Sports UEFA Champions League odds, betting favorites & futures picks for 2021-22 tournament
So ran the curious Coman resolving
Actually, Kingsley Coman should be replaced in the game of Bayern at FC Barcelona already in the 65th minute. But suddenly hectic breaks off at the side line. © Provided by sport1.de So ran the curious Coman resolving The fourth official held the chalkboard in the 65th minute. red lit the number 42 for Jamal Musiala and green The 11 of Kingsley Coman.
In recent years, the UEFA Champions League has become the domain of the rich and famous: the European teams with the deepest pockets and biggest stars are regularly in the final stages. That's good and bad for soccer bettors.
Barring a once-in-a-lifetime run by an outsider, only a small group of teams can realistically win or advance to the final. But there are just enough of them to make the futures betting interesting.
By the same token, the dominance of those top teams means the group stage is less compelling from a futures standpoint. The fun is made up with match-specific group-stage bets since surprise results are still a regular occurrence, despite the predictability of the final standings.
Desolate RB defense overshadowed Nkunkus Gala
RB Leipzig goes on the first matchday of the Champions League against Manchester City with 3: 6. In addition to a lot of shadows there is also a bright spot for the team of Jesse March in the Etihad Stadium. © Provided by sport1.de Desolate RB defense overshadowed Nkunkus Gala RB Leipzig loses his opening game against the English Master Manchester City surprisingly clearly with 3: 6.
SN makes some picks and predictions on all fronts, including for top scorer, as the 2021-22 season gets underway:
Team to win Champions League
By now you’re probably aware of the buzz around the popular picks to win it all. But how can one pick a potential winner in September when a pathway to the final hinges on favorable draws during the knockout rounds? The approach is straightforward: Avoid the hype and pick a likely group winner (group winners are drawn against runners-up from other groups in the knockout draw).
We know that Paris Saint-Germain (+255) and Manchester City (+291) have spent hundreds of millions to win this trophy, but that also comes with a commensurate amount of pressure that can drag a team down. Plus, they’re going to be battling each other in the same group, and one of them will likely finish second. If one team somehow loses both head-to-head group matchups, its Champions League adventure could be over before it has a chance to get started.
Maple Leafs sign winger Nikita Gusev to professional tryout
Gusev is one year removed from a 40-point campaign in a shortened season. Gusev’s certainly had his struggles defensively, he’s still an extremely skilled playmaker and a valuable power-play option. Gusev, if he’s signed, could join a left-wing depth chart in Toronto that’s wide open. He’ll compete with Nick Ritchie, Michael Bunting and others for potential top-six usage with either Auston Matthews or John Tavares. Adding Gusev to an already possession-strong unit could potentially pay dividends.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports.
Chelsea (+577) has the fourth-shortest odds despite being stronger than it was during its Champions League-winning run last season. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has taken two different teams to the final in the last two seasons and he gets the benefit of the doubt with one of the best rosters in the world. Also, the Blues should comfortably finish atop Group H.
Manchester United (+765) is another compelling pick. The additions of Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo will make Man U a team that no one will want to face in the knockouts. It should finish top in Group F and its odds should gradually shrink as the tournament progresses. Don’t get sucked into Real Madrid (+1147): Under Carlo Ancelotti, it will be a contender in the knockouts, but Karim Benzema can’t always mask the lack of elite defensive quality.
Charlie Coyle 'frontrunner' to serve as Bruins second-line center?
To say it’s been an eventful offseason for the Boston Bruins would be an understatement. With the extensions for Taylor Hall and Mike Reilly and the acquisitions of Linus Ullmark and Nick Foligno came some serious departures. Longtime Bruin David Krejci left the team to continue his career at home in the Czech Republic, while netminder Tuukka Rask remains unsigned amid injury uncertainty. © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports While Krejci’s replacement as the second-line center isn’t entirely clear, the frontrunner in the eyes of most is Charlie Coyle.
Champions League outright winner odds
Champions League group winners
The groups typically go according to script, but a couple this year are legitimately up for grabs: Groups B and G. Here are two potential plays ():
Group B: Atletico Madrid (+176)
Liverpool is the favorite in Group B at -109, but against storied clubs like Porto, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid, even Liverpool will drop points along the way. And Atletico Madrid will be a tough matchup: Diego Simeone’s team competes just as fiercely as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side. The English side is off to a strong start to its domestic season, but so is Atletico Madrid and it should improve still as new arrivals Matheus Cunha, Antoine Griezmann and Rodrigo De Paul (below) get settled into the squad.
Group G: Sevilla (+137)
CONCACAF expands its flagship Champions League club competition
CONCACAF is expanding its flagship Champions League club tournament starting, with the door open to more Canadian participation. The confederation covering North and Central America and the Caribbean is also revamping a series of regional tournaments that will serve as Champions League qualifiers. Starting in 2024, the Champions League will grow from the current 16-team format to having 27 participating clubs including 18 from North America. Of the 27 teams, 22 will begin play in the first round and five will receive a bye to the round of 16.
Another La Liga side to keep an eye on. Sevilla has made more shrewd acquisitions to a team that was already talented enough to finish fourth in La Liga last season. Sevilla will be taking on opponents in group play that, on paper, are inferior (Lille and RB Salzburg) or on par with it (Wolfsburg). Unless the favorite tag weighs on Sevilla during the group stage, it’s a pragmatic side that should find a way to secure enough results to get the job done.
Champions League group survivors
More interesting than chasing potential group winners is finding a potential surprise team to advance. There are typically a maximum of two or three of these in each Champions League group stage. Last year it was two German sides finishing ahead of favored teams: RB Leipzig beat out Manchester United for second place in one group, and Borussia Moenchengladbach advanced over Inter Milan.
Here are the most attractive odds for teams to advance to the knockouts in 2021-22 ():
Group E: Benfica (+223)
Bayern’s the favorite to win the group (-202) and Barcelona (-625 to qualify) is the other team pegged to advance. But given the current state of the decimated Blaugrana, a talented and underrated Benfica side should be more than just competitive in those head-to-head matchups. Then second place will come down to which of the two can get maximum points against the fourth team in the group, Dynamo Kiev (+922 to advance).
Blues name Peter Chiarelli VP of hockey operations
Chiarelli, 57, had already been working for the Blues as a consultant but will now have an expanded role in the front office. The longtime executive last held a full-time position in 2019 with the Edmonton Oilers, but he was fired early that year halfway through another disappointing season. There’s no lack of experience assuming the role for the blues, as Chiarelli was an NHL GM for 13 consecutive seasons between the Boston Bruins and Oilers. Before that, he held various positions with the Ottawa Senators, including assistant GM.
Group G: RB Salzburg (+161)
The Austrian side may have lost its two best players in the summer (Patson Daka, Enock Mwepu), but it has more talent coming through the pipeline to replace them (Karim Adeyemi, Benjamin Sesko and American Brenden Aaronson, above). The Champions League playoffs were evidence. With Sevilla (+137) the favorite to win Group G, second place should be a scrap among Salzburg, German side VfL Wolfsburg (-125 to advance) and Lille (+100 to advance). Salzburg’s chaotic high press and all-out attacking approach could give it the edge against more conventional and predictable teams like Wolfsburg and Lille.
Champions League top scorer
The list is the 10 players you’d expect to be favorites to top the scoring charts come next May. But the final goal ranking will be determined by more than star power. Group stage matchups play a huge role, as do the team’s chances to go deep and the player’s standing on the team. Does he take the penalties? Will he play all the games? Is he the focal point of the attack? Does he have competition for goals within his own team?
Erling Haaland won this prize last year despite a quarterfinal elimination for his Borussia Dortmund team. It helped that he got six of his 10 total goals in the group stage against the likes of Lazio, Club Brugge and Zenit St. Petersburg, which are not exactly European powerhouses. Compare that to the production of his main challenger, Kylian Mbappe, who had a paltry two goals (of eight total) in the group stage and couldn’t make up the difference in the knockouts.
Senators trade Logan Brown, fourth-rounder to Blues for Zach Sanford
Brown was a first-round pick of Ottawa (11th overall) in 2016, but despite showing flashes of upside in the minors, he has yet to establish himself in the NHL. He had nine points in 13 AHL contests with Belleville last season but got into only one game with the Senators in 2020-21 and has just 30 career NHL appearances over his three professional campaigns. The 23-year-old recently re-signed a one-year, two-way contract worth the league minimum of $750K and will be a restricted free agent next summer.
With that and the group-stage draw in mind, Haaland (+503) is the safest bet to run rampant on Ajax, Besiktas and Sporting CP, which offer a similar competitive level to last year’s opponents. It’s tempting to put money down on Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo (vs. Villarreal, Atalanta and BSC Young Boys), but it’s up in the air how many of the six group games the 36-year-old will play as the club manages his minutes.
After Haaland, the next most interesting plays are Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku (+715) and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema (+1200), who star for teams that have weaker group opponents and should make progress in the knockouts. The long shot is Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez (+5500), who will get to feast on FC Sheriff, Shakhtar Donetsk and a Real Madrid team that has defensive issues.
Odds courtesy of
Champions League top scorer odds
|Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||+480|
|Erling Haaland||Borussia Dortmund||+503|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||+712|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||+1200|
|Memphis Depay||FC Barcelona||+2400|
Red Wings' Jakub Vrana leaves practice early with shoulder injury .
Less than 10 minutes into his first session back with the team, Vrana suffered a shoulder injury and had to leave. Head coach Jeff Blashill did not have a prognosis after practice, stating only that Vrana would be “re-evaluated later.” As Allen notes, Detroit was missing Tyler Bertuzzi for nearly all of last season and don’t need another core scorer with a nagging injury again this year. Hopefully Vrana’s shoulder ailment is nothing serious.