Champions League Matchday 3 betting preview
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Between the Premier League (15-14, +$1,410) and Champions League (7-6-1 +$1,083), every matchday this season has been a profitable one.

Let's keep the good times going this week as the Champions League group stage reaches the halfway point.

Best bet

Chelsea (+200) at Ajax (+130), Draw (+250)

Ajax are sitting pretty in Group H, breezing through their opening two matches. They truly haven't missed a beat despite the departures of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt. The Amsterdam outfit was my pick to win Group H at the start of the tournament. While that still holds true, this seems a good spot to bet on them dropping their first points of the group stage.

With three points from two matches, Chelsea know they can't afford a defeat in Amsterdam. The Blues have been rounding into form with five successive victories across all competitions, but they now face a tough Ajax side that defends well and can beat opponents in a number of ways. It would be unwise for Chelsea to approach Ajax with an attacking mindset, and Frank Lampard knows it; his side will play a more conservative brand of football to ensure it leaves Amsterdam with a point.

Pick: Draw (+250)

Value bets

Dinamo Zagreb (+400) at Shakhtar Donetsk (-150), Draw (+260)

Remember when Dinamo Zagreb were considered group-stage whipping boys? They lost 22 of 24 matches in the competition proper between 2010 and 2018, but this isn't the Zagreb of old. This iteration is inventive, organized, and tactically sound under manager Nenad Bjelica, as evidenced by a tenacious showing in Manchester. Zagreb have experience traveling to hostile venues, so they shouldn't be intimidated in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Shakhtar drew at home to both Lyon and Hoffenheim in the group stage last season and will have their hands full here as well.

Pick: Draw (+260)

PSG (-210) at Club Brugge (+475), Draw (+300)

There's a lot to like about Club Brugge's body of work and it's time they get the credit they deserve. They've faced a number of quality opponents and proved their worth, drawing at Real Madrid on Matchday 2 after holding both Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund to goalless draws last season. They've also conceded just three goals in 10 domestic matches this season. Kylian Mbappe is expected to return here for PSG and Ruud Vormer's suspension will hurt Brugge, but the host side is a smart one. PSG already sit comfortably atop the group with Real Madrid stumbling, so they might lack a bit of intensity as well. Brugge steal a point here.

Pick: Draw (+300)

Valencia (+150) at Lille (+165), Draw (+220)

Lille have been one of the unluckier sides in the competition this season, coming up empty-handed despite solid performances against Ajax and Chelsea. This is their most winnable fixture of the group stage, so we should see them have an honest go at it here. But Valencia defend well as a team and will be wary of the threat Lille pose. Winning at Stamford Bridge has given Los Ches a real shot to progress, but a loss here would be devastating to their chances. This feels an awful lot like a 1-1 draw.

Pick: Draw (+220)

Parlay of the week

Expect some urgency from Real Madrid, who could easily be without a point through two matches. They were embarrassed by PSG on Matchday 1 and had to come from behind to rescue a draw against Brugge in their last fixture. Three points are a necessity here and they should be able to get them against an overrated Galatasaray side - so long as they avoid another slow start. Given the magnitude of the occasion, that shouldn't be an issue.

Benfica haven't looked at home in the Champions League for some time now. They've won just two of their last 14 group matches - both against AEK Athens - but are still priced far too high based on their reputation and illustrious Champions League history. Lyon, meanwhile, are seemingly unbeatable in the competition at the moment. Their domestic form has left plenty to be desired, but they bring their best for the big occasion, losing just one of their last 13 Champions League matches (away to Barcelona).

Pick: Real Madrid, Lyon +0.5; parlay odds (+165)

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Champions League Matchday 3 betting preview
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