We are currently heading towards matchday 5 of 6 in the EUFA Champions League. In Matchday 4, some of the key highlights were an exciting back-and-forth 3-3 draw between Barcelona and Inter Milan, as well as a 4-2 thumping by Napoli on Ajax at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
As it stands, Ajax, Athletico, Barcelona, Sporting, Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sevilla, and Juventus are all in third place fighting for their spot in the last 16.
So, as we approach the halfway mark of the tournament, which Italian team poses the best chance of winning? With the help of UEFA champions league betting odds, we assess the situation below.
Bookmakers are very, very good at understanding probabilities. With a mix of algorithms and statistical analysis, as well as simply adapting to the demand of a bet from bettors (Wisdom of the Crowd theory shows how accurate public sentiment is), bookmakers rarely get outwitted. So, who do they have as the most likely Italian team to win the tournament?
Napoli is the answer here, and by quite some stretch. Napoli are currently 16/1 for outright winners of the tournament, which puts it around the 6% chance likelihood. This doesn’t sound great, but given there are currently 32 teams in the tournament, it’s not bad at all. For reference, Tottenham Hotspur is 20/1 and Chelsea is 14/1, meaning that Napoli is the 7th most favourite among all the teams.
The second favorite among the Serie A teams is Inter Milan, at 40/1, then AC Milan at 80/1, then Juventus at an eye-watering 500/1.
When it comes to the odds of any Italian team being the outright winner, the odds are 9/1.
Form and Picks
Unsurprisingly, it appears as if the odds reflect the current standings in Serie A to a degree, given that Napoli is first. But Milan is 3rd in Serie A, followed by Inter and Juventus 7th and 8th respectively. League form is a big factor in Champions League performance, but not always. So, we need to also look at their Champions League performance so far.
Napoli isn’t just undefeated in the domestic league, but also the European competition. Being placed in a tricky group, there would have been no doubt that Liverpool was favourite to top the group back in September. But, Napoli’s convincing 4-1 defeat over them cemented their chances as outright winners, as it appears they are coasting towards being group winners. We have to go back to April 24th earlier regarding their last loss.
At 8/1, Napoli is our pick. Given Inter’s poor league performance so far, there is a good argument that AC Milan are a better underdog pick because of the longer odds. At 80/1, AC Milan are essentially ruled out by the bookmakers, in part because they are third in their group. However, Milan’s league performance has been strong so far, and this will likely serve them better in the long run for Europe.
On November 2nd, Milan hosts Salzburg. At home and with every chance of winning, Milan will likely move into 2nd place in the group, putting them through to the knockout stage. From there, anything can happen. Having won the tournament the second most times (7), just behind Madrid, Milan will be comfortable heading into the later knockout stages with their strong league form behind them.
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