The soccer betting road to the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff has come to a screeching halt for Leicester City, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, and (joy of joys, oh happy day) Barcelona – the latter of which may have made quite a few people who bet on soccer rather wealthier. This leaves Atlético Madrid, Monaco, Juventus, and Real Madrid – now the favorite to win their, how many is that now? Well, another UCL trophy – to continue on their quest to become the European champion.
Atlético Madrid +350
The good news for the mattress-makers is that by virtue of drawing 1-1 with Leicester (aggregate score 2-1) on Tuesday at Leicester City Stadium, they have advanced to their third semifinal in the last four seasons. As most Atlético’s matches, it was neither easy nor pretty but Diego Simeone and Co. seem to like it that way. The Red and Whites put on an impressive display of attrition as the local team threw everything and the kitchen sink at them. Someone is the Phil Spector of soccer and Atleti’s defense is his Wall of Sound. Atlético has nine straight clean sheets in UEFA Champions League knockout games at its Vicente Calderón home stadium. The bad news for the Argentine manager – and the few Madrilenians who bet on soccer counter intuitively – is that he will once again have to go up against his White Whale in the semis.
Real Madrid +170 (new sportsbook soccer betting favorite)
The Whites had to go into overtime to put away Bayern Munich but once there they did to the Germans what they once did to Atlético – that is, score three goals in extra time. Two of those goals were by Cristiano Ronaldo, who also scored at 76’in regulation to make it even in the after Bayern had led by one since 53’. Sergio Ramos’s own goal gave renewed hope to the visitors, but Real dug down deep to outlast and outscore the Teutons.
Real and Atlético will meet on May 2 at Santiago Bernabéu and on May 10 at Vicente Calderón.
AS Monaco +580
Monaco stole a page from Real’s book and eliminated the other German team left in the competition. Thus the French club has reached the semis for the first time since 2004, and became the first French team to do so since 2010. Though technically speaking Monaco is its own sovereign state which happens to be located in the French Riviera. Just sayin’.
Juve is another defensive behemoth and the best proof of that is that they kept two clean sheets against Barcelona in back-to-back games. To be fair, though, Messi and Luis Suarez fought tooth and nail to score. Well, more like tooth and tooth for Suarez, but you get the idea. One of the cornerstones of that defense is goalie Gianluigi Buffon who, in his decorated 21-year career has yet to win the UCL trophy. Juventus may not the soccer betting favorite to win it all at this juncture in time, but they are so in their semis matchup.
Monaco and Juve will meet on May 3 at Stade Louis II and on May 9 at Juventus Stadium.