Mere days separate soccer bettors from Europe’s single-biggest match – the UEFA Champions League Final. Hosted at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, the continental competition brings forth Manchester City and Inter Milan for the fixture. A win for Manchester City would help cement their legacy as a top side with the Premier League and FA Cup titles already to their names. For Inter, it’s a chance to pull off one of the great upsets of the competition.
As it stands, Manchester City is -225 to win the match in regular time and -550 to lift the trophy. Inter Milan is priced at +575 for the first 90 minutes plus injury time and +320 to lift the trophy – either at the end of regular time or after extra time. The draw moneyline is set at +360 with the total set at 2.5 goals, juiced -145 to the over.
UEFA Champions League Final Best Bets and Predictions
Total Under 3 Goals (-148) – BetRivers
The thought of stepping in front of a powerful Manchester City offense is certainly scary, but this match shapes up as a sneaky under spot.
Remember, finals tend to prove low-event. All of the last three UCL finals – including the Bayern Munich-PSG clash with a total of 3.5 goals – finished under this benchmark. History should repeat itself in this instance as both sides arrive in Turkey with outstanding defensive structures.
Starting with Manchester City, manager Pep Guardiola appears to have discovered a system limiting opponents’ ability to create. Using essentially five center-halves, City has limited Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to 1.08 expected goals per 90 minutes in four UCL matches, per fbref.com.
However, take out a Bayern Munich penalty, and the City average drops to 0.88 non-penalty expected goals per 90 minutes in those four fixtures.
Sample the two group stage matches against Bayern Munich, and bettors will find Inter generated more than 0.7 expected goals per 90 minutes. At the same time, Inter’s defense has largely proved the superior unit. In Serie A, the Nerazzurri have surrendered only 0.9 non-penalty expected goals per 90 minutes, again per fbref.com.
City’s offensive stats look scary, but it’s worth noting most of their prowess comes at the Etihad. In three UCL knockout legs played in Manchester, Erling Haaland and company generated 2.8 non-penalty expected goals per 90 minutes—the average drops to 0.77 non-penalty expected goals per 90 in the three away legs.
Combine those trends with the fact City prefer to build up slowly – they ranked last in the Premier League in direct speed – and Inter should do enough defensively for this game to stay under the total. Take under three goals so long as it remains available at -155 or better.
Both Teams to Score – “No” (-108) – FanDuel Sportsbook
Admittedly a somewhat correlative play to the under, but this has historically proved very profitable in Inter matches alone.
Through their 12 Champions League fixtures, only two matches have seen goals at both ends of the pitch. Sample just their two matches against Bayern Munich – the closest comparison to this Manchester City juggernaut – and bettors will find it high in both fixtures.
From the City side of things, both teams to score – “no” has proved slightly less profitable than Inter’s record but trends upward nonetheless. Only half of their last six UCL matches have seen at least one team fail to score, with seven of 12 overall in the Champions League achieving that feat.
However, this is simultaneously a City side that has conceded only two non-penalty goals in six UCL knockout legs, albeit against 4.9 total non-penalty expected goals. Remove the second leg against Bayern Munich from consideration – City owned a 3-0 aggregate lead and essentially had the tie wrapped up – and bettors will discover they’ve surrendered only two goals off 3.5 expected in the remaining five matches.
Based on those factors, take this prop market so long as it remains available at -125 or better.