The following are UCL betting picks where I agree with the results driven by my betting model. I feel comfortable placing at least a unit on these UCL odds and betting picks, including Tottenham. These are selected after careful review of the best available soccer betting lines and Champions League odds, which can be found via OddsShopper. I’ll also go over some of the top DraftKings and FanDuel DFS plays for the UCL Final between Manchester City and Chelsea.
Manchester City vs. Chelsea UCL Finals Betting Picks
The Champions League Final features two powerhouses from the EPL. Manchester City took the first meeting between the two clubs on the year. After Thomas Tuchel took helm for Chelsea, they took consecutive matches from the EPL champions, including a semifinal upset in the FA Cup. Manchester City has finished the season in better form, and that is reason for concern for Chelsea.
Manchester City ranked first in expected goals scored, at 1.92 per match. Chelsea came in third with 1.68 expected goals. Both clubs finished top two in the EPL in expected goals allowed at 0.86 and 0.82 per match, respectively. In Champions League play both clubs record eight clean sheets out of 12 matches.
Manchester City is heading into this final at full strength, and the difference maker is Kevin De Bruyne. The club has lost just four matches all season with De Bruyne playing the 90-minute run. One of those losses did come in that FA cup defeat to Chelsea. That Chelsea team seems to have lost their way. This might be the constant rotation of players Tuchel has deployed, but the team seems to rely on spread scoring without one player to really finish the chances. This seems strange considering the money spend in the offseason to acquire a range of talent, especially upfront. While Timo Werner and Kai Havertz will settle in and perform better next season, the lack of full-game runs and shooting volume they had seen in the Bundesliga will affect them in the biggest stage.
The odds on Manchester City will continue to drop, and they will not be any lower than -140 favorites. The price at near even odds is too good to pass up. DraftKings has the odds at -114 at the time of writing this, while BetMGM and FanDuel have it at -115.
The goals could be hard to come by considering the defenses both clubs have. Manchester City have a backline that is near impossible to penetrate when John Stones and Ruben Dias are featured. The likely absence of Joao Cancelo is no concern because of his nature for pushing up and leaving Kyle Walker to defend with the two center backs. Chelsea’s defense has a bit more to prove.
In recent form, Chelsea’s backline has been scored on in five straight matches. Leicester City snuck a late goal past them, which cost them the FA Cup title, but the team ran a full squad in the final match of the EPL season in a game they needed to win to seal their own fate in next year’s UCL. They were upset by Aston Villa and survived with help from a Leicester City loss. The defense seems to struggle with Cesar Azpilicueta on the wing, and neither Reece James nor Andres Christianson seems able to keep up with any offensive push on their side.
A half unit wager on either Mahrez or De Bruyne to score is correlated with a win for Manchester City. Both Mahrez and De Bruyne direct free kicks with goal-scoring accuracy. De Bruyne has command of the PK should Chelsea concede one, which is not far-fetched to imagine with VAR. Both players lead the expected active roster in shot volume (De Bruyne 80, Mahrez 58). For a riskier UCL betting pick and larger payout, consider the team’s scoring leader Ilkay Gundogan. The only concern is his current health and risk of getting pulled earlier than needed. A case can be made for Phil Foden, who will play on the side of question above on the Chelsea defense, though he seems to facilitate more and does not take direct free kicks.
UCL Finals DFS Picks
Kevin De Bruyne (DraftKings $16,200, FanDuel $15)
The referenced set piece shares are mentioned above. De Bruyne leads the club in shot volume and builds a floor off 6.85 crosses per match and 6.40 scoring chances created.
Riyad Mahrez (DraftKings $15,600, FanDuel $14)
Mahrez ranks third on the club in shot volume and contributes with 3.87 scoring chances created and 2.81 open-play crosses per match. He is third on the club in goals scored and has contributed to scoring in four straight matches and six of his last eight.
Mason Mount (DraftKings $14,400, FanDuel $12)
Mount can contribute in many ways for Chelsea, one of which is crosses from set pieces. He averages 5.88 crosses and 2.55 shots per match, trailing only Werner.
Jorginho (DraftKings $6,600, FanDuel $7)
With the impact of VAR, do not count out Jorginho, who takes PKs. He cannot produce without scoring, but he leads Chelsea in scoring due to penalties. On both DraftKings and FanDuel, he is only a flex option.
Timo Werner (DraftKings $13,200, FanDuel $13)
Werner was brought in for big money, and this would be his time to shine. He leads Chelsea in shot volume at 2.77 per match and is among the leaders in the spread scoring of goals.
Ben Chilwell (DraftKings $10,200, FanDuel $8)
Ben Chilwell is the more active winger, with James moving behind Azpilicueta. He averages 3.66 open-play crosses per match and shares in corners. His salary is low enough to fit in a variety of goal-scoring options in the flex. Chilwell can contribute on defense as well with 2.95 won tackles/interceptions per match.
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