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Chelsea-Barcelona: what the wise guys say

Apr 18, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

FC Barcelona v Granada CF - La Liga Getty Images

Never mind that today’s Champions League match is in West London, not nestled in the Blaugrana-striped Nou Camp; Barcelona is a fairly significant favorite heading into today’s first-leg semifinal.

Leo Messi and Co. are more or less a goal favorite as they stride confidently into Stamford Bridge for today’s UEFA showdown. (2:45 p.m. ET … Richard Farley’s running commentary gets going at ProSoccerTalk about 2:30)

And how about this for a bit of a bookie slight: Chelsea is saddled heavily with a whopping 4-1 odds of winning at its home ground. (At “+410,” a better would wager $100 to make $410 on a victory for the EPL side.) That’s not exactly rare for common-man teams facing a Euro heavyweight in league play. But Chelsea is, more or less, one of the Euro heavyweights, so the daunting odds resonate.

Champions League semifinal odds:

Game odds (without draw; the draw counts as “push”)

  • Chelsea + 1 goal (-125)
  • Barcelona -1 goal (+105)

Game odds (including draw)

  • Chelsea +410
  • Barcelona -155
  • Draw +310

Current odds to win Champions League

  • Barcelona …5/6  
  • Real Madrid … 11/4  
  • Bayern Munich … 9/2  
  • Chelsea … 9/1  

Hardly a shocker here, but Leo Messi (about 3.5 – 1) is far and away the heavy favorite for “first goal” today, followed by teammates Alexis Sanchez, David Villa, Cesc Fabregas, Cristian Tello and Pedro. So, yes, six players have better odds of scoring first today at Stamford Bridge than any of the men who actually earn a living at Stamford Bridge. (Didier Drogba has the best odds of any Chelsea man at about 9-1.)

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