On this week’s Football…Only Bettor host Kevin Hatchard and guests Mark O’Haire and Jake Osgathorpe preview Saturday’s Champions League final as well as the Championship, League One and Two play-off finals that take place across the season.
Look out for this week’s podcast treble at boosted odds as well as the weekend naps.
Listen here and read the summary of their bets below.
Champions League Final – Best bets for Man City v Chelsea
Man City v Chelsea
Mark: Chelsea are slightly under the radar due to their recent defeats in the Premier League. The first goal is key and, if Chelsea scored it, I would bank on them to see it through. But if City score first, Chelsea may struggle to get back in it.
I think it will be a similar game to the FA Cup semi-final between the sides, a tight match with few goals. Maybe there is an opportunity to get Chelsea on side with a half goal head-start at around evens.
Jake: Since Thomas Tuchel took over no team has been better than Chelsea in defence. But no team has been better in the Champions League, from a defensive standpoint, than Manchester City all season. The two sides are set up to cancel each other out so it will be fascinating.
I don’t think it will be high-scoring at all. Under 2.5 goals at 1.758/11 is about right and Both Teams to Score (BTTS) ‘no’ at 1.845/6 if you want a little more. If I had to pick the winner it would be City but there’s no value in the price.
Cards and shots
Mark: The referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz likes to let the game flow but he will hand out cards if required. He has awarded three penalties against City and was the ref who sent Pep to the stands in 2018 against Liverpool. Pep described him as “a special guy”. So that will be an interesting dynamic.
Over 40 booking points is odds-on which is where I’d have it. I like the look of Antonio Rudiger at 3/1 to get a card. He has looked seriously pumped up in recent matches and shown a tendency to get amongst it.
Kevin: Riyad Mahrez to have a shot from outside the box at 3.259/4 caught my eye as did Timo Werner for an assist at 5.04/1
Jake: Kevin De Bruyne for a card looks a bit big at around 4/1.
Kevin: I’m backing Chelsea at 3.02/1 to win the Champions League.
Mark: I’m getting Chelsea on side to avoid defeat in 90 mins and lift the trophy.
Mark: Rudiger to have a shot is 10/11. He had a shot in four of his last five matches.
Play-off finals 2020/21 tips
Championship – Brentford v Swansea
Jake: Brentford have been the best team in the Championship this season in terms of expected goals and I think the market has it bang on. They were more dominant than the 3-2 aggregate scoreline against Bournemouth suggests. The Bees will take the game to Swansea who will try to be compact and take the match into extra-time. I expect Brentford to prevail.
Mark: There are strong negative goals trends in Championship play-off finals. The first goal will be crucial. Swansea under Steve Cooper are very well compared and boast quality in forward areas. I suspect Brentford will be too strong so would consider backing them and under 3.5 at 2.26/5 with the Bet Builder. I will back 0-0 as the half-time score at 2.47/5. Play-off finals are rarely full of goals.
League One – Blackpool v Lincoln
Mark: This is the hardest of all the play-off finals to call. Blackpool are favourites and I can see why. They’ve been very good in the last six months and are very organised. But Lincoln showed a lot of character against Sunderland in the semi-final. Blackpool minus a quarter with the Asian Handicap is a way in for me.
League Two – Morecambe v Newport
Mark: Newport have big game experience and have been very impressive. But Morecambe have been remarkable under Derek Adams. The market expects goals but I’m not sure that’s right and No in the BTTS market appeals at around even money. Newport will be able to sit back and defend while Morecambe will be willing to contain and counter.
German Bundesliga play-off – Holstein Kiel v FC Koln
Kevin: This is a big game with a place in next season’s Bundesliga up for grabs. Koln lost the first leg in midweek and look tired. Kiel double chance or Kiel +0/0.5 goals at around about 2.0521/20 looks good value.