UEFA Champions League odds: Manchester City favored to repeat ahead of Round of 16

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UEFA Champions League odds: Manchester City favored to repeat ahead of Round of 16

The UEFA Champions League is set to return after its winter break with the knockout stage starting this week. Four of the first legs in the Round of 16 are taking place Tuesday and Wednesday and it is a list of familiar names at the top of the odds.

Defending champion Manchester City is favored on BetMGM with +200 (2-to-1) odds of winning the tournament. The next team in the odds is German power Bayern Munich (+400; 4-to-1), which is a minor surprise considering Bayern isn’t even leading the Bundesliga. Bayern lost 3-0 at league-leader Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and is five points back of the top spot in the league. Bayern has won the last 11 Bundesliga titles and while the league race doesn’t affect the Champions, it’s not a good sign for the quality of this Bayern team.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid is five points clear in La Liga and is +550 (11-to-2) to win the tournament. Madrid doesn’t have a true dominant goal-scoring striker like it has had for much of recent history in the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, but there’s still plenty of quality on this team. Plus, Madrid’s pedigree in this tournament can’t be questioned. The Spanish club has won the tournament 14 times, including five of the last 10 years.

The Round of 16 draw was mostly kind to the top favorites. Including Arsenal among the top four favorites, all got mostly favorable draws to start the knockout stage. Man City faces arguably the smallest club remaining in the tournament in FC Copenhagen. Bayern takes on Lazio, which is currently eighth in Serie A. Real Madrid is up against RB Leipzig, currently fifth in the Bundesliga. Arsenal drew FC Porto, which is only third in Portugal and at risk of missing next season’s Champions League.

Of those four Round of 16 matchups, Madrid is the smallest favorite at an incredibly sturdy -500. It would be a shock to see any of these teams go out. Even the fifth-favorite, Paris Saint-Germain is heavily favored (-225) to advance past Real Sociedad, which is seventh in La Liga.

Three of the eight Round of 16 ties are competitive on paper, though. Let’s look at what the odds say for those matchups, which all start next week.

Borussia Dortmund vs. PSV Eindhoven

Odds to advance: Dortmund -175; PSV +125

PSV hosts the first leg in this one and is the favorite in that match, but Dortmund is favored to advance. PSV is +110 to win the first leg and is undefeated in league play. With 19 wins and two draws in 21 matches in the Eredivisie, PSV is 10 points ahead of second-place Feyenoord and can make the Champions League its priority. Meanwhile, Dortmund is fourth in the Bundesliga and not even assured of making next season’s Champions League.

PSV last made the knockout stage of the Champions League in 2016 and last made it to the quarterfinals in 2007. The only other time these teams met in European competition was in the Champions League group stage in 2002. Dortmund drew at home and won away.

Barcelona vs. Napoli

Odds to advance: Barcelona -185; Napoli +130

Neither one of these clubs is in good form currently. Barcelona is enduring more drama with manager Xavi set to depart at the end of the season. The Spanish giants are only third in La Liga, but that’s a minor fall from grace compared to Napoli. Napoli is ninth in Serie A and on its second manager of the season after winning the league last season. The odds are close, but Barca is a slight favorite in the first leg in Naples (+150 to win while the hosts are +165 to win). Neither are considered a major threat to win the tournament, but this should be a competitive tie.

Inter Milan vs. Atlético Madrid

Odds to advance: Inter -135; Atlético -105

This is the closest Round of 16 tie in terms of the odds. Both teams have minus odds to advance (yikes, that’s a big hold), but Inter is favored. The first leg is in Milan, where Inter is a solid favorite (-115 to win). It’s a tough draw for Atlético, which won its group but still gets last year’s runner-up. Inter is starting to pull away as the leader in Serie A while Atlético is fourth in La Liga, but Diego Simeone sides are nasty to go up against in Europe. Since Simeone took over the club in December of 2011, Atlético has made six Champions League quarterfinals and has won the Europa League twice. It appears the odds show respect for that, considering the gap in league performances this season for the two clubs.

Top goalscorer

Erling Haaland is tied for the most goals in this season’s Champions League with five. Two Atlético Madrid players share that lead, Álvaro Moratá and Antoine Griezmann. Haaland is already top scorer and is on the team favored to win the tournament. It’s logical for him to be a massive favorite, at even money, to be the top goalscorer for the second time in a row. Neither Moratá nor Griezmann are among the favorites, mostly due to Atlético being an underdog in the Round of 16.

There are plenty of players with four goals, just behind the top group, including Bayern’s Harry Kane (+225). PSG’s Kylian Mbappe (+600; 6-to-1) has three goals and PSG isn’t among the top favorites to win the tournament, but he is still one of the most dangerous players on the planet.

(Photo of Erling Haaland: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA / Getty Images)