Soccer Betting: Champions League Final Preview

by James Murphy in Soccer  / May 30, 2019

The Champions League Final is the biggest single day betting event in the world. It is bigger than the Super Bowl by an unknown magnitude–due to the worldwide popularity of soccer and the decentralized nature of the betting industry it’s hard to get an accurate figure on the Champions League handle. Consider that the state of Nevada took $145.9 million in wagers on the 2019 Super Bowl which was down from last year’s record of $138.5 million. In most years, the Champions League Final does in excess of £200 million ($252.5 million USD) in wagering handle in England alone. It’ll be interesting to see if betting patterns are different due to the presence of two English Premier League teams in the Final. In theory, it should produce more betting in the UK though it might bring slightly less in the rest of Europe.

The game itself is a matchup between Liverpool–who did everything short of winning the English Premier League title this year–and Tottenham Hotspur who finished fourth. This is where the qualitative difference between the two teams starts to become evident. Liverpool finished in second place, 1 point back of Manchester City and lost only once in Premier League play to finish with a record of 30-7-1 for 97 points. Tottenham ended up with a record of 23-2-13 in English Premier League play and trailed Liverpool at the end of the year by 26 points.

Both teams have had three weeks off since they punched their tickets to the Champions League Finals after strong comebacks. Comparatively speaking, Liverpool’s has to be considered the most impressive of the two. The Reds dropped the first leg to Barcelona at Camp Nou 3-0 and were all but dismissed at that point. Instead, they came out blazing in the second leg Tat Anfield as they dominated the La Liga champions en route to a 4-0 decision and a spot in the finals. The Spurs also showed character in their semifinal series against Ajax Amsterdam. They lost the first leg of the semifinal on their home field by a 1-0 margin and spotted Ajax two goals in the second leg to go down 2-0 at the half. In the second half, however, they would score 3 including the game winner in stoppage time. This tied things up 3-3 on the aggregate and Tottenham was able to advance on away goals.

Tottenham hasn’t been in particularly good form of late despite their appearance in this game. They have won only 1 of their last 5 matches in all competitions which was the semifinal victory in the second leg over Ajax. They’ve been downright awful away from their home field at White Hart Lane or their ‘home away from home’ at Wembley Stadium. Away from these friendly venues, they have lost 9 of their last 11. Liverpool, meanwhile, has been on fire all year. They have 13 wins in their last 14 games in all competitions with the only loss coming in the Champions League semifinals against Barcelona at Camp Nou. They’ve also won six of seven away from Anfield.

The head to head results don’t offer much hope for the Spurs either. Tottenham has won only once in their previous 14 matchups with Liverpool in all competitions and dropped both engagements in the Premiership this year, losing by identical 2-1 scores at home and away. Liverpool just looks to be a cut above in this matchup. 5 of the last 7 Champions League Finals have seen 3 or more goals scored and so we’ll bet this matchup accordingly.

Our Pick
BET LIVERPOOL -105 OVER TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Our Pick
BET LIVERPOOL/TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR OVER 2.5 -120

James Murphy

James Murphy is a preeminent authority on the international gambling industry and has made frequent appearances in the mainstream media including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, CNBC and NPR. He has previously worked as a radio and podcasting host where he broadcast to an international audience that depended on his expertise and advice. Murphy also serves as an odds making consultant for sports and ‘non-sport novelty bets’ covering the entertainment industry, politics, technology, financial markets and just about everything else.

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