Soccer Betting: Championship League Final Odds and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 5/23/2013
It has been a very long road, but we have finally reached the finals of this year’s UEFA Champions League. The first qualifying game took place on July 3 of last year, so we will be finished with this year’s edition just in time to start next year’s. Seventy-six teams from 52 European countries started in the tournament, including the champion of every domestic league, so just making it to the final is a remarkable feat.
The Champions League final is a very important and popular event and a great one to bet on. If you haven’t been paying as much attention as you should to the journey to this point, then, here is a Champions League final betting preview just for you:
The game takes place on Saturday, May 25, in Wembley Stadium in London. This is the second time in the last three years that the event has been held there, and it was announced as the host for this year just weeks after hosting the 2011 final. The stadium has seating for 90,000, with room for 15,000 more to stand.
Who is playing
Bayern Munich will be playing Borussia Dortmund, marking the first time ever that two German teams have met in the finals and just the fourth time that two teams from the same country have met for all the marbles. Dortmund is appearing in their second final, having won their first appearance in 1997. Bayern is making their 10th appearance, which trails only Real Madrid and Milan. They have won four of those appearances, though they have fallen short in both 2010 and 2012.
These aren’t just two random German teams. They are the Yankees and the Red Sox of the country — megapowers that really hate each other. They are typically the top two teams in the country, and every time they meet it has the opportunity to get ugly.
Both teams made big statements to get here by beating the teams that were presumed to be the class of the tournament. Dortmund knocked Real Madrid out in the semifinals by dominating the first leg 4-1 and only losing the second 2-0 to keep on top in the cumulative score. It was Bayern that really pulled off the shocker, though. Barcelona is seen as a historically great team, but Bayern won the two semifinal games, 4-0 and 3-0.
The two teams are a study in contrasts. Bayern has the nickname FC Hollywood because they have so many expensive stars on their team. They follow the Yankees approach of finding the best players and paying the most for them. Dortmund follows more of a small-market approach. Their payroll is miniscule compared to Bayern, and they are a much younger team. They are extremely well-coached, though — Jurgen Klopp has been discussed this year for high-profile openings like Real Madrid and Manchester United.
The rivalry was already intense, but a recent wrinkle has only amped up the hatred. Midfielder Mario Gotze is arguably Dortmund’s best player. For now. He will be joining Bayern Munich next season, and the departure has caused fans of Dortmund to burn his jersey. He’s out with a hamstring injury, so the distraction will only be off the field.
What the odds say
Bayern Munich is the solid favorite in the eyes of oddsmakers. On the moneyline at Bovada they sit at -140, with the draw at +290 and Dortmund at +370. The point spread has them at -1 (+125), with Dortmund at +1 (-155). The total sits at 2.5, with the “over” heavily favored at -145.
The experts weigh in
Germans have a strange fascination with getting the opinion of animals for big sporting events. Paul the Octopus was famously accurate in predicting the World Cup, but he died in 2010. Others have stepped up to fill his eight shoes, though. Walter the orangutan has chosen Dortmund, though he lives in Dortmund Zoo, so his bias is obvious. Baru the Asian tapir from Leipzig and two otters in Aue have also picked Dortmund, though. The animal world has spoken.
Where the value is
Bayern is the deserved favorite and has the edge here. I can’t help myself, though — I have to take that fat moneyline price for Dortmund. They beat Real Madrid without Gotze, so we know what they are capable of. They are angry and focused, and they know they have nothing to lose. Bayern is drifting towards arrogance and could come out smug after destroying Barcelona. Bayern, like the Yankees, is hard to like unless you like them, and I don’t. Dortmund is the bet.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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