Champions League Round of 16: Betting on the Favorites

The trending gap between Europe’s wealthiest teams and everyone else only continues to widen. In this, the 2021 edition of the UEFA Champions League, we find only one team in the Round of 16 who is not from one of the top five leagues. 

Favored teams in the tournament are the usual suspects, with just the slightest bit of variation. We have received the sportsbook’s consensus in the USA, with the German team Bayern Munich given the best odds of winning the competition. 

Bayern is followed closely by an English duo Manchester City and Liverpool. Munich are also currently the reigning champions in the tournament.  

Champions League Round of 16 Results

We now have our final 16 teams in the Champions League, with 15 of them representing the top five leagues in Europe. The leagues with the highest number of participants this year are Spain’s La Liga and the German Bundesliga, each of whom has four teams in the Round of 16. 

2020-21 Round of 16 League Participants

English Premier LeagueManchester City
Italian Serie AJuventus
German BundesligaBayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Monchengladbach
French Ligue 1PSG

The teams that finished first in their respective groups received a seeded advantage in the draw, meaning they got matched up against the teams who finished second.

However, the 16 teams in the playoffs are all incredibly strong, and no massive advantages were dealt. 

Champions League Matchups and Sportsbook Odds

As soon as the Round of 16 matchups were drawn, we received the first odds from USA sportsbooks on the games. In only three matchups were there no obvious favorites. In the other five matchups, sportsbooks have singled out a clear favorite and underdog. 

Now, let's take a look at the moderately equal matchups (with odds on each team to advance to the next round):

Naturally, the pairing of Barcelona and PSG stand out as both clubs are capable of reaching the Champions League Final in terms of potential. Actually, PSG was already there last season, losing to Bayern. 

A separate story can be written about how Neymar will play against his former and possible future club.

Matchups with obvious favorites:

Of the 16 teams who made it to the Champions League Round of 16, eight of them have never won a major European trophy in history.

2020-21 UEFA Champions League Favorites

In the long run of the 2020-21 Champions League, the Round of 16 draw hasn't changed anything globally. Of the obvious favorites, only the French team PSG was drawn against a strong opponent, so the chances of Tuchel's team to win are slightly reduced. 

Otherwise, nothing even remotely shocking in the sportsbook odds.

Odds for winning the 2020/21 Champions League and reaching the final

If we compare the odds of victory before the start of the Champions League group stage, then Real Madrid would not be considered in the top five (the odds before were around +1300). Instead, the team is replaced by Juventus. 

The Italian champions received a blessing after the draw, being matched up against Porto (the only team not from the top five leagues). It's worth noting that the team also made easy work of Barcelona even at their home stadium in the last game of the group stages. 

TeamChampionsReach the Final
Bayern Munich+260+138
Man City+380+163

2020-21 UEFA Champions League Top Scorer

Unlike the results of the tournament itself, there is no clear sportsbook favorite in the top scorer category. The Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, who finished with the most goals last year, has only scored three goals thus far. 

PlayerCurrent Goal TallySportsbook Odds
Erling Halaand6+300
Robert Lewandowski3+400
Alvaro Morata6+900

While Robert Lewandowski's three-goal figure looks like an anomaly at the very top of the favorites list. But Bayern is considered the main contender for victory in the Champions League, which means Robert will play the maximum number of games.

Even though the tournament has the likes of Neymar, Christiano Ronaldo, Messi, etc. all competing; there is instead another player sharing the top spot with Lewandowski. The other favorite is none other than the 20-year-old Dortmund striker Erling Halaand. 

It remains that the first games of the Round of 16 of the 2020/21 Champions League will be held on February 16, 17, 23 and 24. Will sportsbooks rethink their views on the favorites of the tournament? 

We are patiently waiting for the last month of winter.