FanDuel Soccer: Champions League DFS Helper for 4/14/21
|Fixture||Favorite||Over 2.5 Goals||Most Likely
|Manchester City at Dortmund||Man City (-165)||-182||Aguero (-115)|
|Real Madrid at Liverpool||Liverpool (-105)||-184||Salah (-150)|
According to oddsmakers, the two English sides should be our focus on Wednesday's two match slate. Manchester City (-165) are a road favorite at Dortmund, and City carry a 2-1 lead into the second leg. Liverpool (-105) are a slight favorite and trail 3-1 after the first leg, so the Reds will be chasing the tie right from the off.
Liverpool's situation makes them enticing, but City are the priority for me. Pep Guardiola's squad carries slate-best -188 odds to go over 1.5 goals, compared to the Reds' clip of -146. While Dortmund played well in the first leg -- keeping City to only 1.3 expected goals (xG), per FBRef -- this is a BVB side that has allowed 41 goals in 28 Bundesliga matches, and Dortmund gave up 1.9 xG at home to Sevilla in the second leg in the Round of 16.
Man City boast seven players with anytime goal odds of at least +220. Anyone who starts in an attacking spot for City is worth a look. Kevin De Bruyne ($23; +160) possesses a floor/ceiling combination that no one else on the slate can touch. His monopoly on set-pieces boosts his floor while his role as City's penalty taker pushes his ceiling through the roof. Oh, and he's pretty good in open play, too. He has two goals and four assists in four UCL starts this season.
Gabriel Jesus ($19; +105) owns City's top goal odds, but he didn't start in the first leg. Phil Foden ($17; +170), Riyad Mahrez ($21) and Bernardo Silva ($12; +270) started in a front three, with Raheem Sterling ($18; +120) joining Jesus on the bench. Foden dazzled in the opener and put three of his five shots on target, scoring the winner. He also racked up three shot-creating actions. Ilkay Gundogan ($15; +220) hasn't maintained the blistering goal-scoring pace he was on earlier this season, but he took two shots and recorded an assist in the opening leg.
As for Liverpool, they're -146 to go over 1.5 goals, and while they were clearly off the pace in the first leg, the Reds are more than capable of coming back on Wednesday. With Liverpool needing at least two goals, they should be aggressive in attack, and there's a chance this match gets pretty open if Real Madrid manage to get a goal.
Mohamed Salah ($22; -150) owns the slate's best goal odds, and he'll likely be on penalties. He'll probably be the slate's chalk pick alongside the always popular KDB. That pushes me to Sadio Mane ($18; +130) and Diogo Jota ($16; +135). Mane isn't producing like he did the previous two season, but he's still posted seven goals and five assists in 25 EPL starts and has sweet goal odds. Jota has eight goals in eight EPL starts along with four goals an assist in six UCL starts. His rate of 0.75 goals per 90 minutes across all competitions is tops on Liverpool. Factoring in his friendly salary, Jota is an elite option.
On the flip side of that game, Real Madrid showed in the opening leg that they can cut open Liverpool on the counter. They'll likely have chances to do the same on Wednesday, especially if Liverpool have to bomb forward in desperation mode. Madrid are +144 to go over 1.5 goals.
Karim Benzema ($21; +120) is having a stellar season, netting 19 La Liga goals with six assists in 26 starts. There's a chance he has penalty duties with Sergio Ramos and Eden Hazard both sidelined. Vinicius ($19; +270) shredded Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold in the first leg, scoring a brace on four shots. There should be space behind for Vini once again on Wednesday as Liverpool chase the tie. Despite that, I'll likely fade the Brazilian winger due to what I assume will be increased popularity after his first-leg display. Prior to that game, Vinicius had only one goal since October 21st.
Added time -- I'm anxious to see the draft percentage for Erling Haaland ($20; +130). If the masses spend up on high-salary studs from Liverpool and City, they'll likely have the salary for only one of Benzema or Haaland. BVB has the worst over 1.5 goal odds on the slate (+200), and they are taking on a City defense that has been excellent all season. There's a chance Haaland could be a huge GPP swing play, but he's so good that he's unlikely to truly go overlooked. ... Toni Kroos ($16; +500) takes a lot of the set pieces for Real Madrid and will be a key bridge from defense to attack as they look to counter on Liverpool.
With the makeup of this slate, I'm going to try to save salary at defender. The first place I'm going to go is Real Madrid center-backs Nacho ($10) and Eder Militao ($8). Real Madrid will likely be content to let Liverpool have a lot of the ball in this one, which should lead to solid floors for both of these guys. In the first leg, Militao had 13 FanDuel points all from defensive actions. I'd happily take a similar output for $8.
If you want attacking upside, Trent Alexander-Arnold ($14), Raphael Guerreiro ($12) and Joao Cancelo ($15) offer it. You'll just have to sacrifice salary to get it.
Alexander-Arnold's role on set pieces separates him from the pack, but his +650 goal odds are the worst of the trio, with Guerreiro and Cancelo each checking in at +550. When needing to generate chances, Liverpool often funnel the ball to Alexander-Arnold for him to whip it in (see: Atletico Madrid second leg last season).
Guerreiro is now listed as a defender on FanDuel after previously being tagged as a midfielder. He could bomb forward more than usual if Dortmund get into a sizable hole. The opposite could be true for Cancelo as City may opt for a more cautious approach if they are protecting a lead in the second half. Then again, if BVB get a 1-0 lead, City will have to score to advance.
Added time -- Andrew Robertson ($12) has only five assists in EPL play this season after tallying 12 last campaign. But in a match in which the Reds should have to push forward in catch-up mode, Robertson is plenty appealing. ... Mateu Morey ($7) and Alvaro Odriozola ($6) don't have the floor Militao does, but both are salary-saving options who are listed as expected starters.
Like a lot of these two-match UCL slates, goalie is pretty blah. The win and clean-sheet odds for Brazil's two world-class keepers put Ederson ($13) and Alisson ($10) in their own tier.
Ederson has +178 clean-sheet odds in addition to -165 win odds, both of which are slate-best clips. As usual, the negative with Ederson is that he rarely sees enough shot volume to save his FanDuel output if he misses out on the clean-sheet points. That happened in the first leg as he totaled 10.5 FanDuel points, seven of which came via the win bonus.
Like nearly everyone on the Reds, Alisson has been off color this season. But he's a bet-on-talent play, and Liverpool's best route to go through is a 2-0 win, a result which would get Alisson at least 17 points from the win and clean sheet. While Real Madrid are in dazzling form, beating Liverpool and Barcelona last week, they have had plenty of underwhelming outings this season. Alisson is +240 to keep a clean sheet and -105 to win. The salary difference between he and Ederson could lead to Alisson being the most popular goalie option.
Added time -- You can make a case for either Marwin Hitz ($7) and Thibaut Courtois ($8), though both are unlikely to get either the win or clean-sheet bonus. Hitz is sure to see save volume, and if BVB get a 1-0 lead, they could sell out to hold it. But at +500 to blank City, Hitz's main attraction is said save volume. ... Courtois is only +410 to keep a clean sheet but should offer solid save volume, too.