The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals kick off in Lisbon on Wednesday with a battle between Paris Saint-Germain and Atalanta. Unlike previous years of the Champions League, due to COVID-19, this is not a two-legged quarterfinal. This one is winner-take-all and move on to the semifinals.

What fun would it be if the teams playing were the only ones who could win? We should get a piece of the pie for ourselves, and I have three plays I like for Wednesday’s match that could help us all accomplish it. I have a play on who I like to win the match (in regulation), as well as one on the total and a prop for fun. So let’s stop wasting time and get to it.

All odds are courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.

1. Atalanta (+250)

PSG are the heavy favorite in this match, and I understand why. It has a lot more firepower and recognizable names in its team, but many of those big names won’t be playing on Wednesday. Angel Di Maria (two goals, four assists in UCL) is suspended. Marco Verrati hampered with an injury. Then there’s Kylian Mbappe, the star of France’s 2018 World Cup title, and one of PSG’s most lethal weapons (five goals, four assists in 446 UCL minutes). PSG will still have Neymar, and that’s a great thing to have, but it’s a severe blow to the team’s attack no matter how you want to look at it.

Atalanta are dealing with its problems too. Josip Ilicic has scored 21 goals for Atalanta in all competitions this year, including five in the Champions League, but he’ll miss another match for personal reasons. That’s a significant blow to Atalanta, but this is a team that constantly attacks from everywhere on the pitch.

The other factor I like in Atalanta’s favor is that they have been playing. Ligue 1 ended its season in March, and PSG sat around for five months before playing a few friendlies and cup final matches. Serie A’s season resumed, and when it did, Atalanta found themselves with an outside shot at a league title and playing for a berth in next year’s Champion’s League. There’s a significant rust factor at play here with PSG, and we mustn’t look past how players adapt to playing in empty stadiums. For Atalanta, playing a huge match in an empty arena has become commonplace. For PSG, it’s a relatively new experience.

All of which makes Atalanta look like a worthy play at such a price.

2. Over 3.5 goals (+140)

Whichever side wins, I expect there to be goals and a lot of them. After a slow start to UCL play, Atalanta have scored 13 goals in their last four UCL matches, including eight in their round of 16 matches against Valencia. Atalanta have posted an average of 1.95 expected goals in the UCL overall. On the defensive side, they’re quite friendly as well. They’ve allowed an average of 1.73 expected goals as well, for a total of 3.68 expected goals per match.

PSG matches have been just as prolific, as they’ve averaged 2.09 xG per match. Defensively, PSG have been much better (1.0 xGA per match), but that could also be due to an easier draw in group play than Atalanta had.

Either way, given the typical approach of both teams, and neither side has to worry about an away goal tie-breaker situation, I expect both teams to be aggressive on Wednesday. We’re going to see plenty of goals.

3. Rafael Toloi to be carded (+170)

Atalanta play three at the back most of the time, and Toloi is somebody who often finds himself needing to save the day by just bringing somebody down. It’s a natural byproduct of an aggressive Atalanta approach that sees teams countering often. Toloi has already seen three yellow cards in 540 minutes of UCL action and tied for the team lead with 14 yellows in all competitions (Marten de Roon also has 14 but in 300 more minutes than Toloi). There’s a good chance Toloi will find himself doing whatever he has to do to stop a PSG counter on Wednesday.

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


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here