Champions League Matchday 1 – Best Bets and Predictions

uefa champiosn league soccer trophy
UCL Trophy Tour wrap party at Pier one in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Gladstone Taylor/Getty Images Latam/AFP

The world’s most prestigious domestic soccer tournament returns on Tuesday, September 6, as the UEFA Champions League of the 2022/23 season begins its Group Stage Matchday 1 fixtures.

The Champions League betting odds are widely available as we return with our carefully selected UCL best bets and free betting predictions.

Continue reading for our Champions League Group Stage Matchday 1 betting advice, soccer analysis, and free UCL betting picks for the midweek fixtures involving Celtic vs. Real Madrid and Sevilla vs. Manchester City.

Celtic vs. Real Madrid

Tuesday, September 06, 03:00 PM EDT at Celtic Park

Team News and Game Facts  

• Celtic have scored at least 2 goals in 9 of their previous 10 UCL home fixtures.

• Real Madrid has seen 9 of their last 10 Champions League meetings produce over 2.5 goals.

• Celtic and Real Madrid will meet for the first time in their club’s history.

A Long-Awaited Return for the Bhoys

Following the success of Rangers during the 2020/21 Scottish Premier League, Celtic’s long reign in domestic dominance was halted.

However, after regaining the Scottish title in their 52nd crowning last season, the Bhoys were directly positioned back into the Champions League group stage for the first time in five years.  

While their Matchday 1 meeting is notably versus last year’s UCL champions, Celtic haven’t shown hesitance in their domestic league beginnings, winning all five of their fixtures since the resumption of Scottish Premier League action.   

The Defending UCL Champions

After breaking the hearts of Liverpudlians during last season’s Champions League final, Carlo Ancelotti and company will return to defend their crown. They’ll undoubtedly envision Celtic as one of the easier-than-draws to begin their title defense.  

Los Blancos delivered a perfect season last term, winning the European Super Cup, La Liga, and Champions League trophies.

And although the summer break can often dismantle a team’s form, that isn’t the case in Madrid, as they’ve been successful in all of their outings to date.   

Celtic vs. Real Madrid: Odds and Best bets

The available UCL odds naturally favor the defending European champions, but we shouldn’t be surprised if we witness Celtic defend their home turf as prideful British teams often do.  

With that said, moneyline wagers aren’t the position I’m favoring. Goals have been regular for both teams in recent months, including a 9-0 success for Celtic when they faced Dundee, and Madrid front-runner Karim Benzema has already netted 3 goals away from home.   

Over 2.5 goals at -140 feels like a bargain, especially when Champions League fixtures are renowned for delivering goals, and both of these squads possess multiple threats in the final third.

Score Prediction: Celtic 1 – Real Madrid 3 

Soccer Pick: Over 2.5 Goals (-140) [140$ stake returns $100 profit] at FanDuel

Sevilla vs. Manchester City 

Tuesday, September 06, 03:00 PM EDT at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium

Team News and Game Facts  

• Sevilla has lost 12 of their last 16 games in all competitions.  

• Erling Haaland is the Premier Leagues top goalscorer.  

• Sevilla has lost 2 and drawn 1 in their La Liga fixtures this term.  

• Manchester City has won 4 and drawn 1 in their Premier League meetings this term.    

Downtrend in Sevilla

2022 hasn’t been a kind year to the Sevilla faithful, as their club is producing a severe lack of results with 12 defeats in their previous 16 top-flight meetings.

And when Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui saw his team draw Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League group stage, he probably felt like he couldn’t receive a worse fortune.   

While the La Liga season is likely the most important focus for Lopetegui and company, it hasn’t returned much success for this Sevilla squad, who’s now lost 2 of their 3 opening fixtures. In addition, their two defeats came against Almeria and Osasuna, two squads who should have provided Sevilla with a good chance of claiming three points.   

Guardiola Wants the European glory                                

Could Pep Guardiola and Manchester City be cursed? Their domestic success wouldn’t suggest so, but after losing the Champions League final in 2021, to then return last season with a semi-final defeat to Real Madrid. 

However, Guardiola is a superior tactician. When he acquired Erling Haaland during the summer transfer window, he made it known that his team’s goal-scoring efforts would rise even higher than they already were.    

Sevilla vs. Manchester City: Odds and Best Bets 

The available UCL odds give Manchester City a significantly higher probability of walking away with all 3 points, but the juiced moneyline isn’t enough value for my liking.  

Instead, expecting the Citizens to score at least two goals is a probable outcome I can get behind.

The attacking prowess of Manchester will welcome a visit to Sevilla, and Guardiola will want to enforce his presence in the competition from the onset.   

Score Prediction: Sevilla 0 – Manchester City 3 

Soccer Pick: Manchester City Over 1.5 Goals (-180) [180$ stake returns $100 profit] at Caesars