The Champions League group stage draws to a close this week and it is a strange time of year for sports betting fans. Some teams have already qualified, while others have already been eliminated, and there is little motivation for either group to try to win games. But a few teams are battling for survival and it is these games that offer real value to punters:
Benfica v Basel
You can get huge football betting odds on an away win in this game, which is strange because Basel beat Benfica 5-0 earlier in qualifying. Benfica have lost all five games so far and they are certain to finish bottom of the group, leaving them with no need to try to win this game. Basel meanwhile are neck and neck with CSKA Moscow on nine points and will be desperately trying to take all three points to ensure they reach the last 16. You can get 17/11 with Unibet and 6/4 with Paddy Power, Betfred, Bet Victor and various others on a Basel win in this game and that looks extremely appealing.
Olympiakos v Juventus
The Italian champions need a win here to ensure they will follow group winners Barcelona into the knockout stage. They started the season sluggishly but have returned to their imperious best in recent weeks. Juventus put in a magnificent performance at the weekend to beat Napoli 1-0 and close the gap on the league leaders to just one point. That was their third clean sheet in a row – a run that includes a game against free-scoring Barcelona – and they should be able to shut out Olympiakos in this game as Giorgio Chiellini and Medhi Benatia are in excellent form at the moment. The Greek team are also are dead and buried and have no hope of qualification, so they should roll over in this one. Juventus to win to nil is 5/6 with Bet Victor and that looks a great bet as the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala can gun them down.
Man Utd v CSKA Moscow
Man Utd know that all they need to do to finish top of their group is lose by no more than four goals to CSKA Moscow. There is next to no chance of that happening, so Jose Mourinho can afford to rest several weary players for this game. Utd expended a lot of energy in beating Arsenal at the weekend as they had just 26% of the possession and were swamped throughout the game. A Man Utd reserve team is still a dangerous opponent and CSKA Moscow are not exactly great on the road, but they could take advantage of Man Utd’s lack of motivation and them resting players. They desperately need a result as they hope to finish ahead of Basel, so they will certainly be up for this game. CSKA Moscow +1.25 Asian handicap looks a decent bet at 6/7 with Bet Victor.
Maribor v Sevilla
A win will take Sevilla into the next round at the expense of Spartak Moscow and they should be capable of achieving that in style. They beat Maribor 3-0 at home and the Slovenians have twice been battered by Liverpool, so Eduardo Berizzo’s men
should fancy their chances of racking up a hefty scoreline in this game. Victory over Deportivo at the weekend carried them up to fifth in La Liga and they should be good for a lucrative trip to the last 16 of the Champions League. Sevilla -2 Asian handicap looks appealing at 28/29 with 888 Sport as Maribor are the whipping boys of this group and are not expected to put up much of a fight on Wednesday evening.