The Champions League knockout stage will begin on 16 February 2017. Since the draw was made, bettors have been looking for value in the Champions League winner odds. So, who has the best chance of winning and where is the smart money going? Read on to find out.
During the Champions League knockout stage, 16 teams will play over two legs - one home and one away - with the losing side of each fixture being eliminated from the competition. When analysing the Champions League winner odds, there are numerous factors to consider - form, experience and head-to-head records is just the start. Having previously made predictions at the start of the UCL, we've taken an in-depth look at the odds with just 16 teams left in the competition.
So often the favourite in Pinnacle’s Champions League winner odds, this year is no different for Barcelona - they are currently priced at 4.120*. The Catalan side have reached the semi-final in eight of the last ten seasons, going on to win the competition on four occasions (five in total).
The Catalan side have reached the semi-final in eight of the last ten seasons, going on to win the competition on four occasions.
The obvious draw for bettors is the attacking trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar. While Barcelona have the ability to outscore any opponent, they now have more strength in depth in midfield and defence. Andre Gomes adds another dimension to the illustrious midfield trio of Iniesta, Busquets and Rakitic, while Samuel Umtiti provides undoubted solidarity at the back.
The only worry with Barcelona is the rather stop start season they’ve had thus far. They trail Real Madrid in La Liga and have struggled to convert draws into wins - something that could cost them dearly in a knockout competition.
The reigning Bundesliga champions have had an up and down campaign both domestically and in Europe this year. They are back to the top of the league table, but have already dropped nine points this season - it might not sound like a lot but they only dropped 14 points during the 2015/16 season.
The German side qualified for the Champions League knockout stage after finishing second in Group D. A close second favourite in Pinnacle’s Champions League winner odds at 4.600*, Bayern face Arsenal in the Round of 16 - they would have had a much easier tie if they had won their group.
Having already lost to Atletico Madrid and Russian minnows FC Rostov, it will take more than the goals of Robert Lewandowski and rediscovering their league form to be filled with confidence about their chances of winning the Champions League.
Having qualified for the Champions League knockout stage for a record 20 consecutive seasons, Real Madrid regularly feature at the top of Pinnacle’s Champions League winner odds. Los Blancos have won the UCL twice in the last three seasons and are currently unbeaten in 36 matches in all competitions at the time of writing.
Casemiro and Kovacic have changed the dynamic at Real Madrid and have provided the stern defensive midfield Los Blancos so desperately craved.
The Spanish giants previously relied on beating opponents with their attacking threat, but under Zinedine Zidane they have found something that has been missing in recent years - a steely determination that can grind out a result. Casemiro and Kovacic have changed the dynamic at Real Madrid and have provided the stern defensive midfield Los Blancos so desperately craved.
Of course, Ronaldo is still the main man. The all time UCL record goal scorer (95 goals) has only managed two goals so far in the competition but he is firing on all cylinders in La Liga (10 goals) and is sure to add to his European tally as the competition progresses.
Real Madrid are currently priced at 5.50* to win the Champions League and face Napoli in the Round of 16 - they are looking to win their 12th UCL title.
If the first ten games of this season were anything to go by, the appointment of Pep Guardiola had turned Manchester City into a side that could now genuinely challenge Europe’s elite. Unfortunately for the Citizens, they haven’t managed to recapture the form that saw them win those first ten games.
Guardiola’s passing style hasn’t been so effective in the Premier League and a lack of domestic form has transferred into the Champion League. However, City drew Monaco in the Round of 16 and will be expected to comfortably progress to the quarter-final stage at least - they are 12.00* to lift the trophy.
Although they can rely on De Bruyne, Sterling and Aguero to cause any defence problems, Manchester City will be deeply concerned about their defensive frailties - and so will bettors. They’ve already shown they can beat teams like Barcelona in this season’s group stage, but will Guardiola’s previous success help them win that illusive European title?
Juventus often fly under the radar in Champions League winner odds - at this stage, they are 14.00* to win the competition. As would be expected, Juventus are sitting comfortably at the top of Serie A and have maintained their traditional style of putting defence first - they were unbeaten in Group H and only conceded two goals in six games.
Juventus are sitting comfortably at the top of Serie A and were unbeaten in Group H - conceding just two goals in six games.
Bettors may be thinking about the absence of Paul Pogba after his record move to Manchester United but Gonzalo Higuain has already proven that when the Old Lady create chances, he will score goals - he currently has 12 goals in all competitions this season.
The Italian side haven’t fared well in the Champions League knockout stage in recent years. However, they have one of the easiest ties of the round with Porto and their tactical approach of shutting out elite clubs in Europe and nicking a goal could see them go a lot further this year.
Unfortunately for Arsenal, the Champions League knockout stage draw has not been kind to them once again. The Gunners have met Bayern Munich three times in the previous four campaigns - one of these was in last year’s group stage.
Bettors may look to the fact that the German champions don’t appear to be such a daunting prospect this season. Additionally, the head-to-head record between the two isn’t as one sided as you might think - they have played each other ten times, Bayern have won five, Arsenal three and they have drawn twice.
If Arsenal want to win the competition, they will have to beat teams like Bayern Munich on more than one occasion. Currently priced at 25.00*, if they manage to beat the Germans over two legs and get a bit of luck in the quarter-final draw, they might attract more betting interest.
Champion League winner odds - plenty to consider
Aside from the main contenders, there are several outsiders that could spring a surprise. Leicester City might have lost their Premier League spark, but at 45.00*, an equally impressive Champions League underdog story is still a possibility - especially if they manage to get past Sevilla (42.00* to win outright).
Borussia Dortmund broke the record for the number of goals scored en route to qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage - their odds of 11.50* odds might seem short, but they can always be relied upon to score a few goals.
Atletico may have surrendered a La Liga title challenge already this season but their Champions League winner odds of 10.00* reflect that Diego Simeone’s hard-working side often perform well in Europe.
Below is a table of the top 10 in Pinnacle's Champions League winner odds:
Betting on the Champions League knockout stage? Get the best odds at pinnacle.
*Odds are subject to change.