Champions League Tips | 5th November 2014

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A profitable night on Tuesday for Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79). Can he repeat the trick here?

Athletic Bilbao v Porto | Wednesday 19:45 | Sky Sports Interactive

Despite the fact I’ve made money opposing Athletic Bilbao this season, I was somewhat surprised to see them as outsiders in some lists for this tie. The Spanish side have always had a fearsome reputation on their San Mames turf and to see quotes as big as 7/4 with BetVictor raised my untidy eyebrows.

Bilbao lost just twice at home in La Liga last season as they finished a superb fourth. They’ve found things a lot harder this season with three wins out of 10 overall, but Ernesto Valverde’s side still sit in the top half of the Home Table.

Whisper it, but there seem signs of recovery. Two wins in a row in La Liga (including a superb win over high-flyers Sevilla on Sunday) added to a gallant defeat in this opposite fixture two weeks ago. It’s worth pointing out that Athletic accrued more shots on target than Porto that night two weeks ago. Are they turning the corner?

Porto have failed to win half their away games in the Liga Sagres this season, and let’s not forget they endured a torrid Champions League campaign last season getting kicked out in the group stages after just one win. I’m willing to go the whole hog here and back Bilbao at 7/4 with BetVictor to take all three points and rejuvenate their Champions League campaign.

PSG v APOEL Nicosia | Wednesday 19:45 | Sky Sports Interactive

I was distraught two weeks ago when backing APOEL Nicosia off 0 on the Asian Handicap against PSG. The French side scored a late goal to scupper the bet and come away from Cyprus with three precious points. I expect it to be a lot tougher for brave APOEL on Wednesday.

PSG are still unbeaten this season, yet perhaps it’s only now they’re starting to click into gear? Three consecutive Ligue 1 wins (including an impressive 3-0 blitz of Bordeaux) has moved them to within four points of leaders Marseille. In the Champions League they’ve already beaten Barcelona and a victory here should see them through to the Last 16.

APOEL’s great strength is digging in, keeping the score low and perhaps nicking a point or three. They’ve performed superbly well against Barcelona (at the Nou Camp) and PSG in keeping the score down to 1-0, but the key is the 0 next to their name. The Cypriots have scored just one goal so far and I don’t think they’ll add to that tally in Paris on Wednesday.

Nicosia have registered just four shots on target over the three group-stage matches and it seems logical to think they won’t score in this match. Handicap backers might fancy PSG but I’ll swerve that due to the fact they play Marseille at the weekend and have only recorded winning margins of three or more twice this season. PSG are 20/23 with BetVictor to win to nil – I like it.

Best Bets

Athletic Bilbao v Porto – Athletic Bilbao to win (7/4 BetVictor)

PSG v APOEL Nicosia – PSG to win to nil (20/23 BetVictor)

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Chris first got interested in betting back in 2000 when he began working in betting shops throughout Scotland. He has remained in the industry ever since, specialising in marketing and PR roles. Outside of betting, his interests are listening to Blur and following Queen Of The South.

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