Champions League Group H has no clear favorite, with three teams clearly in the running for Last 16 spots.
The last group of this season’s Champions League, Group H, may not be as exciting as some of the other ones, but it doesn’t mean that punters, who bet under Portuguese gambling laws, will not be able to find rewarding odds when it comes to wagering on its participants.
Porto may have placed only third in the Portuguese league last season, and had to go through play-offs to grab a place in the Champions League, but they are once again here and that’s what counts. Atletico Bilbao knocked out Napoli to be with the big boys, while BATE had to go through Slovan Bratislava to ensure this year’s Champions League participation. And only the Ukrainian champions, Shakhtar, have made it directly into the groups.
Champions League Group H participants and betting
Champions League Group H trivia and betting odds
• Online sportsbooks in Portugal prepare for Champions League betting action
• Porto will try and make up for last year’s exit at group stage
• Atletico Bilbao returns to Champions League following a long absence
The last time Atletico Bilbao have been in the Champions League was back in 1998/1999 season, when they were knocked out at group stage, but have recorded a decent result of 1 win and 3 draws besides the 2 losses. The Spaniards literally have nothing to lose and will certainly give it all to make an impression in the League, making them really dangerous to any of the opponents.
As for those who bet on sports in Portugal, wagering on Atletico might lead to some great rewards, provided the team does well in the groups. They are actually second in line to win the group with generous 2.87 odds from Bet365. Atletico’s chances of winning Group H are valued with a line of 1.50, but the group is too complicated to consider that a sure bet.
BATE have already been to Champions League group stages twice in their history, but failed to go any further than that. They way to this season’s groups wasn’t easy, placing some extra confidence in the manager and players that this might be the year they make it to the knockouts, their fans certainly think so.
However, looking at the odds at online sportsbooks in Portugal, the Belorussian team are considered to be underdogs with a massive 8.50 line to even qualify from any of the two spots. Their odds on winning the group are even worse: BATE are given a line of 29.00 from Bet365 to come out on top of everyone else.
Porto are of course no strangers to Champions League, with two titles already in their bag, the latest one coming in 2003/2004 season. The Portuguese squad are pretty consistent participants of the League, but last season were knocked out at group stage only to go until the quarters in Europa League. Porto are hungry to prove they deserve more and are naturally the favorites of the group.
Bet365 gives them a short line of 2.25 to win Group H, and this might be the best wager for punters, considering it’s got a lot of value at this point. Their odds on reaching the knockout stages from any of the two available spots equal to 1.44, and there seems to be no reason why Porto should miss out on Last 16 for the second time in a row, especially considering the competition this year.
Last, but certainly not least are the Ukrainian champions, Shakhtar, who caused quite a commotion back in 2010/2011 season when they’ve reached the quarter-finals, but had nothing to put against the mighty Barcelona who went on to win the trophy that year. Shakhtar are now consistent Champions League participants, but last year were knocked out at groups stage, and will definitely be looking to take revenge.
Bet365 values Shakhtar’s chances of qualifying from any position at a decent line of 1.61, but punters should bear in mind that there are two other teams with pretty similar odds, so the competition here will be tough. Their odds on winning the group are equal to 3.75, and should they score some valuable points against both Porto and Atletico, then this scenario is quite a plausible one.
Betting on the first matches in Group H
Group H openers will also be hosted next Wednesday, September 17th. Porto are hosting the group outsiders BATE and will certainly be looking to take all three points from the home game. Bet365 confirms their favorite status with a short line of 1.22 giving the visiting squad long odds of 13.00, and valuing the draw at 5.75 meaning it’s also highly unlikely.
Looking at the line for the correct score, it’s obvious Porto is favored to score, and score a lot. 1-0 in their favor will be paying at 5.00, while 2-0 brings 6.00 payout, and even 3-0 is highly likely with 7.00 odds from Bet365. The Belorussian team are in an opposite situation, but should they win the game with 1-0 their faithful punters will be enjoying 29.00 payout, not bad for a single game.
Atletico Bilbao will be taking on Shakhtar in their opener. Should any of the teams win this game, they will make a very serious step towards qualifying. However, the home turf advantage for the Spaniards should be enough for them to overpower the Ukrainians. Bet365 gives them 1.95 odds compared to a longer line of 3.80 for Shakhtar and 3.50 for the tie result.
1-1 draw or 1-0 for Atletico are regarded as the most probable outcomes paying at 6.50 and 7.00 respectively. 2-0 win for the Spaniards pays a bit higher at 9.00, while the 3-0 success will already bring a long line of 17.00. In case Shakhtar manage to beat Atletico 1-0, their punters can collect at 10.00. The 2-0 success for the Ukrainians pays a lot more – at 19.00 odds from Bet365.