The Champions League Final is today, live from Madrid, Spain at 3 p.m. in the East. Liverpool vs. Tottenham for… that big cup with the ribbons. Just a couple of Premier League sides kicking it around for the biggest prize in club football. Best part? Those of you in New Jersey and Pennsylvania can bet on it. Here’s everything you need to know in our Champions League Final betting guide.
Where to bet
New Jersey still has by far the widest range of betting options, not the least of which includes iOS– which you still can’t bet on in PA yet. Here are your best bets:
As mentioned, you can’t bet on iOS in PA yet due to the fact that the only live sports betting app, SugarHouse, is still working to get in the iOS App Store (the mobile web won’t work yet). But for those of you with a desktop or Android, here’s where to bet in Pennsylvania:
Champions League Final odds
Odds from PointsBet
SugarHouse Sportsbook has Liverpool favored relatively easily at -115. Tottenham Hotspur is a huge value at +330. And like the zeroes on the roulette wheel, the draw is out there, looming, at +265 — remember, if you take one of these wagers, you’re taking it for the first 90 minutes plus stoppage time. If the match goes to extra time and/or penalties, that’s a draw for the purposes of this bet.
Where’s the money going?
Early betting action at DraftKings Sportsbook was predictably on Liverpool:
|Champions League Final|
|% Bets||% Handle|
WilliamHill tells us they are getting absurd action on Mo Salah to score in regulation at +150 .
How they match up
Mauricio Pochettino has worked small miracles with what is candidly a somewhat limited Tottenham Hotspur side. Spurs knocked out pre-tournament favorite Manchester City and knockout stage darlings Ajax to get here. Small wonder that his name tops a lot of managerial search lists around world football. As good as Poch has been for Spurs, Jurgen Klopp has been just a bit better for Liverpool. The Reds have more horsepower than Spurs, and it has shown. Liverpool chased Manchester City to the wire in the Premier League and overturned a 3-0 deficit against mighty Barcelona and Lionel Messi to reach this final. Liverpool was here last season too, losing to the lasts gasps of the most recent Real Madrid dynasty. Two Champions League finals in two seasons is no fluke.
It is true that Hugo Lloris is in possession of a World Cup winner’s medal from last summer. It’s also true that, from the moment that medal was put around his neck, the Frenchman lost some of his magic. But Lloris stopped a Sergio Aguero penalty in the quarterfinals and has ended the season in good form. Once again, though, the nod has to go to the Liverpool man. Alisson Becker has made every Liverpool supporter forget Loris Karius and believe that they are set at keeper for years to come.
Big Virg 🙌
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 30, 2019
Spurs’ defense is a classic “whole is less than the sum of the parts” situation. Individually, Davinson Sanchez, Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are all world-class players. But there’s a reason Spurs had to rely on small miracles in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds — they kept giving up goals, including four to City when Spurs entered the second leg with a goal in hand and should have played airtight defense. Liverpool was also leaky in the semifinal leg, conceding three times to Barcelona at the Camp Nou. But that was Messi in his place. Prior to the semifinal, Virgil van Dijk and crew had conceded only two goals over four matches against Porto and Bayern Munich. Defense wins championships, and Liverpool really defends.
It took a while, but we finally found the one place where Spurs has the edge. Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli are an absolute handful against any team. All due respect to pro’s pro James Milner, he isn’t capable of doing the things any of those three Spurs can do with the ball. Jordan Henderson has had an excellent season for Liverpool. However, the reason Georginio Wijnaldum was able to score two goals from the bench against Barcelona is because the starters hadn’t done much to that point in the match.
ADVANTAGE: TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 12, 2019
And, well, now we’re back to a lopsided advantage for Liverpool. Roberto Firmino would start for at least 15 Premier League sides. At Liverpool, even when he starts, he is decidedly the third scoring option behind Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. Spurs might have been in with a shout here if Harry Kane was fully healthy, but he’s not. Lucas Moura had the match of his life at Ajax to get Spurs here. There is little to no chance he can repeat that sort of magic in this spot.
BIG ADVANTAGE: LIVERPOOL
Over 2.5 goals is a solid bet
SugarHouse Sportsbook has the O/U for total goals set at 2.5 . That might seem low given that Liverpool and Tottenham combined for seven goals in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal matchups. Let’s take a look at their last seven meetings:
- 8/27/16: Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool
- 10/25/16: Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham
- 2/11/17: Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham
- 10/22/17: Tottenham 4-1 Liverpool
- 2/4/18: Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham
- 9/5/18: Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool
- 3/31/19: Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham
Five games over 2.5 and only two under 2.5. Since 2010, six of eight Champions League finals have gone over 2.5 goals, with only two matches (2012: Chelsea v. Bayern Munich, 2016: Real Madrid v. Atlético Madrid) having gone under 2.5. In both cases, those matches were decided in a penalty shootout.
Should Harry Kane start the #UCLFinal?
Explain your answer.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) May 31, 2019
A pair of returning players could make the difference
As of Friday night, Roberto Firmino is expected to be in the 18 for Liverpool, while Harry Kane has been declared fit by Pochettino. SugarHouse has Kane listed at +500 odds -the best mark for his squad- to be the game’s first goal scorer, while Firmino has Liverpool’s fifth-best odds to score first (+575).
Liverpool tends to lead at halftime
In the teams’ two matches this season, Liverpool has led 1-0 at the half. PointsBet has Liverpool leading at the half listed at +146 . Think Tottenham has a chance to lead? Think again. In their last nine matches between domestic league play and the Champions League, Tottenham has led at halftime just twice. Prior to their final game in the EPL this season, you’d have to go back to April 13th to find Tottenham ahead after the first 45 minutes.
It’s tempting to put a unit each on Tottenham Hotspur and the draw. By doing so, you lose one of the bets, but you earn a return of either more than double or more than triple your money on the other one. You don’t even care if Spurs lose after the 90 minutes! Here’s the thing, though: Temptation is usually something to be resisted. Liverpool played in this final last season and can draw from that experience. Moreover, Liverpool’s season will almost certainly be viewed as a disappointment if they lose this match as reasonably heavy favorites. As noted above, Liverpool usually draws blood early and they have the keeper and the defense to hold a lead. Take Liverpool at -115 . And if you’re feeling frisky, throw another unit at Liverpool AND over 2.5 goals at +225.
Enjoy the match and the action.