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Line-Movement and Betting Trends for the 2018-19 Champions League Final

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Sports handicapping lingo can be nifty. We’re even allowed to act as though “London” and “Las Vegas” are conscious beings, luring unwise bettors like sailors to a siren shore.

For instance, I might post, “What does Las Vegas think about Tottenham Hotspur?” Obviously, Las Vegas is a city – it can’t “think” anything.

Sin City’s collective of handicappers, high-rollers, and pundits sure do have a say in things.

I’ve lampooned long, drawn-out events such as the UEFA Champions League for calling itself a “league” when it’s really just a round-robin tournament that takes forever. But to grumble about that would be to miss out on the beauty of the Beautiful Game.

At least soccer superstars aren’t tied down to a single competition. The idea that Ronaldo plays in multiple “leagues” at once may be strange to some American fans but is actually the ideal scenario for a great athlete and his supporters. European football is often about redemption, of 2nd chances at glory.

When Mohamed Salah walked off the pitch to greet his daughter after Reds claimed a final, futile Premier League victory of 2018-19, it felt like an ending, a heartwarming finish to a thrilling and exciting season of soccer at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah

London and Las Vegas – ahem – the speculators in London and Las Vegas (and at sports betting sites on the World Wide Web) would beg to differ.

Football odds work in such a way that the bettor can find herself cheering for a club in the 1st half and then against the same side in the 2nd half. But as the June 1st UEFA final at Wanda Metropolitano draws closer, Liverpool supporters and gamblers appear to be 100% on the same wavelength.

Punters appear confident that Liverpool’s spring is just beginning.

Liverpool vs Tottenham: Reds a Popular ML Pick

The “Game Lines” for the Liverpool vs Tottenham final at Bovada Sportsbook are tilting ever-so surely toward Reds and against Spurs since opening at a (Even) moneyline on Salah and supporting cast. Liverpool is now a (-105) wager to win without penalties, while Tottenham’s payoff line has grown fatter at (+305).

Other sportsbooks are leaning even further toward Jürgen Klopp’s club. In the blog’s in-depth analysis of the Liverpool vs Tottenham final, we looked briefly at and its opening numbers on the Champions League gala. With time for the betting handle to grow, the site is now giving Reds (-111) to win while Tottenham’s ML has swelled to a (+320) payoff.

That’s a line to consider, especially when you consider Klopp’s history in final matches. I already liked Tottenham at (+290), though we know more about the injury situations now. (+320) is a bargain wager on a spirited football club in any case.

Glancing back at Bovada Sportsbook, it’s amusing how the Over/Under total for the final has developed over the last several days.

Typically, sites in our purview such as BetOnline or are rife with Asian Handicaps, which allow a bookmaker to set a total between a whole number and a halved fraction like (3) and (2 ½), giving partial payouts to certain gamblers if they wind-up close but without a cigar…kind of like those “stock market” betting options I’m always writing about.

Bovada Sportsbook typically posts less Asian Handicaps of goal spreads and O/U lines than most of its competitors.

When Bovada opened with a line of (2 ½) on the O/U for Reds vs Spurs in Madrid, I knew that the total was too low, and counseled Legit Gambling Sites readers to take the Over. Am I saying I had something to do with the current line-movement? No. Maybe, though, a lot of bloggers thought the same thing I did all at once. In any case, action on the Over appears to have swelled.

How did Bovada react? Why, with a current Asian Handicap of (2 ½, 3) total goals between Liverpool and Tottenham, of course. A very, very tempting (+115) payoff line is attached to the market.

Will Harry Kane Play in the Champions League Final?

It’s clear that the betting public is extremely skeptical of Harry Kane’s chances to play in the Champions League final in Spain, even though his manager is “optimistic” and the wunderkind was photographed jogging with teammates very recently.

Is it all a ruse? Spurs’ moneyline would be shrinking if Las Vegas didn’t think so (there we go again!) but even a Harry Kane at 75% could make a big difference on the pitch. Even as a decoy.

It’s not like the Reds aren’t having injury problems of their own. Prior to the miracle comeback against Barcelona, the 2nd leg of the Champions League semifinal resembled a demolition derby. Andrew Robertson was among those helped to the dressing room by medics. With the final in Spain only about a week away, the team has already announced that Guinean midfielder Naby Keita will miss the match, though things do seem a bit brighter for key attacker Firmino.

I don’t see any massive headlines or narratives that should be affecting line movement. Perhaps there’s just a natural tendency to lean to the favorite in such a gigantic event as a UEFA club final. Salah is a superstar whom we already know is healthy.

But is there a weird chain-reaction of under-valued clubs and outcomes that is taking place?

Spurs Didn’t Beat Sisters of the Poor in Amsterdam

Liverpool’s comeback win in the semifinal was over a marquee opponent and an icon, Lionel Messi.

Tottenham’s comeback win in its own semifinal was over a crazy upstart from the Dutch league.

Both victories were equally impressive. To my eyes, anyway.

Ajax, after all, was a UEFA semifinal bid which had squashed Ronaldo and Juventus in a fabulous elimination-match upset just 2 weeks prior to meeting Spurs in the 1st leg. Sons of the Gods stormed into Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 30th and took a 1-0 aggregate lead, led by tons of fresh talent from Africa and Dutch academy programs.

It was up to a side which had seen its Premiership hopes dashed when Kane fell in early spring to somehow find resolve to come back on hostile turf.

But even the loss of Manchester City from the ranks wasn’t going to prevent an all-English final this time around.

Liverpool’s incredible rally at Anfield will be legend and lore forever…but Spurs’ 2nd half in Amsterdam wasn’t any less noble or fantastic just because less supporters on-hand were cheering.

Ajax is seen as a lesser commodity than Barcelona. Tottenham got an easy draw – had a lesser mountain to climb – take your pick.

Gamblers are giving a single 90+ minute match in Spain the same treatment as they might have given, say, Tottenham and Liverpool’s futures lines to win the competition back in April. This is a championship fixture that will occur on June 1st. When Spurs were still in the hunt for a 2018-19 Premiership title – and suffered injuries even then – would Liverpool have been a (-111) wager to beat Tottenham at a neutral site? Or more like a (+125) or (+140) wager?

Updated Best-Wager Recommendations for Liverpool vs Tottenham

This fish might be called Wanda, but the odds smell a little fishy.

Whether Harry Kane glories, sags, limps, labors or sits in the stands on June 1st, Tottenham has more than enough skill and veteran presence to knock-off Liverpool once in 3 tries in this event. The (+320) line at is sorely mispriced. I think that Spurs will be in the thick of it at the end in Madrid…win, lose, or draw.

Why do I tout underdog futures and moneylines so often? It’s kind of like when Stanley Kubrick said that the Pentagon’s real problem was never having hired a master novelist. No mortal can imagine the randomness of reality and the future until it occurs.

The universe, truly, is indifferent to our attempts to put Liverpool in the winner’s seat before the Reds have won the match.

The Universe is Indifferent

I still like the Over market at Bovada Sportsbook for the showdown in Spain, but consider Tottenham’s (+ ½) at the sportsbook as well. Like the Over, it removes the house vig from the equation, this time with an (Even) payoff. There’s a better than 50% chance Spurs will be drawn or leading as the clock ticks down…though Liverpool will and should remain favored to lift the trophy.


Take Spurs’ moneyline (+320) at or Spurs (+ ½) at Bovada Sportsbook.