Champions League season is back in full swing as the round of 16 matches got underway last night with Paris St. Germain beating Valencia in the latter’s home ground, 2-1, and Juventus laying the smack down on Celtic, 3-0. The results of the match effectively puts both the Spanish and Scottish squad behind the eight ball and the recent run of odds for the last 16 reflects as much with Valencia now at 200/1 odds to win the whole tournament while Celtic is even further down at a near impossible 2000/1 odds to pull off the miracle of miracles.
For Valencia, they can take at least take comfort knowing that two of its league rivals are still the favorites to win the Champions League. Hardly a surprise considering that both Barcelona and Real Madrid are regarded as the two best club teams in the world.
But even Real Madrid, with all its talent and weapons, still has to look up to the Lionel Messi-led Barcelona squad, which has been marked as the clear favorite to win the Champions League title at 2/1 odds. Madrid, naturally, isn’t that far behind at 5/1 odds, although if the two squads advance to face each other, it won’t be in the finals at Wembley Stadium in London, but rather in the semi-finals. But hey, at least they’ll have to win over the other if they want to book tickets to London, right? That is if they make it that far…
Following the two Spanish heavyweights in pecking order are Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, two German clubs that figure to have legitimate chances in their own right. Bayern, in particular, gets the benefit of a favorable bracket, avoiding Barcelona, Real Madrid, AND Dortmund until the finals.
After the two Spanish and German teams, Italian club Juventus is now 10/1 to win the Champions League on the heels of their dominant showing against Celtic. Getting 12/1 odds is Manchester United, which is a number that will dramatically shift depending on how their round of 16 match with Real Madrid goes. If they somehow pull off the upset – or even score a few away goals – expect that number to drop to around 8/1 or 9/1. But if they get clobbered by the Cristiano Ronaldo and company, 15/1 or 16/1 might be on the cheap side.
The dark horse of the tournament, at least as far as we’re concerned, is PSG. After disposing of Valencia, the French side looks like a shoo-in to advance to the round of eight where a showdown with Juventus looms. At their current 20/1 odds, this might be a good time to buy stock on these guys.
After PSG, the lines for the remaining teams balloon up, signifying the apparent lack of faith bookmakers have that any of these teams can make a significant impact moving forward. English club Arsenal and Ukranian club Shaktar Donetsk both get the benefit of being the first two teams to be called up on the board at 40/1 odds. From there, Portugal’s FC Porto, Spain’s Malaga, and Germany’s Schalke 04 are all at 50/1 odds to win the Champions League . Italy’s AC Milan is at 80/1 odds, an inflated line that can be attributed to the fact that they drew Barcelona in the round of 16. If it were any other team, Real Madrid included, Milan’s line would instantaneously be cut in half.
Unfortunately, Turkish club Galatasaray’s 100/1 odds is what it it is, meaning that they’ll most likely one of the early exits of the tournament, joining both Valencia and Celtic in the sidelines this early on.