Many Americans say that February is a horrible month for sports, and those Americans are sheep. It’s 2016… Xenophobia is out. Soccer is in. It’s a shame it’s so difficult for working Americans to watch, but the Champions League might be the best tournament in all of sports. The teams are flat out insane in terms of talent, and the international rivalries are something you just can’t see in the US.
You know what also makes the Champions League awesome? Gambling on it and making a fuck ton of money . Here are the three teams with chances to win…
Easily the favorite to win this tourney and at above +200 I think the odds here are great. It’s extremely rare for a team to repeat as European champions, but Barcelona might have the most transcendent collection of offensive talent ever assembled. Messi and Suarez are the two best goal scorers in the world, and Neymar is still a top 5 talent himself.
IMHO, Barcelona has same probability to win the title as the Warriors would have if Cleveland was in the western conference. That is, Barcelona is slightly less likely to win than Golden State, but still pretty damn likely. And if Golden State had odds as high as +225, I’d bet my life on them to win.
If you took your most recent paycheck and put it all on Barca, I wouldn’t judge you one bit. They also should be heavy favorites in the finals, so you can hedge and lock profits if you get in on them now.
Bayern Munich +260
Bayern looked like the truth last year and were the favorites going into the tournament, but ran into serious injury issues and got bounced by Barca in the semifinals. That being said, the first leg was at Camp Nou while at their most depleted point of the season, and they managed to get 15 minutes away from escaping with a scoreless draw before heading home with reinforcements. But then the MSN line scored three quick goals and shat all over their dreams.
Bayern will have the Bundesliga wrapped up and they will be rested and talented, but they are older and having just as much injury issues as last year. Even at full health, I don’t trust them as much as the Spanish teams.
Real Madrid +500
This is easily the best value bet in the market right now and the one I’m rolling with. They don’t have the historic offensive prowess of Barcelona, but their collection of talent across the board is much deeper. If you look at their roster, you realize they have top 10 players at every starting position…
- Goalie: Keylor Navas, the dude who made you a Costa Rica fan for a hot second two summers ago
- Defense: anchored by Sergio Ramos, Pepe, and Marcelo, this is the only d line in the world fast enough to keep pace with the MSN trio, and they also have incredible ball skills to feed the offense
- Midfield: the best in the world by far and it’s not even close… James Rodriguez, Luka Modric, and Isco each have the chance to be the best players on cup winning international squads this summer
- Forwards: Bronaldo, Benzema, and Bale… Not quite MSN, but still pretty fucking impressive
If Barcelona is the Golden State of soccer, then Madrid is the Cavs (or any team that LeBron is ever playing for)… Enough talent to win a title every year, but usually doomed by a total lack of mental tenacity and coachability. That being said, at 5:1 odds, I’m willing to bank on Zinedine Zidane being what the Cavs are pretending Tyronn Lue can be. Zizou is a bro, a former legend, and just as rich as his players. For once, Madrid players might actually respect their coach and start playing halfway to their abilities.
At this time last year, Barcelona was at +500 and Madrid at +250. Barcelona got their shit together and won a title, and I can see Madrid doing the same thing. Take Madrid +500 and then just to be safe, bet on the winning team to be from Spain (-125) and you can’t lose.