UCL Picks: Trust Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund in Round of 16 First Leg

The UEFA Champions League draw gave us a treat when it paired Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain together in the round of 16.

The clash of European super teams headlines the four-game slate on Tuesday and Wednesday, and while there may not be many differences between the two on paper, recent results suggest there is a clear favorite.

Bayern has been in cruise control over its last three games, while PSG comes into Tuesday on a losing streak and without a healthy star player.

Bayern is not the only German club who could gain an advantage in the first leg. Borussia Dortmund is in far better form than Chelsea, and it is playing Wednesday inside its home fortress.

The other two matches, AC Milan-Tottenham and Club Brugge-Benfica, are tougher to figure out, but there is a way to play both of those contests as well.

UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Picks

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Bayern Munich (+145) (Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET)

Bayern Munich's uptick in form, PSG's consecutive losses and the uncertainty around Kylian Mbappe have me leaning in the direction of the German club.

Bayern suffered a dip in form after the World Cup break with three straight 1-1 draws, but since then, it has scored 11 goals and held two clean sheets.

The Bundesliga leader gave up two goals in the UCL group stage in a group that contained Inter Milan and Barcelona. The defense only got better with the January addition of Joao Cancelo.

Bayern is capable of limiting what PSG's attacking trio can produce, or it could limit a Neymar-Lionel Messi pairing if Mbappe is unable to start.

PSG did not produce a single clean sheet in the group stage, and if Mbappe is out of the lineup, it may be difficult for the Parisians to score multiple goals against a tough Bayern defense, even with Neymar and Messi in the fold.

AC Milan vs. Tottenham (Tuesday, 3 p.m. ET)

First Half Under 0.5 Goals (+160)

Good luck trying to figure out this match.

AC Milan went winless in seven straight games, a run that included a four-game losing streak, before it beat Torino 1-0 over the weekend.

Tottenham put together a three-game winning streak with three clean sheets and then conceded four goals at Leicester City on Saturday.

I think Spurs will use a pragmatic approach inside the San Siro against an AC Milan squad that failed to score in three of its last five matches.

Milan could be hard to break down as well as it tries to avoid having to go back to north London facing a deficit.

I don't believe we'll see too much entertainment in this match, which most of us will have on the second screen anyway.

Borussia Dortmund (+145) vs. Chelsea (Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET)

I think this is the easiest play of the four round-of-16 games this week.

Borussia Dortmund enters on a six-game winning streak and it has seven clean sheets at home across all competitions this season.

The Black-Yellow conceded once at home in the group stage, and if you take away a three-goal concession to Augsburg right out of the World Cup break, they have allowed four home goals since the start of September.

Chelsea is still trying to figure itself out with all of the new signings in the squad. The Blues have one win in eight games since New Years' Day and you can't attempt to figure things out in the Champions League knockout round.

Dortmund has a deep attack, and it also has defined roles for the players in the final third, while Chelsea's attackers are still trying to work out how they play off each other.

If Chelsea was playing a less organized opponent, I could see the Blues trying to win solely on talent, but that is not the case in this matchup.

Club Brugge vs. Benfica (-120) (Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET)

Club Brugge was a fun story to get out of the group stage, but the Belgian side has been disappointing over the last few months.

Brugge has one win in 12 league matches since the start of November and it has held one clean sheet in that span.

Meanwhile Benfica is on a four-game winning streak in which it has outscored opponents by an 11-0 score.

I think it's very easy to figure out who the better side is in this matchup. I might consider the Benfica spread at -1.5 (+225), but I feel safer with the money line here.

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