After a string of domestic competition fixtures over the weekend, the UEFA Champions League returns on Tuesday for matchday three of the 2022 group stage.
The headliner of Tuesday’s slate is a Group C clash between Barcelona and Inter Milan as the two continue to chase Bayern Munich for the top of the group, but there are a number of games ahead. quality elsewhere. Napoli and Ajax will meet in Holland as the former look to extend their lead in the group while Premier League sides Liverpool and Tottenham take on Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt respectively.
But which two games offer punters the best opportunity on the whole list? Let’s dive into my best bets.
Odds courtesy of BetMGM and reflective at time of writing.
Club Brugge/Atlético Madrid Under 2.5 goals (-135)
Brugge have just scored four goals on Matchday 2 at FC Porto, so naturally I’ll take a downside here.
The current Group B leaders outside Belgium have managed five goals so far this group stage, but have slightly outperformed on its underlying metrics. Those five goals came against just 3.65 expected goals on target (xGOT) and 2.4 expected goals without penalty, suggesting that a negative regression may be underway.
Against a desperate Atletico Madrid side, expect the visitors’ defense to limit the hosts’ chances. But at the same time, I’m not convinced by manager Diego Simeone’s attack and expect the Brugge defense to hold firm. In two games against Porto and Bayer Leverkusen, Atletico’s attack generated just 0.72 xGOT and two tiny big chances to score.
Meanwhile, Brugge limited a Leverkusen attack that I rate ahead of Atletico’s to just 0.6 xGOT and zero big chances to score in their other Champions League home game.
Add to that that both teams aren’t particularly comfortable with the ball and I’m expecting a low-scoring game in Belgium on Tuesday. Bet less than 2.5 goals at -140 or better.
Sporting Lisbon Draw, No Bet (+125) at Olympique de Marseille
I recognize that there is desperation associated with Marseille, but the Ligue 1 representatives have done absolutely nothing to be among the favourites.
In two UCL matches, Sporting have scored five goals from 4.82 xGOT and four great scoring chances. Defensively, the Portuguese side conceded just 0.87 expected goals on target per 90 minutes and limited Frankfurt and Tottenham to just three big chances.
That should prove useful against a Marseille attack that looked absolutely lifeless. Currently, only three teams across the entire Champions League have generated fewer expected goals on target than Marseille. Granted, one man was sent off against Tottenham in the opener, but this remains a team that created just one big scoring chance and 0.73 xGOT at home against Frankfurt, the worst defense in this group .
It might be an oversimplification, but if Marseille can’t generate meaningful chances against Frankfurt, how will they do against that Sporting defence?
Accordingly, bet Sporting up to +100 on the draw, no betting line. I can also be behind a play on the Sports timeline at +190 or better.