Champions League Final: Betting Odds, Preview and Prediction

Official 2013 UEFA Champions League Final match ball (Image via UEFA)

Champions League Betting Odds, Preview and Prediction

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund (FOX, 2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT): Quite often, UEFA Champions League finals make pretty poor betting opportunities but I strongly believe this year’s version is quite different and provides some pretty good chances to make some money in the last big match of the European season.

For me, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich (29-4-1, 98 GF-18 GA) have a better roster, more offensive firepower and a stronger defense than Borussia Dortmund (19-9-6, 81 GF-42 GA) which finished second to Bayern after winning the German league the previous two seasons.

So it’s that simple, right Gustav? Not quite.

For me, the big betting angle here, as far as choosing a side, is the motivation factor.

Bayern has been fueled by the bitter royal blue memories of what happened to them in this game last season in their own backyard, the Allianz Arena in Munich when Chelsea rallied for a late equalizer on an epic header by Didier Drogba and then painfully watched as the Blues won their first European championship on penalty kicks.

This brutal memory has helped Bayern coast to the Bundesliga title and on the way, set new league records for wins (29) and points (91). And one looks at Der FCB’s loaded roster, it’s easy to see why they’re here again and the oddsmakers favorites.

Bayern is led offensively by Mario Mandžukić (15 goals in Bundesliga), Thomas Müller (13), Mario Gomez (11), Franck Ribéry (10) and with studs like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Javi Martinez, Toni Kroos and Arjen Robben, among others at the disposal of manager Jupp Heynckes, there simply are no weaknesses on this squad.

Toss in a world-class goalkeeper like Manuel Neuer and it’s easy to see that Dortmund and manager Jürgen Klopp will certainly have their hands full on Saturday at London’s Wembley Stadium.

But Dortmund is no slouch and deserves to be here and Die Borussen—whose players average 23 years of age—has cruised through UEFA’s toughest tournament with surprising ease to get to this point to face a team it would have to now consider its biggest rivals.

For BVB, Robert Lewandowski (24 goals) is the straw that stirs the yellow-and-black drink but rumors he may join teammate Mario Götze (10) in a summer move to Bayern can’t sit well with Dortmund heading into such a big match.

Besides the talented Lewandowski and Götze, Dortmund also has players like Marco Reus (13 goals), Jakub Błaszczykowski (11), Łukasz Piszczek, Neven Subotić, İlkay Gündoğan and goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller so if anyone can hang with, or even upset the mighty Bayern, it’s Dortmund.

These teams have met three times this year with Bayern winning the DFB Supercup 2-1 on Aug. 12 and the two sides drawing 1-1 in Bundesliga action on Dec. 1 and May 4, the latter being a meaningless contest between the two clubs with Bayern having already locked up the league title and both knowing they would be facing each other in this, Europe’s biggest football game of the year.

Whereas goals were somewhat sparse in these three previous meetings, I see an early pace that kills with several quality shots on goal and both sides possibly scoring in the first 45 minutes.

Because of this potential pace and the fact both teams can leave it all out on the field and have at least four guys they can depend on to put the ball in the back of the net, I strongly suggest betting the total over 2½ -145. And do it now sister. The total opened at 2½ -125 here in Las Vegas at the LVH SuperBook and the over has been bet up to -145 already (Tuesday) suggesting that the 2½’s may be gone and eventually replaced by 3’s by gametime.

As far as backing the better side with a chip on its shoulder the size of Newfoundland, it just seems the logical thing to do although an upset is possible but not probable with Bayern knowing its opponent, being a little bit older and deeper and being haunted by that nightmare loss to Chelsea on May 19 last year in this game.

There are many ways to approach this match and I honestly believe this is one of the best betting opportunities in a Champions League final in quite some time. Seeking out a proposition line of “Will both teams score?” with the “Yes” at -150 seems more than fair and I would be highly surprised if Mandžukić and Lewandowski don’t each notch a goal for their respective sides.

BETS: Bayern Munich -125, Bayern Munich -240 (To win outright), Over 2½ -125 (LVH SuperBook); Both teams to score -150, Over 3½ +180, Exact score: Bayern Munich 3 Borussia Dortmund 2, 20/1 (Bovada).

PREDICTION: Bayern Munich 3 Borussia Dortmund 2

LAST WEEK: (5-2-0)

OVERALL RECORD: (116-91-3)

LVH SuperBook (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA), Bovada (Kahnawake, Canada)

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