The return of the CONCACAF Champions League was very much welcomed by soccer fans throughout North America. The first leg of the Round of 16 was last week with five of the eight matches ending in either a draw or a one-goal game. That should create some excitement for this week’s matches. Let’s take a closer look at the three matches scheduled for Wednesday so you can place your bets against their CONCACAF Champions League odds.
Round of 16 2nd Leg Wednesday Matches Analysis | Soccer Betting Picks
New York City FC vs Santos de Guapiles
With NYCFC being the reigning MLS champions, there is some semblance of pressure on them to do some damage in the Champions League. Things got off to a good start last week with a 2-0 road win over Santos. Valentin Castellanos picked up where he left off at the end of last MLS season, scoring two goals in the first 30 minutes. That gave them a big lift and should price NYCFC with a little bit of a cushion heading into the second leg on Wednesday. They should also feel good about having Sean Johnson in goal since they know if they defend well, there’s nothing that can stop them from advancing.
Meanwhile, Santos is in the midst of spiraling at the wrong time. The Costa Rican side has been struggling domestically, losing 4-1 to Guadalupe over the weekend after also losing to Perez Zeledon earlier this month. Santos has lost three in a row and has just one win in its last seven matches across all competitions, so they’re not exactly in good form and capable of taking advantage of an MLS team that’s still in preseason form.
Colorado Rapids vs Comunicaciones
The Rapids looked like a team that’s still in its preseason last week, giving up an 89th-minute goal in a 1-0 road loss against Comunicaciones. Granted, Colorado was the best Western Conference team in MLS during the regular season last year. But they also lost Kellyn Acosta and Cole Bassett during the offseason. Those are significant losses for the Rapids, who will have to figure out how to get by without Acosta and Bassett while integrating some new players.
Meanwhile, their opponents from Guatemala have gone five straight matches without a loss. In fact, Los Cremas have just four losses in 22 matches in their domestic league this season. They’ve also kept back-to-back clean sheets, including their 1-0 win over the Rapids last week. That puts the onus on Colorado to get something going on the attack. If Comunicaciones can stay organized defensively and force a scoreless draw, they will advance. Of course, the February weather in Colorado could give Rapids an edge over the Central Americans.
Pumas UNAM vs Saprissa
The first leg of this matchup ended in a 2-2 draw. Christian Bolaños scored both goals for Saprissa, helping the Costa Rica side secure a surprising draw. However, Saprissa’s domestic form has been awful lately, as Los Morados have one win in their last 10 matches across all competitions. Of course, Pumas has also started slowly, winning just one of its last five matches, so this game is very much up in the air despite Pumas being the home favorite.