It’s really hard to argue with La Liga as the best soccer league in the world at the moment. This league is accounting for four of the last 16 teams in the Champions League and will surely have at least one or two contending for the Europa League title as well.
La Liga Dominating Champions League Odds
The Spanish sides have won the Champions League three straight seasons, and they’ve also represented the runner-up side in two of the last three years. Thus, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that the three top Spanish soccer teams in La Liga, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are all in the Top 4 in terms of favorites on the UCL odds as we head into knockout round action starting in the middle of February.
Here’s a look at the 16 teams left, the tests they have ahead to capture the Champions League and your best soccer betting prospects.
Soccer odds courtesy of the Betfair app.
Who Will Win the 2017 Champions League?
The Catalan side is probably already out of La Liga, so this is about all that’s left to play for at this point. Unfortunately, Barca was given a bit of a nasty opening round draw against PSG, a two-legged affair that legitimately could be lost. If you’re going to bet on Barcelona to win the Champions League, this probably isn’t the time to do it.
Bayern Munich +350
The German giants can’t say they got a much better draw either against Arsenal, one of the top teams in England. History says that the Reds will prevail, but there’s a real sense here that without Pep Guardiola and now top assistant Paul Clement both gone that Bayern Munich could have problems at the end of the season.
Real Madrid +450
The defending Champions League cup holders picked up a dream draw in the Round of 16 against Napoli. Los Blancos were actually second best in Group F after going just 3-3-0 in the six matches, but this is the time that they should start to shine.
Atletico Madrid +800
Poor Atleti! In any other league, they’d be amongst the favorites to win a title, but here in Spain, seemingly the best they can do year in and year out is finish second best. Their defensive style plays well in the UCL though, and that’s why this team has reached the final in two of the last three seasons and isn’t to be counted out in 2017 either.
Borussia Dortmund +1000
BVB has itself a good team this year, but it isn’t Bayern Munich and would be a decisive underdog against any of the teams listed above it. Why is Dortmund here as the fifth favorite to win the UCL, though? Benfica probably represents the easiest of the draws for a serious contender to win it all.
Manchester City +1000
Pep Guardiola. That’s about all you need to know as to why Manchester City is one of the top choices in UEFA odds to win the UCL at 10 to 1. The Citizens though, don’t have the roster as we see it to run with the big boys and will need a really favorable draw throughout to win it all. Starting with Monaco should be a breeze, though.
Juve pushed Bayern Munich in the Round of 16 last year before losing in extra time. The Italian giants will be playing into April this year in all likelihood with Portuguese giant, Porto waiting in the wings in this first knockout round.
From here, the odds of finding a UCL winner are pretty slim. Arsenal has plenty of talent, but Arsene Wenger just flat out hasn’t had success against the best sides in the world historically. Furthermore, drawing Bayern Munich in the Round of 16 might as well have been death.
Leicester City +3300
The Foxes were a nice story last year, but they’re lucky if they avoid relegation in 2017 and won’t ultimately be a UCL contender even though they could conceivably get into the quarters thanks to a relatively easy draw with Sevilla.
Paris Saint-Germain +3300
Poor PSG. This team flat out never gets a good draw in the Champions League. Now, sans-Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it’s hard to see the Parisians surviving this Round of 16 test with Barca.
Sevilla has won the last three editions of the Europa League, so we can’t count it out even though it’s not used to still being in the UCL this time of year. Leicester City is beatable, and a favorable draw could leave Spain with a real shot at getting all four semifinalists.
Napoli is only third best in Serie A this year, but it got the short end of the stick in this draw for sure, picking up a date with Real Madrid after winning its group.
AS Monaco +8000
This is probably the least talented of the teams left in the UCL not named Leicester City. The difference here? Monaco has to face Man City in the Round of 16. It’s a winnable home-and-home series, but it’s not going to be easy.
Bayer Leverkusen +10000
We never count out these German teams this time of year, but Leverkusen is only 6-3-7 at home and probably won’t be a factor against Atletico Madrid.
The last time a Portuguese team even reached the UCL final was in 2004 when Porto won it over Monaco. Benfica isn’t likely to replicate that.
Neither is Porto. Especially with an opening draw against a hungry Juve team in great form.
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