Liverpool welcomes Villarreal to Anfield Wednesday for the first leg of its UEFA Champions League semifinal matchup. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET. Below, we preview the Liverpool vs. Villarreal odds and lines, and make our best Champions League bets, picks and predictions.
Liverpool and Villarreal will try to live up to the same excitement as the other Champions League semifinal first leg, won by Manchester City 4-3 over Real Madrid.
Villarreal has knocked out both Juventus and Bayern Munich. It beat Bayern 2-1 on aggregate and Juventus 4-2 on aggregate.
Villarreal sits 7th on the La Liga table and is led by its defense which allows just .94 goals per game. It is led in scoring by 25-year-old Dutch F Arnaut Groeneveld, who has 10 goals in 23 league matches played.
Liverpool leads the EPL in scoring behind the league-leading F Mohamed Salah, who has 22 goals in 31 matches.
Liverpool knocked out Benfica 6-4 on aggregate in the quarterfinals and Inter 2-1 on aggregate in the Round of 16. It sits second in the EPL, having scored the most goals (85) and allowed the second-fewest (22).
Liverpool vs. Villarreal odds, lines, picks and predictions
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 12:32 a.m. ET.
- Money line: Liverpool -280 (bet $290 to win $100) | Villarreal +750 (bet $100 to win $750) | Draw +420
- Over/Under: 2.5 (O: -150 | U: +120)
Liverpool 2, Villarreal 0
Money line (ML)
Liverpool is the heavy favorite in this battle, and rightfully so.
I wouldn’t bet on them at -280, but I certainly wouldn’t bet against them either. Typically, I then look at the “both teams to score” odds, and you can get both teams to not score at -135, a price I don’t find much value in.
I’d prefer to play the total here.
BET the UNDER 2.5 (+120).
Villarreal has proven during its Champions League run that it is capable defensively.
In league play, it’s continued that trend. Against Bayern Munich, one of the best-attacking teams in the world, it allowed 1 goal through 2 games.
It drew Real Madrid, who City allowed 3 goals to Tuesday, 0-0 in both league matches and also drew Chelsea 1-1 through 120 before losing in penalty kicks. Its defense is sound and should be able to limit Liverpool.
The same can be said of the home side as Liverpool has allowed .67 goals per game in league play. Against Inter and Atletico Madrid, arguably the two best teams is has played in the Champions League, the Under 2.5 was 3-1.
This match should be a bit more slow paced for Liverpool than it was against Benfica, and for the value, I like the Under.
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