After Manchester City finally made it to the top of the club football world with their long-awaited first UCL title back in May, it’s almost time to kick off Europe’s biggest club competition once again.
This year’s UEFA Champions League marks the last year of the current format. With talented squads up and down the competition, it should be a brilliant sendoff, so let’s take a look at the odds and identify some best bets before the action starts on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Champions League Bet of the Day
Read more about this UCL betting pick below, and be sure to keep up with our Champions League predictions.
Champions League Winner Odds 2023
UCL 2024 odds are current as of 1:30 pm ET on Sept. 15th, 2023, at DraftKings sportsbook.
- Manchester City (+200)
- Bayern Munich (+500)
- Real Madrid (+850)
- Arsenal (+1000)
- Barcelona (+1400)
- Paris Saint-Germain (+1600)
- Manchester United (+2000)
- Newcastle United (+2200)
- Atletico Madrid (+2500)
- Inter Milan (+2500)
- Napoli (+2500)
- AC Milan (+3500)
- Benfica (+4000)
- Dortmund (+5000)
- RB Leipzig (+5000)
- Lazio (+6500)
- Sevilla (+6500)
Stay up to date on the latest UCL betting tips.
Champions League Winner Best Bet
Real Madrid (+850)
Who else could it be? This is their competition, and with City criminally overpriced at just +200, implying a 33% chance of winning this wide-open tournament, Madrid is the best value on the board.
The field behind City looks as even as ever, and Madrid are absolute masters of this event; they always find a way to rise above the rest.
They’re led by manager Carlo Ancelotti, who is departing to coach the Brazil National team at the end of the season. Don Carlo is the most successful club manager of all time, having won the UCL more times than any other, and he’s also the only club boss to lead teams to a title in each of the big five domestic leagues; a UCL trophy would truly be the only appropriate sendoff.
The squad also looks as loaded as ever, even with former Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema heading to Saudi Arabia. 2022 UCL Final hero Vinicius Jr. is the main man now, and he’s playing above one of the most stacked midfields you’ll ever see.
Legends like Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are still around. Still, the young talent is astounding, featuring the likes of Fede Valverde, French duo Camavinga and Tchouaméni, and new acquisition Jude Bellingham, who has been absolutely fantastic to start the year.
Never count Los Blancos out in this tournament, and at +850 odds — a value — they’re our top soccer bet for the UCL market. they have the depth to make a sustained run.
Champions League Contenders
Manchester City (+200)
The value proposition for City is pretty simple: they just won the last edition of this competition, they kept most of the pieces intact, except for clutch midfielder İlkay Gündoğan, and domestically, they continue to look like the best team in the World.
Superhuman striker Erling Haaland is still racking up goals at a ridiculous pace, and Rodri is debatably the best-holding midfielder on the Planet. Summer additions Joško Gvardiol and Jérémy Doku look like great fits so far, adding some youth talent to the squad.
The big issue for City is the loss of Kevin De Bruyne to a significant injury. There’s no timetable for his return, and it looked pretty bad when he heartbreakingly went down on Premier League opening day.
With all due respect to Haaland, Pep Guardiola, and the rest of the squad, De Bruyne is what makes the City machine go. With him down and a tough potential Prem race with Liverpool, Newcastle, and Arsenal all gearing up to content, it might be hard for City to remain consistent in tournament play.
City does have some time to figure things out, though; their group, as usual, is the weakest in the tournament and will provide no resistance.
Bayern Munich (+500)
Usually, unlike City, Bayern benefits from a domestic title race that is essentially nonexistent. Still, last year, they were forced to fight down to literally the last second of the last day to secure the Bundesliga crown over Dortmund by goal differential.
The good news for Bayern is that with Jude Bellingham gone, among other developments, this does not look like a particularly elite Dortmund squad. Like City, they’re also in a very comfortable position when it comes to advancing through the group stage, so there’s no reason to worry about this team until at least the New Year.
Bayern filled a big hole from last year’s squad with Harry Kane after the club was clearly lacking a central scoring threat after the departure of Robert Lewandowski. It’s tough to say “Harry Kane” and “UCL contender” in a serious sentence together but curses aside. He’s a phenomenal fit for this team. He has immediately fit right in alongside the rest of the squad in Bavaria.
Kane leaving Tottenham and immediately snagging a trophy would be a World-class football story, and he’s got the team to do it; so many members of Bayern’s elite 2020 UCL winning squad are still around.
It’s jarring to see Arsenal listed as a top-four contender in Europe when they struggled to be top-four in England for so long, but even though they’ve been away from this competition for a while, they’re certainly one of the best squads this year.
There are valid concerns about such a young squad making a run against much more experienced groups who have been here before. Still, Mikel Arteta has gotten the best out of his men repeatedly, and they have a pretty easy group to work through and get comfortable with, so don’t be surprised if the Gunners shoot for the top.
This club may be cursed in Europe, but the current squad has every ability to turn it all around. They’ve built the roster the right way, centered around a young, talented midfield led by captain Martin Ødegaard and new arrival Declan Rice.
Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli headline a talented attack, with Leandro Trossard as a depth option. Balancing the UCL and a heated Prem chase will be a new challenge for this group, but there’s every reason to believe they’re up for it.
Champions League Sleeper
Paris Saint-Germain (+1600)
It feels incredibly uncomfortable to list PSG as an underdog, but they’ve fallen uncharacteristically under the radar, and with long odds, it’s a fair characterization. That being said, strangely, they may finally be in a position to get to the top of Europe. Lionel Messi and Neymar are gone, which is the reason for the decreased hype, but having fewer superstars fighting for the ball might help the squad flow.
Kylian Mbappé is at his best when he’s allowed to be the centerpiece of the attack- we’ve seen him positively take over matches with France and at Monaco before he came to Paris. With some good contributors behind him to help create chances, such as fascinating fullback duo Achraf Hakimi and Lucas Hernandez and tournament maestro Gianluigi in the net, this could be the year PSG finally gets their UCL title, as long as Mbappé sticks around all season.
Napoli were unquestionably the top side in Europe for much of last year. Still, an untimely injury to superstar striker Victor Osimhen contributed to their UCL downfall against fellow Italian side, UCL giants AC Milan. This year, Osimhen is back, but brilliant manager Luciano Spaletti has departed to coach the Italian National Team following the exit of Euro winner Roberto Mancini.
Even without Spaletti, Napoli has all the talent they need to contend; this team still ran away with the Serie A Scudetto a season ago. Along with Osimhen, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia forms one of Europe’s most fearsome attacking duos, topping off one of the most loaded teams in the sport.