FanDuel Soccer: Champions League DFS Helper for 3/10/21
|Fixture||Favorite||Over 2.5 Goals||Most Likely
|Barcelona at PSG||PSG (+130)||-240||Messi (-140)|
|RB Leipzig at Liverpool||Liverpool (+140)||-154||Salah (-115)|
We should get plenty of goals on this slate. No team is better than +240 to keep a clean sheet, and both matches carry implied odds of at least 60.6% to go over 2.5 goals. With Barcelona and RB Leipzig on the road and trying to dig out of big deficits, things could get away from them in a hurry if they start to go south.
The money match of the two is Barcelona-PSG as it's a whopping -240 to have three-plus goals. Paris won the first leg, 4-1, at the Camp Nou and put nine shots on target. Both PSG and Barcelona have a recent history of bottling it in the UCL, but this would be a new low for PSG if Barcelona come back in this one. The more likely scenario is that Barca have to play open and push for goals, which will leave space for PSG on the counter -- which is exactly we saw play out in the first leg as PSG ended up scoring three goals in the second half. We could get a wonky scoreline as oddsmakers think both squads -- PSG at -130 and Barcelona at -113 -- will go over 1.5 goals.
You may have caught wind of it -- Kylian Mbappe ($22; -115) was pretty special in the first leg, scoring three goals and looking dangerous nearly every single time he got the ball. Barcelona's back line -- even at full strength, which it's not -- just isn't good enough to cope with an in-form Mbappe, and he could very well tear Barca to shreds once again. After what he did last match, Mbappe will probably be overwhelmingly popular. I'll certainly consider fading him, but with Neymar still out, Mbappe should once again have total freedom to play in the left channel, which may be his best position and is where he found joy repeatedly in the opening leg.
But Mbappe doesn't even have the best goal odds in that match. That honor belongs to Lionel Messi ($24; -140). Messi was off it a bit in the first clash, taking just one shot -- a penalty which he scored -- as PSG dominated proceedings. But PSG are only +130 to win this match, so oddsmakers don't see the Parisians running rampant again. In a match in which PSG may be content to play more defensively and let Barca have the ball, Messi should create a few chances and offer his usual elite floor/ceiling combination. As mentioned above, Barca are -113 to score two-plus goals.
Everyone is going to want a piece of those two superstars, so being right on the other players in this match will give you leverage. Angel Di Maria ($15; +175) is my favorite secondary piece and is a superb point-per-dollar option. Di Maria missed the first leg but is expected to be fine for this one. His passing ability and pace should play well on the counter, and he's PSG's main corner taker. He could slot into the spot where Moise Kean -- who is out for this game -- played in the first leg, and Kean finished with a goal on three shots.
The Leipzig-Liverpool match is -154 to go over 2.5 goals, so we need some exposure to it, too. With Liverpool playing so poorly right now, things are at the point where I won't be surprised by whatever happens Wednesday. If the Reds lose 3-0 and go out, we can't be that shocked by it considering they're on a six-match home skid (although they aren't at Anfield Wednesday despite being the home side), which includes losses to Fulham, Burnley and Brighton. If Liverpool play well and win handily, I won't be taken aback, either, since they won 2-0 over Leipzig at a neutral ground in the first leg. They still have a lot of talented players, especially in attack.
I lean toward backing Liverpool in this match, because the Reds know that winning this competition is their only route to getting back into the Champions League next year. Jurgen Klopp's team selection last weekend, when he rotated heavily in the EPL, tells me they're putting all their eggs in this basket. They're -102 to go over 1.5 goals.
Mohamed Salah ($20; -115) has the same anytime goal odds as Mbappe and could get squeezed out a bit on this slate if the masses lock in both Messi and Mbappe. Sadio Mane ($18; +155) and Diogo Jota ($17; +180) have nice goal odds, too, though Jota is still working his way back from injury, with his start this past Sunday his first since early December.
WhoScored.com predicts Leipzig -- who are a slate-worst +128 to score two-plus goals -- will go with a front two of Alexander Sorloth ($12; +195) and Christopher Nkunku ($15; +290). Even though Leipzig got blanked in the first leg and put only two shots on target, they probably fancy their chances to make this interesting given Liverpool's woes.
Added time -- Mauro Icardi ($18; +120) has the second-best goal odds on PSG and should slip through the cracks after not doing too much in the first leg. ... Ousmane Dembele ($18; +230) is a decent secondary play from Barcelona, notching two goals and nine shots across his past three matches in all competitions. ... Antoine Griezmann ($17; +125) has the goal odds but looks like a long shot to start. ... Curtis Jones ($13; +440) has been getting forward more recently for the Reds and comes at a friendly salary.
The defender pool is pretty blah -- with Angelino's absence a big downer -- and I'd guess a lot of people try to save salary here in an effort to have as much cap room as they can for attackers. That could make Trent Alexander-Arnold ($15) less popular than he usually is. While Trent's form has been more miss than hit this season, he still handles some corner and free-kick work, and his +750 goal odds are noteworthy for a defender.
Elsewhere at the top of the defender salaries, Jordi Alba ($14) has been in fine form lately and will likely have a license to bomb forward early and often -- especially if Barca play three at the back -- as Barcelona need a lot of goals. Alba has registered two goals and an assist in his past four matches in all competitions, and his passes have led to eight shot-creating actions in that span. He's a fun stacking partner with Messi.
Lukas Klostermann ($7) and Samuel Umtiti ($8) are the expected starters with the lowest salaries. Their fantasy prospects aren't all that good, but the salaries alone make them appealing plays on a slate with the likes of Messi, Mbappe, Mane and Salah available to us. I prefer Umtiti of the two, but I won't be picky. The goal when using either of them is to get the attackers you want.
Added time -- Alessandro Florenzi ($10) put forth a good display for PSG in the first leg, creating two chances on his way to 9.5 FanDuel points. He should offer a respectable floor. ... Layvin Kurzawa ($13) has a shot on goal in four straight outings for PSG and totaled 14.1 FanDuel points in the opening leg.
Sometimes on these two-game slates, you can make a case for all four keepers. This is not one of those times. With no side better than a +130 favorite and no team with better than +260 clean-sheet odds, it's a mess. It is going to be imperative that whoever you roll with in net fits with the rest of your lineup. So don't use two PSG attackers as well as Marc Andre ter Stegen ($9).
The attack I'm most willing to fade is RB Leipzig's, which pushes me to Alisson ($13). Plus, he is the owner of those slate-best +260 clean-sheet odds, and the Reds are the second-biggest favorite (+140). We know Alisson is as talented as any keeper out there; the problem is trusting this current Reds defense. But we're going to have to be willing to overlook some things no matter which goalie we roster.
While oddsmakers do like Barcelona's chances to have a good showing, I don't think anyone would be too stunned if the Catalans implode if PSG score first. I mean, it's kind of their thing in the UCL the past few seasons. Keylor Navas ($11) has the best win odds and should have some decent save volume to fall back on.
Added time -- Liverpool's attack has been struggling for a while now, so you could do worse than gambling on Peter Gulacsi ($7), particularly if you load up on the Barcelona-PSG fixture and fade the Reds' attackers. ... Ter Stegen is really good, so maybe he puts in a top-class performance. But his floor behind this Barca defense is really low, as we saw in the first leg, and Barcelona are a slate-worst +400 to keep a clean sheet.