Champions League picks for Matchday 1: Bet on Barcelona and Inter Milan
Inter Milan are a perfect 4-0-0 in Serie A so far. Photo by Luca Bruno/AP.

The Champions League is back and we've got three picks for Matchday 1, which begins on September 19.

The pregame narrative: Barcelona has been rolling in La Liga and are a solid bet to dismantle Royal Antwerp at Camp Nou. We're also backing Inter Milan to win on the road and Julian Alvarez to score for Manchester City.

Here are our best Champions League picks for this week's action.

Champions League picks overview

Click link to add selection to betslip. Note: Lines have changed/market no longer available if grey.

UCL picksOddsBet now ⬇️
Barcelona over 2.5 goals-139Add to betslip
Inter Milan to win+145Add to betslip
Alvarez to score-129Add to betslip

UCL odds as of 11:18 a.m. ET 09/18/2023.

Go to full Champions League betting markets.

Champions League picks

Best Bet: Barcelona over 2.5 goals (-139)

Every major league in Europe has representation in the group stage and that means there are going to be some pretty lopsided matchups.

Barcelona, winners of La Liga last season, are hefty -560 favourites to beat Royal Antwerp, the reigning Belgian Pro League champions. There's not much value to be had there but we're keen on backing Barca on Matchday 1, so we'll get behind the Spanish side to score three goals at -139.

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Xavi's squad started its La Liga title defence with a 0-0 draw but it has won each of the past four games, scoring 13 goals across those fixtures. Barcelona's most recent win was a 5-0 beatdown of Real Betis at Camp Nou.

Antwerp is severely outclassed in this matchup.

The Belgian side is a lacklustre 3-2-1 through six games in its domestic league. The Great Old have only conceded four goals in that span, but they haven't seen a team close to Barcelona in quality.

Robert Lewandowski has the third-most Champions League goals (111) in history and he slots alongside recently acquired Joao Felix, who scored a goal in his first start for Barcelona.

Key stat: Barcelona have scored four-plus goals in two of its last three games.

UCL boosts Sept. 20OddsBet now ⬇️
Arsenal, Bayern Munich & Real Madrid all to win+190 (was +172)Add to betslip
Bayern Munich to win & Harry Kane to score first+335 (was +325)Add to betslip
Bayern Munich to win & both teams to score+825 (was +750)Add to betslip

Quick picks

Inter Milan (+145): Inter Milan made the Champions League final last season and they came inches away from sending that game against Manchester City to extra time. The Nerazzuri are in great form right now and have won all four of their Serie A games by a combined score of 13-1.

Inter's most recent victory was a 5-1 blowout over AC Milan in the Milan derby.

Their opponents — Real Sociedad — are 1-3-1 through five La Liga games with seven goals allowed. Expect the road team to pick up three points on Wednesday.

Alvarez to score (-120): Erling Haaland is the centrepiece of Manchester City's offence but Alvarez shouldn't be overlooked. The Argentine has scored two goals for City in five Premier League appearances this season and ranks second on the team in shot attempts (16).

He's become a regular fixture in Pep Guardiola's first team and should have plenty of opportunities to score against Red Star Belgrade.

The Sky Blues are -2,500 to beat the Serbian side and are -118 to score over 3.5 goals.

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