March Madness is approaching and the 64 team tournament is consistently the most heart pounding and exhilarating collection of games in all athletics. Who will win it all? A perennial favorite that won't be denied or will one team catch lightning in a bottle and make history?
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UEFA Champions League: Futures Bets To Make Before The Tourney Starts
Outside the FIFA World Cup, there's not a more prestigious soccer tournament across the world than the UEFA Champions League. The best clubs Europe — or the World, for that matter — has to offer will go through a gauntlet in order to raise the championship trophy.
A 32-team field will open group stage on September 18 and run through December 12 before a knockout-style tournament decides the winner. As of today, here are the three teams with the best Champions League winner odds, per online sportsbooks:
- Manchester City (+350)
- Barcelona (+500)
- Liverpool (+650)
That's only one of the dozens of futures wagers available around the tourney. After browsing through the many Champions League betting odds, we've found four that are very worth betting on. Here are the Champions League picks to make right now:
Group A Winner Lines
All eight of the groups, from A to H, have betting lines for the outright winner and the two teams that will advance on to the knockout phase. However, Group A immediately caught our attention. Here are the current lines for the team with the best chance to win the group:
- Real Madrid (-125)
- PSG (EVEN)
- Galatasaray (+1600)
- Club Brugge (+6600)
Let's not waste our time with Galatasaray and Club Brugge. No offense to them, but it's going to take a miracle for them to advance on, little less earn the top seed. That leaves us with the two powerhouses — Real Madrid and PSG.
After the dysfunctional summer that PSG went through, we're stunned the France club is being given even-money odds.
Seriously, how? It's star player, Neymar Jr., just spent the whole offseason trying to leave the club. The transfer never happened, but the damage has been done. The Neymar saga will hang like a dark cloud this entire season and affect PSG on and off the pitch.
Of course, Real Madrid, in its post-Ronaldo era, is coming off one of its worst seasons in recent memory, too.
But to fill the void that Ronaldo left, Los Blancos went out and signed Eden Hazard, a top-10 footballer in his own right. His superstar presence, plus the return of Zidane on the sideline, should will Real Madrid into the Group A's top seed.
Pick: Real Madrid (-125)
Furthest Progressing EPL Team Lines
The best league in the world has four powerhouses in Champions League. Which one will advance the furthest, if not win it all? Here's how those odds currently shake out:
- Manchester City (-185)
- Liverpool (+225)
- Tottenham (+1000)
- Chelsea (+1200)
Like the last bet, this is a two-team wager most likely. Manchester City, defending EPL league winners, and Liverpool, reigning Champions League title-holders, are just cut a notch above the rest. Both remain largely unchanged from a season ago, which certainly isn't a bad thing considering both's dominance.
City did one make splash, though, inking defensive midfielder Rodri away from Athletico Madrid.
The addition bolsters a backline that was already stingy against opposing offenses.
Moreover, Rodri can also advance the ball upfield to set up more scoring chances for Raheem Sterling and company — as if they needed any more help on offense. That offseason move puts Manchester City in the driver's seat during the UCL.
Pick: Manchester City (-185)
Nationality of Winner Odds
Enough about the clubs already. How about which nation will be able to claim the Champions League winner comes from their country? Welp, there's UEFA Champions League odds for that, too:
- England (+150)
- Spain (+240)
- Italy (+650)
- Germany (+700)
- France (+800)
This is the type of bet where you want to spread your money around. Realistically, we could see three of these nations earning bragging rights by tournament end. However, we'll whittle that down to two — England and Spain (Italy is the odd country out).
No need to rehash what we just said about Liverpool and Manchester City, both out of north England. But the only other club we saw on equal footing with them just so happens to be Barcelona of Spain.
The Champions League will go through any one of those three teams, hence why our advice is to bet on both countries.
However, if you happen to be one of those bettors that can only wager on one, then we'd go with Spain. More on that in the next section.
Pick: Spain (+240)
UEFA Champions League Odds To Win It All
It's only right to end with this one. While perhaps the most-difficult futures bet available, it's also the most lucrative if you can get it right. Here are the current Champions League odds to win the whole tournament:
- Manchester City (+350)
- Barcelona (+500)
- Liverpool (+650)
- Real Madrid (+800)
- PSG (+900)
- Juventus (+1000)
In case you didn't put two and two together based on our nationality of winner pick, our Champions League free pick is the one and only Barcelona. Hate them or love them, Barca is primed for a deep run in this tournament.
There's not a more dangerous front line than Barcelona's. Even at 32, Leo Messi is showing no signs of slowing down.
He remains the world's best footballer without question. Flanking him will be his usual counterpart, Luis Suarez, and newcomer, Antonie Griezmann.
Injuries have kept the trio apart from each other thus far, but once they're all on the pitch, watch out!
Plus, there's just a sense of urgency with Barca this season. Not only have they been without a Champions League title since 2015, but they also have to realize Messi's window is closing, hence splurging on Griezmann this summer (and flirting with a Neymar return).
All of this sets up perfectly for a Barcelona championship run.
Pick: Barcelona (+500)
Head over to one of the sportsbooks below to lock in any one of these bets, plus a ton more!
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