Wednesday's Champions League betting cheat sheet

Sep 16, 2013 |
Wednesday's Champions League action features a few more intriguing matches than what we saw Tuesday. The "Group of Death" opens with a pair of tasty matchups as does Group H, which could be called "Group of Death 2" as it features Milan, Barca, Ajax and Celtic.

Napoli v Borussia Dortmund (+200, +240, +150)

Why bet Napoli: No Cavani? No problem! Napoli is on top of the Serie A table after a blistering start in the league. Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaín has filled the void left by Napoli hero Edinson Cavani who left for the riches of PSG. Higuaín has tallied a pair of goals and an assist in his three Serie A appearances and may have resurrected memories of another Argentine legend who played for I ciucciarelli. Napoli may have lost Cavani and Levezzi over the past couple of seasons, but the free-flowing attack still exists with players such as Lorenzo Insigne, Marek Hamsik and José Callejón maintaining the tradition of beautiful football being played at the San Paolo.

Why bet Dortmund: Well, they did get to the final of the Champions League last season and even though playmaker Mario Götze left for bitter-rivals Bayern Munich, they have seemingly not missed a beat. Götze was replaced by the exciting Henrikh Mkhitaryan and they added winger/striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from French club Saint Etienne and are arguably better than last season. They sit atop the Bundesliga table having won all five of their matches and play some of the most beautiful football in Europe. Whatever the result, this promises to be a match full of awe-inspiring, attacking play and a ton of skilled playmakers and scorers.

Key betting note: Napoli have not won any of their previous seven matches against German opponents in European competition (2 draws, five losses).

Marseille v Arsenal (+200, +240, +150)

Why bet Marseille: Marseille will be in tough with the Gunners in town and have not been in the best form in Ligue 1 with a draw away to Toulouse and a loss at home to Monaco. But this is a side that has talent and determination. L'OM have one of the best strikers in French football in André-Pierre Gignac who is a handful for any club. Playmaker Mathieu Valbuena might be small in stature but is a dynamic passer of the ball in the final third. Stade Vélodrome is one of the most hostile envirnoments on the continent and can be an intimidating place to get a result. But, quite frankly, Marseille just don't fare well against English sides. They have won just one of their previous nine CL games against teams from across the Channel. That was against Chelsea in 2010.

Why bet Arsenal: This could be brief and just say, "because they have Mesut Özil", but the Gunners have actually played some great football to start their Premier League campaign and are much more than their new German playmaker. Striker Olivier Giroud has found the form that he had when he led Montpellier to the Ligue 1 title in 2011-12. Giroud has four goals in four matches in the EPL and has also notched an assist. However, he is not confirmed to play Wednesday, though he himself said that his ankle was fine. Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey has seemingly begun to live up to his potential. The 22-year-old is playing the best football of his career and has cemented a place in Arsène Wenger's starting XI. Arsenal is playing in a way that is reminiscent of "The Invincibles" side that won the League title in 2003-04.

Key betting note: The Gunners were 1-0 victors the last time the the two clubs met in Champions League in the 2011-12 group stage.

Wednesday's other matches with odds:

AC Milan v Celtic (-200, +333, +700)
Atletico Madrid v Zenit St. Petersburg (-175, +320, +550)
Barcelona v Ajax (-700, +900, +1800)
Chelsea v Basel (-333, +475, +1100)
Austria Vienna v Porto (+700, +333, -200)
Schalke v Steaua Bucharest (-225, +350, +800)

Odds courtesy of Bet365.

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