Champions League best bets, schedule, picks: RB Leipzig offering value against favored Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid will take on RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals on Thursday night in Lisbon. Madrid enter the match as a heavy favorite, and many believe that its path to the final is pretty clear.

But is it as easy as it seems? I’m not so sure, and to find out why continue reading to see my three favorite plays for this match.

All odds via William Hill Sportsbook.

1. RB Leipzig (+235)

If Diego Simeone is reading this, I hope he doesn’t take it personally. I love his teams, I love the way they play, and I love the way he wears black shirts with black jackets and black ties. He’s a man truly after my heart, and I think his side wins this match more often than not. It’s just, I don’t think they win often enough to pass up taking Leipzig at +250.

Leipzig is getting a discount because Timo Werner will not be playing. The team’s most dangerous offensive threat (his 0.71 xG per 90 ranks ninth among all players in Europe’s top five leagues) is with Chelsea now, but I don’t think that’s as big a blow as you’d assume. Werner’s entire game is built upon his speed with the ball at his feet and the ability to beat defenses back on the counter. That’s not nearly as effective against Atletico Madrid. In fact, it plays into their hands a bit. Patrick Schick (0.43 xG per 90) might be a better “fit” for what Leipzig will need in this match, and he’ll be starting in Werner’s place.

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On the other side, Atletico will be without Angel Correa. He was one of two players to test positive for COVID-19 recently. Correa’s seven assists this season in all competitions lead the team, and his absence will be felt. I believe Correa’s absence could hurt Madrid more than Werner’s will Leipzig.

So while I think Atletico Madrid win more often than not, there’s enough at play here to make Leipzig an excellent value play at +250.

2. Diego Costa to score a goal (+175)

While we’re making a value play on Leipzig, we still have to face facts. The fact is Madrid are more likely to win than not, and it’s going to take at least one goal to get there. I like the odds of Diego Costa finding the back of the net. Alvaro Morata is Madrid’s biggest goal threat, but I don’t like the value on him at +138 nearly as much as Costa.

Costa’s yet to score in the Champions League this season, but he’s had chances. His luck just might begin to even out on Thursday.

3. Thomas Partey to be carded (+188)

Ain’t no Partey like a Thomas Partey cuz a Thomas Partey don’t stop getting carded at an alarming frequency. The Atleti midfielder has picked up 16 yellow cards this season in all competitions. He’s a player with a job to do, and sometimes that job involves tackling an opponent with his entire body. Given Leipzig’s penchant for countering, I wouldn’t be shocked if Partey finds himself in a position where he’s asked to do the job one more time.

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So who wins Atletico Madrid vs. RB Leipzig? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the RB Leipzig vs. Atletico Madrid money line has all the value, all from the proprietary European soccer model that’s up an eye-popping 13,800 percent.

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