrid’s opener, the team fell behind 3-0 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk and eventually lost, 3-2. Last week, Real Madrid was 2-0 down at Borussia Monchengladbach before rallying to secure their first point in a 2-2 draw. Real Madrid has been outscored 5-0 in the first 60 minutes of its UCL games while outscoring opponents 4-0 in the final 30 minutes. Inter has drawn both its matches, but these two sides know draws will not be enough to keep alive their hopes of winning this season’s Champions League.
Manchester City HT/FT (-186)
Manchester City’s participation in this season’s competition was only secured after taking UEFA to the Court of Arbitration. It seems Pep Guardiola’s side is making up for its reprieve by winning its opening two games and scoring three goals in each. City is unbeaten in its last seven league and cup games and on home soil and should be too strong for the Greek side. Olympiakos has played nine games this season and in eight of them, the away side has failed to score, which is a bad omen. Olympiakos will have to find a way of scoring a goal at the Etihad if it is to stay in the mix in Group C. City warmed up for this tie with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Sheffield United on Saturday, which was the team’s third road game in a row. City may be 11th in the EPL, but the side has played a game less than the leaders and if it wins its game-in-hand at home to Aston Villa, City could move to second in the table - two points behind Liverpool.
Barcelona HT/FT (-286)
Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Juventus in its previous UCL tie gives the Spanish side the advantage in Group G. Back-to-back games with Ukrainian side Dynamo Kyiv gives Barca the chance to wrap up early qualification from this group stage with a game or two to spare. If Barcelona can do that, then it can turn its attention to its faltering form in La Liga. Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Alaves was the fourth successive league game in which the Blaugrana failed to win. Ronald Koeman’s side has taken just two points from a possible 12 to slip down the Spanish standings. The Ukrainian league leaders warmed up for this tie with a 2-1 win at Dnipro on Saturday. But with one point to show from its opening two games, Dynamo Kyiv’s participation in the knockout stage looks unlikely unless it can get positive results from these two games with Barcelona.
Manchester United HT/FT (+105)
The Champions League could be the only thing keeping Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a job right now. Domestically, United is nine points behind EPL leader Liverpool after a 1-0 loss to Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday. But in the Champions League, the Red Devils have two wins from two to edge closer to qualification for the knockout stage. However, Group H is delicately poised with Paris St-Germain and RB Leipzig waiting to capitalize if United stumbles. United will be expected to pick up six points from its two games against Istanbul Basaksehir, which has lost both UCL games 2-0. No team has scored more goals in this season’s competition than United, but the side is struggling to convert its European form into its domestic league. It’s the opposite story for the Turkish side, which cannot transfer its league form into Europe. Istanbul Basaksehir’s two losses in the UCL have followed league wins.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is CharliePMullan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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