Soccer Selections: Benzema, Real Madrid To Open UCL Title Defense With Win

The UEFA Champions League brings the best out of the top scorers in European soccer.

The top 10 of last season's final goal scoring chart featured Karim Benzema, Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah, Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The adage of the biggest players scoring the biggest goals in the biggest games rings true in the Champions League and that makes it a bit easier to put together anytime goalscorer bets and parlays for the midweek action in Europe.

Tuesday's slate brings us a few clear targets for AGS props, starting with Mbappe, Benzema and Erling Haaland.

There are plenty of other ways to attack the UCL card, and I will do that, but the goal-scoring props look more enticing than in a domestic match week because of what is at stake and the past performances of the stars in Europe.

Soccer Selections

Overall Record: 21-23

Borussia Dortmund vs. FC Copenhagen (12:45 p.m. ET)

Borussia Dortmund (-1.5; -135)

Borussia Dortmund finally has defensive structure!

The Black-Yellow fixed their biggest weakness from last season by signing Nico Schlotterbeck in the summer transfer window. Dortmund produced three clean sheets in five Bundesliga games.

It's still early, but that's a VERY promising sign for a club that needed to win games with four or five goals last season.

The Bundesliga side needs a win and some goals on Tuesday to set the tone in a tough group with Manchester City and Sevilla. Manchester City is expected to win the group. Sevilla is off to a tough start, but it could be tricky to play against later in the campaign.

Dortmund needs to unleash its attack and play strong defense against Copenhagen to get six points from two matches and boost its goal differential in case of a tiebreaker after Matchday 6.

Copenhagen failed to score on the road in the road leg of its UCL playoff round series with Trabzonspor and its conceded eight goals in four away matches in the Danish Superliga.

Dortmund's expected goals total has been over one in four of its five league matches and I think that translates to more goals against a much weaker team that has struggled to play away from its home stadium.

Benfica vs. Maccabi Haifa (3 p.m. ET)

Benfica (-1.5; -130)

Benfica could be the silent killer in Group H with PSG and Juventus.

Benfica carries some momentum into the group stage after rolling Midtjylland and Dynamo Kyiv in the last two qualifying rounds. The Portuguese side won those four games by a combined 12-2.

Maccabi Haifa is a fantastic story, but it may be hard for the Israeli side to gain many points in Group H.

Benfica needs to follow the same path that Dortmund must against Copenhagen and pick up six points against its weaker foe in the group in order to challenge PSG and Juventus.

Benfica produced multiple goals in eight of its nine games across all competitions and it won six of those games by multiple goals.

I expect the Portuguese side to roll, but also fly under the radar on Tuesday because of who it is playing and the other matches going on in the afternoon window.

Celtic vs. Real Madrid (-140) (3 p.m. ET)

Karim Benzema To Score (-145)

Vinicius Junior To Score (+160)

The reigning UEFA Champions League winner, Real Madrid, opens its continental campaign in Glasgow against a Celtic team that is off to a fantastic start in the Scottish Premier League.

Celtic has outscored opponents by a 25-1 margin in its first six league games, but it is about to receive a reality check of where it stands in Europe.

Real Madrid kicked off the La Liga season with 11 goals in four games. Los Blancos even scored twice in the UEFA Super Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Real Madrid's roster has one of the best scorers in the competition's history and one of the world's top young stars.

Karim Benzema enters Tuesday tied with Robert Lewandowski for third on the UCL's all-time scoring chart with 86 goals. Only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have more goals in the competition than Benzema.

Benzema won the Golden Boot last season with 15 tallies in 12 games. He scored at least five UCL goals in five of the last six seasons. When the Frenchman gets a chance in European play, he typically pounces on it.

Vinicius Junior comes into Scotland on a three-game scoring streak in La Liga. The Brazilian scored four times and assisted on six other goals in the UCL last season.

Most Real Madrid goals will either be created or scored by Benzema and Vinicius and their fast start in La Liga should translate to plenty of chances at the start of the UCL group stage.

Sevilla vs. Manchester City (3 p.m. ET)

Erling Haaland To Score (-165)

Erling Haaland is already at the double-digit mark in goals in the English Premier League.

Haaland sits in a fantastic position to add to his season-long tally in the UCL with Manchester City. At -165, Haaland is at a bit of a bargain to score since he will probably be listed above -200 for most of the season.

Sevilla is off to an atrocious start in La Liga with three losses, one draw and eight goals conceded. Sevilla is usually a consistent team hunting for European spots in the Spanish top flight table, but it has not gotten there yet.

Manchester City has not lost yet in the EPL and its attack, led by Haaland, could take advantage of lack of form that its Spanish opponents boast at the moment.

Golazo Parlay (+1578)

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)

Goncalo Ramos (Benfica)

Welcome to the debut of the Golazo Parlay!

The first matchday of the Champions League group stage is the ideal spot to debut this because the top scorers usually show up in Europe's top club competition.

Benzema is the reigning Golden Boot winner. Haaland has 10 goals in the EPL already. Mbappe has seven goals in Ligue 1. Nkunku scored four times already in the Bundesliga. Ramos is Benfica's target man and he should extend his multi-goal start to the season.

Benzema, Nkunku and Mbappe finished in the top 10 of scoring in the UCL last season. Haaland is on a tear and Ramos is one of the players expected to fill the Darwin Nunez role after he scored six goals for Benfica in the UCL last season,

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