Citizens are on the cusp of a marvelous “treble” title in the UK and Europe, potentially sweeping the 2022-23 Premier League, the Football Association championship, and the club championship of Europe all in one cycle. Of course, there are still ample challenges that City must overcome to win its first European title in the brand’s history, to say nothing of winning what some old-timers (and loyal fans of the Manchester derby) will consider an equally-important championship match at Wembley Stadium this weekend.
Should the “Big Grass Snake” of Inter Milan happen to slither into halftime with a lead in June 10th’s single-match showdown, the pressure of going 0-for in UEFA Champions League medal rounds throughout Sky Blues’ otherwise dynastic run could make the match in Istanbul nervier than June 3rd’s “remote-host derby” for the FA Cup. It’s fitting that after slowly, methodically grinding down Real Madrid for a 5-1 aggregate outcome in the semi-finals, Man City must now surmount a Serie A caliber back-line defense.
We’ll caution not go looking for a line that reflects strength-vs-strength gambling angles in the Champions League Final. Instead, the odds are cast more for a David vs Goliath meeting. Man City’s performance over the last 2-legged rounds of Champions League competition seemed to demonstrate that the team has left its UEFA doldrums in the past. Supporters were concerned when Sky Blues went into the halfway mark of Round-of-16 and semi-final matchups with 1-1 aggregate goals on the ledger, but the elite side performed clinics of scoring and defending in each decisive back leg, and is strutting onto the international pitch with renewed confidence.
FanDuel Sportsbook’s Odds on the 2023 Champions League Final
WagerBop’s job is to find inaccuracies in sportsbook odds. But whether it’s the savvy action of FanDuel’s high rollers, or the European soccer education of New York bookmakers, the site’s betting odds on the upcoming UEFA Champions League Final in Turkey are “stuffed” with almost nothing but reasonable, hard-to-beat gambling lines. It would be dishonest of us to report that multiple mistakes plague this Saturday’s all-important markets.
The underdog Inter Milan is most assuredly not a 6-to-1 pick at Italian sportsbooks. That doesn’t mean it’s foolish of FanDuel Sportsbook to offer Man City-to-win at (-230) money-line odds, since there’s almost no precedent for what City has accomplished in its amazing run to a possible “treble” this season. Pep Guardiola’s team has never won the European championship, as opposed to the brand’s litany of FA Cup triumphs already won going into last weekend’s Man United showdown. Legacy teams of Serie A have undoubtedly had more success in the Champions League Final than Man City, but the Istanbul setting could make Saturday feel equitably unfamiliar to both teams. Man City’s deep roster may give the team an edge.
The sportsbook is also fair in its pricey offerings for Champions League Final total-goals picks, as the line currently stands at (-138) odds. It’s not a sign of disrespect for the underdog Black and Blues, who may not have won Europe’s toughest league of back-line lineups in 2023, but finished the domestic season with a flourish and qualified for the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League (with or without a surprise victory on Saturday) ahead of vaunted Serie A brands like Juventus and Roma. Man City has simply turned what should have been a group of suspenseful, high-profile matches into easy victories this spring.
Winter was just beginning to subside when Sky Blues went into the back leg of a Round-of-16 battle tied 1-1 with RB Leipzig. Man City’s phenomenal striker Erling Haaland responded with a 5-goal tour-de-force to lead a thrilling 7-0 romp in the back-tie meeting. UEFA’s then-defending champion Real Madrid lost 0-4 to Man City under similar circumstances in this year’s semi-final round, and Bayern Munich fell by several goals in Bavarians’ last effort to conquer the EPL’s best too. Meanwhile, on domestic grounds, Sky Blues polished off Arsenal 4-1 in a critical match for top-table supremacy, and scarcely allowed a goal throughout the FA Cup. City beating Inter by 2+ might be the “normal” outcome in bookies’ brains.
One fault exists in FanDuel’s otherwise sharp betting lines for Istanbul, though, and that’s the sportsbook’s generous (+180) odds on Inter Milan to cover (+1) goal ATS in the Champions League Final.
Inter Milan Against the Spread is a Solid Saturday Pick
Black and Blues have not lost a match by more than a single tally in more than half of a calendar year, save for a recent Serie A visit to Napoli in which midfielder Roberto Gagliardini took a red card in the 1st half and hampered the design of Inter’s 5-across midfield. Inter’s shaky back-line outcomes of much earlier this cycle may swirl underneath FanDuel users’ stubborn reluctance to make underdog bets right now. Man City’s epic pace in transition play may be wearing down again, leaving the team’s depth in defending and striking quality alone to produce comfortable 1-goal wins while achieving the treble.
Not only did Man City score just 2 goals in 3 league matches while wrapping up the Premiership crown following April’s conquest of Arsenal, but İlkay Gündoğan carrying Manchester City in Saturday’s 2-1 win showed that Sky Blues aren’t keen on style points at this late date. Inter doesn’t have the all-time elite attack that could threaten Man City’s back line at the end of an otherwise cautious bout, giving Guardiola the chance to coast and wait out the remaining minutes of a slowing match a single-goal lead has already been secured.
WagerBop’s Pick: Inter Milan ATS (+1) (+180)
Kurt has authored close to 1000 stories covering football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, prize-fighting and the Olympic Games. Kurt posted a 61% win rate on 200+ college and NFL gridiron picks last season. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.