Champions League Betting Guide: Tuesday 4/11/23

The Champions League quarterfinals get going on Tuesday with a pair of first-leg matchups.

Using the soccer odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, where can you find betting value?

Let's take a look.

Please note that lines are subject to change after this article is published, which impacts betting advice. Check FanDuel Sportsbook to see the most updated numbers.

Bayern Munich at Manchester City

Under 2.5 Goals (+126)

New Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel has had some success against Manchester City's Pep Guardiola, most notably when Tuchel's Chelsea topped City, 1-0, in the Champions League final in 2021 -- a match in which Tuchel's 3-4-2-1 (or 5-2-2-1) formation flummoxed City and held Pep's side to just one shot on target.

I think Tuchel can frustrate City once more -- although he's played four at the back in all of his Bayern matches thus far -- and that's a big reason why I like this match to stay under 2.5 goals.

But it's not the only reason.

City aren't as potent as they've been in years past. In Premier League play, their expected goal (xG) differential +1.37 per 90 minutes -- according to FBRef -- is well off the +1.68 mark they posted a year ago. Despite adding all-world striker Erling Haaland to the mix this season, City's attack hasn't lived up to its 2021-22 standard, generating 2.1 xG per match, a shade off their 2.3 clip from last season.

Bayern, in their first year sans Robert Lewandowski, also haven't been as good in attack as they were last season. Bayern produced 2.6 xG per match in the Bundesliga last year, and they're down to 2.2 xG per outing this season.

City have played some wild, goal-filled affairs in the UCL knockout stages in recent years, going out to Real Madrid last season in a two-legged semifinal that saw a whopping 11 total goals. But I don't see that type of match unfolding on Tuesday. Tuchel has shown he can keep City quiet, and with neither attack firing on all cylinders this year, I like this bout to be a cagey affair.

Inter at Benfica

Benfica Moneyline (+115)
Benfica First-Half Moneyline (+175)

Benfica are having a special season, and I think the market is sleeping on them a bit.

It's always tough to judge a team from a lower league like the Primeira Liga -- which is considered to be outside Europe's big five domestic leagues -- when they come up against a quality side from one of the power leagues. That can work in our favor, though, as it creates volatility and a sense of uneasiness when trying to project this match.

Benfica have been utterly dominant domestically this season, winning 23 of 27 matches in Primeria Liga while suffering only two defeats. They've amassed 67.2 xG with an expected goal differential per 90 of +1.85. Both of those numbers are better than the marks -- by a wide margin -- for all of the teams across Europe's big five leagues, but, of course, Benfica haven't played as tough of a schedule domestically as Europe's other top sides have.

With that said, Benfica have brought the goods when they've had a chance to take on a top team. In the UCL group stages, they beat Juventus twice and drew twice with PSG. The combined score by xG over those four matches was 8.1-5.4 in favor of Benfica (including 2.6-2.2 in the two clashes with PSG). Club Brugge aren't a top-tier side, but Benfica absolutely beat the crap out of them in the Round of 16, advancing by a 7-1 aggregate score.

This Benfica side is legit, and they're catching Inter at a good time as Inter have gone six straight matches in all competitions without a win. Inter squeaked by Porto -- a Primeira Liga side that is seven points behind Benfica -- by a 1-0 aggregate score in the Round of 16, but they lost the xG battle 2.5-2.0 over the two legs.

Give me Benfica to win at +115, and with how big of an occasion this is going to be for Benfica and their fans, I expect Estádio da Luz to be unhinged and for Benfica to come out flying, which is why I'm also backing Benfica to win the first half (+175).

Player Props

Joao Mario to Score or Assist (+140): Mario is Benfica's first-choice penalty taker, and he's got 17 goals with 6 assists in domestic-league play. In the UCL, he's netted six goals with two assists. If Benfica score, which I think they will, there's a pretty decent chance Mario is involved.

Leon Goretzka to Be Booked (+410): This is a bit of a dart throw, but it makes some sense. Goretzka has been carded four times in 18 Bundesliga starts, and opposition midfielders against City usually get a workout. He could find himself in some tricky spots, and all we need is one bad challenge.