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Borussia Dortmund vs. Benfica Predictions, Picks, and Preview – UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg – March 8, 2017

Borussia Dortmund vs. Benfica Predictions, Picks, and Preview – UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg – March 8, 2017

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Borussia Dortmund vs. Benfica Preview

Where: Signal Iduna Park – Dortmund, Germany

When: Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 2:45 PM ET

Line: Borussia Dortmund -365 vs. Benfica +750draw +380; total 3.0 – view all Champions League lines

Writer’s Pick: Borussia Dortmund (-365)


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Betting on Borussia Dortmund (-365)

Borussia Dortmund really should be entering this second leg against Benfica with the advantage, not a 1-0 deficit. The Germans were the much more dominant side in the first leg, as they controlled 69 percent of possession, and had 14 shots to Benfica’s five. However, poor finishing – particularly from top striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – was a major factor in their eventual defeat.

However, that shock loss sure lit a fire under the Black and Yellow, who have been absolutely dominant in their three games since. They’ve demolished their last three opponents by a combined score of 12-3, and are coming off a 6-2 shellacking of Bayer Leverkusen during the weekend.

Aubameyang has rediscovered his golden touch in front of goal with two goals in each of his last two games. He’s now scored 21 goals in 21 Bundesliga matches this season, and is also the team’s leading scorer in Europe with four goals in five Champions League games.

Young forwards Ousmane Dembele and Christian Pulisic have also both been in fantastic form, and both will likely be needed after Marco Reus sustained another injury in the Leverkusen win.

The Signal Iduna Park should provide an intimidating atmosphere in this big European night. Dortmund have been outstanding at home this season. They are still unbeaten at home in 11 league games (8-3-0) with 28 goals scored and just seven conceded. They also won two of their three home games during the Champions League group stage, and drew with Real Madrid.

Betting on Benfica (+750)

Benfica should consider themselves a bit lucky to hold a 1-0 heading into the second leg. Kostas Mitroglou did well to convert one of the Eagles’ very few clear-cut chances throughout the first leg. But they have that lead now, which they must now protect as they await the inevitable Dortmund onslaught in the second leg.

The Portuguese prepared for this second leg very well, as they won four league games out of four since the first leg to extend their current win streak to seven games.

Thanks to their narrow cushion, expect Benfica to fully commit to playing a more defensive style in Germany, while hoping to catch what will likely be a very aggressive Dortmund team on the counterattack.

But while Benfica have been very good away from home in the Portuguese league – they’ve gone 9-1-2 with 18 goals scored and only six conceded – they haven’t been nearly as effective in Europe. They went 1-1-1 in their three away group games, which saw them lose 4-2 to Napoli and draw 3-3 to Besiktas.

Writer’s Prediction

Dortmund (-365) make no mistakes in the second leg as they take care of business with a 2-0 win home. If the moneyline is a bit too short for your liking, take Dortmund at -1.5 on the Asian Handicap for better value.

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Brad
Written by Brad

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