Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Round 5 Champions League Picks

If you are a mild gambler, there isn't anything that makes a day in the cube more enjoyable than betting on Euro soccer. Mid-week Champions League matches can turn a dreary Tuesday into a fist-pumping good time (as long as you hide it from your boss).

My picks for this afternoon (I picked all of the matches):

Early Games (12pm Eastern)

FC Porto @ BATE Borisov
Pick: Porto ML (-200)
Porto have 3 wins and a draw for 10 points through four matches, and a +9 goal differential. At this stage in group play, you worry about teams resting back with a comfortable lead. However, Chelsea lead Group G (by a wide margin) and nobody wants to get stuck playing Chelsea. With only a 2 point lead over Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto really need to get all three out of this tilt.

Roma @ CSKA Moscow
Pick: Over 2.5 (-115)
I can't fathom how this over pays out as much as it does. Through 4 matches, Roma have scored 7 goals and conceded 11. CSKA have scored 5 and conceded 9. That's averages of 4+ and 3+. Easy over.

Late Games (2:45pm Eastern)

Athletic Bilbao @ Shakhtar Donetsk
Pick: Shaq ML (-155)
I used the same graphic as the Porto match because the logic is exactly the same. Those two are going to go all out because nobody wants to play Chelsea.

Bayern Munich @ Manchester City
Pick: Man City +170 (pick 'em)
I know I'm going to be kicking myself this afternoon when Bayern wins 6-1, but those odds are too nice to pass up. I keep telling myself that Bayern doesn't need a win, City badly needs a win, and Sergio Aguero is a beast (even though he's slightly injured - Jesus, this is a horrible pick). 

Barcelona @ APOEL
Pick: Barca -1.5 (-130)
Similar to Porto/Shaq battling to avoid Chelsea, Barca and PSG are battling to avoid Bayern. PSG currently has a 1 point edge over the Messis, so it's another situation where they won't be resting on their laurels. I did, however, take the -1.5 instead of the -2. It just feels safer. 

Ajax @ PSG
Pick: PSG -1.5 (Even)
Same logic as the Barca pick. Literally just change the names. 

Chelsea @ FC Schalke
Pick: Over 2.5 (-115)
Chelsea have scored 9 and conceded 2; Schalke have scored 8 and conceded 9. Chelsea's top half will likely be Costa, Hazard, Oscar, Schurrle, Matic, Fabregas. I had to double check to make sure that 2.5 wasn't their team total. It's for both teams, for the whole game? Yes please. 

Maribor @ Sporting Lisbon
Pick: Maribor +1.5 (-105)
Zig when everyone zags! Maribor is being talked about like they are the worst team at this dance, but they have more points than Athletic Bilbao/APOEL/Ajax/Galatasaray/Anderlecht/Manchester City. Even with the 6-0 beatdown they took against Chelsea, Maribor have a better goal differential than three other teams. I don't have the balls to take the +1000 moneyline, so give me a goal and a half and I'm closing this out with my favorite pick of the afternoon. 

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