Champions League Corner Picks, best bets, predictions, odds: Why Barcelona will down PSG to advance, plus more

You have a choice to make. You’re about to read my picks for this week’s Champions League matches, which I make based on a combination of math, common sense, and what I like to believe is intelligence. After looking at these matches from every possible angle, I conclude what the best possible bet for you to make in each match is.

Then, I share these choices, and you read them. This is where the choice comes in. You can either follow my advice or do the opposite of what I tell you. I can’t make the choice for you, but I have to say, doing the opposite would’ve been a hell of a strategy this season.

I’m selecting soccer matches throughout the coldest period of my life. Over the weekend, this column finished 0–3 and probably would have finished 0–4 if the Udinese/Roma game hadn’t been called off in the 80th minute due to Evan Ndicka of Roma collapsing on the pitch (Ndicka, thankfully, is OK).

You now possess the power, having knowledge of the current situation in Corner Picks. You have to make a choice. Do you follow my lead because I can’t possibly keep being as incorrect as I have been, or do you do the opposite of what I advise, anticipating that this rough patch continues? That choice of yours might change everything.

Perhaps you should read this week’s choices and then decide.

Barcelona vs. PSG

Date: Tuesday, April 16 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Watch: CBS/Paramount+

I was surprised by what happened in the first leg, which Barcelona won 3-2. Not just because I took the Under 2.5 but because of how open the match was. Both teams put six shots on target. It didn’t shock me that Barcelona were able to do so, but Barcelona had been so great defensively going into the match; I didn’t expect PSG to have as much success as they did, even with Kylian Mbappe (who didn’t get any of his three shots on target, oddly enough).

Barcelona’s gameplan to slow Mbappe worked well, and I expect something similar in the second leg. It’s a solid approach. Take Mbappe away and make the rest of the team beat you. It can, but it’s less likely to happen, especially away from Paris. PSG must be aggressive here, leaving them vulnerable, and Barcelona should exploit it. The Pick: Barcelona (+125)

Borussia Dortmund vs. Atlético Madrid

Date: Tuesday, April 16 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Watch: Paramount+

The one match I got correct last week! Oh, how I’ll cherish the memory! Atletico did an excellent job smothering Dortmund’s attack in Madrid last week and now head to Dortmund with a 2-1 lead. You know Atlético manager Diego Simeone is fuming over the goal his team allowed in the final 10 minutes of that match. Given his history and style, I expect Madrid will try to win this match 0-0.

That’s easier said than done, seeing as Dortmund have scored plenty of goals at home in the Bundesliga (1.93 per match), but that success hasn’t translated to the Champions League. Dortmund has played four home matches in the Champions League this year, and none have finished with more than two goals scored. Some of that’s been bad luck, as the expected goals (xG) numbers suggest there should’ve been more, but that inability to find the back of the net combined with Madrid’s defensive prowess has me eyeing that plus money on the under. The Pick: Under 2.5 (+125)

Manchester City vs. Real Madrid

Date: Wednesday, April 17 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Watch: CBS/Paramount+

I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from what happened in the first leg. If you didn’t read last week’s column, I bet the less than 2.5. The first fifteen minutes of the match were over, and the final score was 3–3, with a total xG of 1.58. It’s just one more brilliant illustration of the spree we’ve been on here.

Anyway, let’s get started with the contest. I realize this will seem ridiculous, but there are instances when ignorance is the highest form of wisdom. Is it really expected that Manchester City will be eliminated from the Champions League at such an early stage? It’s Real Madrid, I know, but the first game was crazy. It’s unbelievable to me that Madrid will experience the same bounces in Manchester as they did at home. Since City hasn’t dropped a game at home this season, I don’t expect them to begin on Wednesday. The Pick: Manchester City (-150)

Bayern Munich vs Arsenal

Date: Wednesday, April 17 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Watch: Paramount+

It’s been a rough week for Arsenal. Bayern Munich looked like a dead team walking when they came to London

although they were able to secure a 2-2 draw in the first leg last week. Then, on Sunday, Arsenal fell to Aston Villa 2-0 at home. They might not win the Premier League as a result of this defeat. They now face a real chance of having their Champions League journey end when they travel to Germany.

Right now, I have negative feelings about both of these teams. When neither team seems to be performing well, it can be difficult to predict who will win, but you know what happens to teams when they aren’t playing at their best? Permit objectives. Unlike the City-Madrid match, the four goals scored in the first game weren’t coincidental.Option 1: Above 2.5 (-150)

League Play 52-55 -0.56
Champions League 7-13 -10.06
Overall 59-68 -10.62

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