Matchday 3 of Champions League play begins today with an eight-game slate, six of those matches coming at 3:00 PM ET on Tuesday.
If you’re looking for some daytime action to quench your thirst before settling in for hours of Election Day coverage, we have a trio of bets you can place on your Champions League ballot and a bonus third-party selection that features a parlay that would pay +589 should it hit.
For my best Champions League bets, read on from here:
Atalanta vs. Liverpool
Outside of Real Madrid-Inter Milan, this could be the most entertaining match of the day as free-scoring Italian side Atalanta plays host to defending Premier League Champion Liverpool.
This will be the first-ever matchup between these two European clubs and they currently reside in the top two spots in Group D, so the winner of this match will be right on the doorstep of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Liverpool comes into today’s match with a four-match winning streak to take them back to the top of the Premier League table after a shocking 7-2 thrashing at the hands of Leeds United earlier this year. However, despite the recent winning stretch, Liverpool enters this match with a multitude of injuries to deal with, in particular the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara, and Joel Matip. Fabinho also continues to recover from a hamstring injury, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also expected to be absent from the Liverpool side due to injury.
These holes in the Liverpool defense should only create several opportunities for an Atalanta side that have scored 17 goals in six games of league play after leading all of Europe in goal scoring during the 2019/20 campaign.
Liverpool’s notoriously stingy defense has not shown up yet this season, as The Reds have surrendered 15 goals in Premier League play this season, a total that took 24 matches to reach last season en route to their first league title in 30 years. However, Atalanta also surrenders goals at a high rate, already conceding 13 of their own in league play thus far, thus the scoring could come in bunches in today’s match as well.
While Liverpool is the only side yet to concede a goal in Champions League play, I believe that run ends today when they face the best opponent they’ve seen yet in Atalanta. The result of this match is up in the air, but the scoring should still come throughout the contest. I am backing the Over 3.5 goals here at -117.
Prediction: Atalanta 2, Liverpool 2
Best Bet: OVER 3.5 Goals (-117)
Manchester City vs. Olympiakos
Manchester City returns home this afternoon to play host to Greek side Olympiakos in just the second-ever meeting between these two clubs.
Manchester City will enter today’s match with a banged-up squad and not a whole lot of ambition to go all out in this match as a date with Liverpool looms on Sunday. Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho, and Benjamin Mendy are all out today with injury, while Gabriel Jesus is questionable to play today.
This will require some creativity from Pep Guardiola if they are to manufacture much of an attack today.
Meanwhile, Olympiakos will be without three key players of their own as Mady Camara, Ousseynou Ba, and Hillal Soudani all tested positive for COVID-19 leading into this match, so a side that already figured to have its hands full at full strength will face an even bigger challenge now.
This has all of the makings of a match in which Pep will try to have his side get an early lead and suffocate their opponent to death as they coast into a massive weekend match with Liverpool. Each of the previous four City matches has stayed under the 3.5 goals number and I expect this to be no different.
Prediction: Manchester City 2, Olympiakos 0
Best Bet: UNDER 3.5 Goals (-167)
FC Midtjylland vs. Ajax
In what is essentially a virtuoso knockout match on its own, Danish side Midtjylland plays host to Dutch side Ajax that is currently ravaged by a COVID-19 outbreak hitting their squad.
Each club comes into their third Champions League match in desperate need of a win, as the two teams have combined for just 1 point.
Ajax faces an uphill climb entering the match as 11 players will not travel with the club to Denmark due to positive COVID-19 tests, including key players Andre Onana, Davy Klaassen, and Ryan Gravenberch, as well as team captain Dušan Tadić.
Fortunately for Ajax, it may not matter a whole lot as Midtjylland has been thoroughly outclassed in their first two matches against Atalanta and Liverpool, and have yet to notch a goal in group play.
The Dutch side is still unbeaten through their first seven matches in league play and sit atop of the Erediv table. Despite their squad challenges entering this match, they offer great value on the moneyline today when they would otherwise be heavier favorites.
I am backing the Sons of the Gods here to win outright at -136.
Prediction: Midtjylland 1, Ajax 2
Best Bet: Ajax ML (-136)
Bonus: RB Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich
In the bonus bet of the day, we’re going to back Bayern Munich to win on the money line at -305, but we will parlay it with the above three picks.
FC Salzburg has a respectable club, and they could very well factor into the mix of finishing in second place to Bayern Munich in this group, but Bayern Munich is just too much for the Austrian side to overcome, and I expect Bayern to cruise to an easy victory here.
Prediction: RB Salzburg 1, Bayern Munich 4
Parlay the Following: Atalanta/Liverpool O3.5, City/Olympiakos U3.5, Ajax ML, Bayern ML (+589)