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Champions League Betting – Finalists will decided by Wednesday

Posted by Todd Shale on 4/25/2012 11:43:50 AM
soccer bettingThose looking at this week’s Champions League odds are hoping for better games than the first leg of the semifinals, when Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona played low-key matches. However, sportsbook players should expect things to open up when the four clash for the right to go to Rome on May 27th.

There's no better time than right now to take a look at the most current odds for Champions League betting:

Champions League odds: United try to hold on; Chelsea face stylish Barca side

  • Injuries to defense on both teams make Arsenal/United tie in balance
  • Chelsea will try to get physical with Barca again
  • Final takes place in Rome on May 27th

Arsenal vs Manchester United odds – Tuesday, May 5, 2:45 PM ET at the Emirates Stadium (Manchester United leads 1-0 on aggregate)

John O’Shea rarely scores, but when he does, it’s usually crucial. The Irish defender’s 17th-minute goal was the difference in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford last Wednesday, and it made up for an uncharacteristically down-tempo affair for United. Cristiano Ronaldo hit the bar, but was generally a spectator for most of the match. A lot of that had to do with the emergence of Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs, the 19-year-old left-back who had Ronaldo in his pocket for most of the match. It wasn’t really until Ryan Giggs came on in the 67th minute to make his 800th appearance for United, but the PFA Player of the Year had a goal called back for offside. Arsenal are more offense-minded at home, so expect them to get out of the gate quickly. Arsenal’s patchwork defense stood up fine at Old Trafford, and United could have some concern of their own as Rio Ferdinand cracked a rib against the Gunners and may miss this match. This will give Arsenal a boost, but their defense is still in question. They’ll score, but can they keep United from grabbing a vital away goal? I don’t think so.

Champions League betting pick: Arsenal to win 2-1, United to advance

Chelsea vs Barcelona odds – Wednesday, May 6, 2:45 PM ET at Stamford Bridge (Teams tied at 0-0)

Barca accused Chelsea of playing a defensive game in last week’s 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp, and can you blame the Blues? Chelsea may play even more defensive after Barca’s 6-2 destruction of Real Madrid on the road on Saturday, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better attacking team in the world right now. Chelsea didn’t play the prettiest brand of football in Barcelona, but they were effective and stuck to their plan of not letting Lionel Messi and company run wild. Chelsea will be playing a more offensive style at home, and Barca’s defense isn’t the greatest in the world, so look for Chelsea’s Frank Lampard to test Barca with his well-timed runs into the box. However, the last thing Chelsea wants is a shootout, which favors Barca.

Champions League betting pick: 2-2 tie, Barca to advance.

For more soccer betting lines, head to the Sportsbook at betonline.com.

Are you a fan of “The Beautiful Game”? Then you should try Todd Shale's “Beautiful picks”. Though he enjoys a good rugby match, Todd is happiest when he can handicap a great soccer match - or football match, as he prefers to call it. Thoughts or questions?

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