Champions League: Betting tips for second leg of semis
The UEFA Champions League semifinals continue with matchups Tuesday and Wednesday. Inter Milan, AC Milan, Manchester City and Real Madrid will fight it out for a place in the final Saturday, June 10 in Istanbul.
With that in mind, let’s get to this week’s games. As always, remember that these bets are for results at the end of regulation only.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
Inter Milan (+103) vs. AC Milan (+275), Draw (+230)
(Inter lead 2-0 on aggregate)
Paul Carr: Rafael Leao may be back, and as mentioned last week, Milan averaged 1.7 goals per 90 minutes with him, compared to 1.0 goals per 90 without him this season. But I’m not convinced that Leao will be enough, even if he’s at full strength. As the first leg showed, Inter’s defense has been very good lately, allowing under 1.0 expected goals in seven straight matches prior to Saturday, when Sassuolo piled up chances after trailing 3-0. Since Milan have to score at least twice, Inter should have opportunities as the game opens up, and their depth in attack gives them plenty of options to do so. I’m not as crazy about the price as last week, but I’ll take Inter to win this second leg at +103.
Dan Thomas: There is no way AC Milan can defend as badly as they did in the first half of the opening leg, but they have a huge problem. The damage has already been done. Their season is falling apart around them and there isn’t a Band-Aid big enough to fix it. Inter will advance; the question is, in what manner? I think Inter will win the tie and would stick to something as simple as that at +103.
Manchester City (-170) vs. Real Madrid (+420), Draw (+320)
(Teams tied on aggregate)
Carr: Real Madrid showed their quality in the first leg, with more shots (13 to 10) and expected goals (0.70 to 0.55) than Man City, while controlling huge swaths of the match. Doing that at the Etihad is of course a tougher test, but I think a rested Real Madrid will be up to the challenge. Eight of Real Madrid’s outfield starters from the first leg did not start over the weekend, and they’ve already won at Anfield and Stamford Bridge in this knockout stage. Whether the game devolves into chaos or remains conservative, Madrid are comfortable with either style. City are still the better side, but I’ll gladly take +140 on the Real Madrid double chance, betting on their Champions League magic to at least get the game to extra time.
Thomas: City settled for the draw as the game went on in the first leg, knowing they would have home advantage in the return tie and exploit that. City will advance, but there is no value there. Belgian Kevin De Bruyne was rested at the weekend and has been getting better and better as the season has progressed. I’d take a goal from De Bruyne at anytime +260.
Former ESPN senior researcher Paul Carr is director of content for TruMedia.
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