We’ve been without Champions League football in our lives for a little over two months but the Round of 16 gets under way starting Tuesday with a pair of games. We see another four teams in action on Wednesday including a contest between Porto and Juventus. Zack and I are going to get right into it and include our top plays for this match that sees Cristiano Ronaldo get the opportunity to play on his home country’s soil for the first time since Portugal’s 1-0 loss to France in mid-November.
Money Line: FCP (+260) | JFC (+103) | DRAW +220
Spread: FCP +.5 (-117) | JFC -.5 (-103)
Total: 2.5 (O +120, U -140)
Kickoff: 3:00 ET | Estádio do Dragão | Porto, PRT
Trent’s Analysis & Best Bet
I’m going to say this game will end in a draw for a nice payout of +220 for a unit. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Juventus looked to kind of take it easy in the first leg of the aggregate before turning it up at home on March 9th. Not too mention, Porto is no slouch. They’ve played excellent on the defensive end in UCL and domestically. In Primeira Liga they’ve played 18 matches as of this writing, allowing just 19 goals and during the group stage of Champions League they hunkered down and only conceded three times. So if you’re wondering why I wouldn’t just take the under or Porto to cover the half goal… I don’t know. I guess I’m just feeling a little bold and maybe need to take some more risks in my life. On the flip side, Juventus’ defense is on a roll. They’ve only conceded twice over the last seven matches (including Serie A, Coppa Italia, & Supercoppa Italiana). I think we’re in for a low scoring affair that’ll end 0-0 or 1-1.
Zack’s Analysis & Best Bet
My best bet for the match is Juventus’s team total going over 1.5 goals at +115. This Juventus team is far from the war machine that we’ve seen over the past decade and their positioning in Serie A, 4th and eight points out, is evidence of that. But to say that they’re not capable of coming back to win not just the league, but all of Europe, would be asinine. This club is still worth billions, is headed by Ronaldo, and have beaten Inter and Roma in their last five. A 1-0 defeat to Napoli on the weekend doesn’t inspire confidence, but the defending was up to snuff regardless. That being said, Porto is a good team but they aren’t Napoli, and Ronaldo won’t be having another early exit to a lesser side. I believe the Champions League is the highest priority this season and we should see I Bianconeri turn up the heat in Portugal. Two goals from this side isn’t much to ask and I think they’re very capable.