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Chelsea vs. Manchester City odds, picks, predictions for 2021 Champions League final

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Chelsea vs. Manchester City odds, picks, predictions for 2021 Champions League final

The 2021 Champions League final is fascinating on so many levels: two English heavyweights, two of the most expensive squads on the planet, Manchester City’s quest for its first-ever Champions League, two elite managers going head to head, Chelsea’s two recent wins against Man City and, of course, the best-ever American player on the biggest club stage in the world.

The books are giving the clear edge to Manchester City (anywhere from -115 to win in regulation and -250 to win the cup). They are, after all, the reigning English Premier League champions and considered by many to be the best team in the world today. After their poor start to the season and their recent stumbles, Chelsea simply don’t have the same standing. But that’s not to say this won’t be a tightly contested final.

WATCH: Champions League final live on fuboTV (free 7-day trial)

Chelsea vs. Manchester City odds for 2021 Champions League final

A familiar cliche emerges ahead of single-game finals in soccer: Expect to see cautious teams, airtight defenses and few scoring opportunities. But there is reason to believe this could actually be the case on Saturday.

Manchester City and Chelsea conceded the fewest goals of any teams in the English Premier League: 32 (xGA 31.3) and 36 goals (xGA 32.8), respectively. Credit the world-class defenders and goalkeepers on each side, and the tactical structure that both managers have devised to get the best out of them.

And at least for one of the finalists, scoring doesn’t always come easy. Chelsea have had their share of struggles manufacturing goals when they’ve needed them. Timo Werner (10 goals vs. 18.1 expected goals per FBref), last summer’s high profile forward signing, has had to shoulder plenty of the criticism, although quality service hasn’t always been there.

And it might pay to remember that the two other occasions we’ve had an all-English final, they were also low-scoring affairs: Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in 2019, but that second goal came in minute 87. In 2008, Manchester United needed penalty kicks to beat Chelsea after a 1-1 draw in regulation.

MORE: Your 2021 Champions League cheat sheet

Here are some odds to play the low-scoring trend:

Odds courtesy of DraftKings and based on 90-minute regulation result

Total Goals

  • Man City-Chelsea total goals Under 1.5: +200
  • Man City-Chelsea total goals Under 2.5: -157

Correct Score

  • Man City 0, Chelsea 1: +900
  • Man City 1, Chelsea 0: +510

Team Goals

  • Man City Under 0.5 goals scored: +310
  • Chelsea Under 0.5 goals scored: +128

Win to Nil (i.e. via shutout)

  • Chelsea to win to nil: +575
  • Man City to win to nil: N/A

Getty Images

Chelsea or Man City: Who scores first?

If you buy into the low-scoring thesis and couple that with the records of both teams when they score first, then an obvious betting angle emerges.

When Chelsea have scored first this season in all competitions, they have 17 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. Manchester City have won 41 of the 45 games in which they score first. Safe to say, as is the case in most finals, the first goal is going to be huge. Here’s how teams have fared when they have taken the lead over the last 20 Champions League finals:

  • Wins: 12
  • Draws: 5 (all decided by penalty kick shootouts)
  • Losses: 2 (Atletico Madrid in 2014 and Arsenal in 2006)

At time of publication you can still get plus money on both teams scoring first and winning. If you believe in the trend, it’s possible to play both sides and make out on top.

To score first and win:

  • Chelsea: +380
  • Manchester City: +106

MORE: Why Pulisic in the Champions League final is a big deal

Champions League final prop bets: Offsides & Timo Werner

Werner’s penchant for being caught offside or having a goal annulled for being offside has become a sort of running joke during Chelsea matches. But his manager and German compatriot, Thomas Tuchel, is not bothered by it: He loves that Werner (photo below) presses, harries and stretches opposing defenses. The speedy forward is constantly riding that defensive line in the hope of being sprung into the open field. That’s his game.

So it’s no surprise that Chelsea committed the second highest total of offside infractions in the most recent 38-game Premier League season (80 times caught offside). Werner was responsible for 26 of those instances, good for the 4th highest total of any player.

In a game where Chelsea is likely to cede control to Manchester City and look to transition quickly into the open field via Werner and Christian Pulisic, we might see the offside flag come up a few times. (Note: Werner was caught offside against Man City twice in their FA Cup semifinal and three times in the most recent league match.)

Offside Odds

  • Timo Werner over 1.5 offside infringements: +140
  • Chelsea team offsides total over 2.5 (including extra time): +100

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Getty Images

Chelsea vs. Manchester City prediction

Some of Chelsea’s best performances this season have come when they’re not the ones having to “make” the game or break down the opposition. They can let the game come to them against Manchester City and pick their moments to inflict damage in transition.

Manchester City are the best team in the world today and they’re playing the best soccer. A first Champions League trophy would be a just reward. But in a 90-minute final they’ll need the key bounces to go their way and that’s never guaranteed.

Spreading money on both sides of the “score first and win” remains my favorite play. I’d also roll the dice on a Chelsea double chance (Chelsea win and draw in regulation) at -106.

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76ers vs. Hawks live score, updates, highlights from Game 7 of NBA playoff series

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76ers vs. Hawks live score, updates, highlights from Game 7 of NBA playoff series

Doc Rivers hasn’t won a Game 7 in his last three chances, but he’ll look to change his recent misfortune as the 76ers take on the Hawks Sunday night.

Philadelphia staved off elimination in a 104-99 Game 6 win over Atlanta and now will return to the Wells Fargo Center in the hopes of polishing off Trae Young’s Hawks. Seth Curry and Tyrese Maxey were excellent in Philly’s last game, but the team will continue to rely heavily on Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris as they look to advance in Rivers’ first year as the 76ers coach.

Meanwhile, the Hawks have little to lose in this contest. Few expected Atlanta to make any sort of playoff run, let alone take the Sixers to a Game 7.

However, interim coach Nate McMillan organized an epic turnaround after taking over the team midway through the season. He went 27-11 in his 38 regular-season games as coach and led the 5-seed Hawks to a 4-1 series win over the Knicks.

McMillan is strongly preferred to return as Atlanta’s coach next season, but a win in Game 7 would bolster his chances of staying in charge of the Hawks. Or, it could become a valuable bargaining chip for him while negotiating his future salary.

Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from 76ers vs. Hawks to decide the Eastern Conference playoff series. Follow below for complete results from Game 7.

76ers vs. Hawks score

Game 7 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
76ers 28 28
Hawks 25 25

76ers vs. Hawks live updates, highlights from Game 7

(All times Eastern)

8:50 p.m. — Trae Young has picked up a technical foul.

8:48 p.m. — Joel Embiid throws down a monster dunk that brought the Wells Fargo Center to life. What a play.

8:46 p.m. — Ben Simmons and George Hill combine for a nice little and-one opportunity.

8:45 p.m. — Trae Young ends his cold stretch with a 3-point make. He now has seven points on one of seven shooting.

8:43 p.m. — Kevin Huerter missed his first shot of the game. He’s now four of five from the field with nine points.

8:40 p.m. — The Hawks had no turnovers in the first quarter. It took them over 14 minutes of game action to commit one. That’s one of the main reasons they’re leading in spite of Trae Young’s early shooting struggles.

8:38 p.m. — After Danilo Gallinari makes back-to-back 3-point shots, every Hawk to shoot so far has made at least one basket… except for Trae Young. Despite that, the Hawks lead by five.

8:34 p.m. — Nate McMillan’s takeaways from the first quarter: He likes how the Hawks offense is operating but wants them to allow fewer free throws. Sounds about right.

8:32 p.m. — The Hawks and Sixers each have a player with two fouls. Seth Curry has two for Philly while Clint Capela picked up his second at the end of the first quarter. Capela is key in the battle against Joel Embiid, so the Hawks will keep a close eye on him.

End of first quarter: 76ers 28, Hawks 25

8:29 p.m. — Trae Young hasn’t made shots in the first quarter — he’s 0-6 from the floor — but he has four points at the free throw line. Still, the Hawks will need more from him to win this one. They’re lucky to be down just 28-25 after one quarter. Also, Joel Embiid made a great shot to end the quarter.

8:27 p.m. — Lou Williams’ first shot is a make, but it took a while before it decided to go down.

8:25 p.m. — Matisse Thybulle makes his first 3-point shot. He didn’t score in Game 6.

8:18 p.m. — Kevin Huerter has made his first four shots and has nine points. His contributions are vital with Trae Young missing his first four shots.

8:17 p.m. — Seth Curry picks up his second foul about halfway through the first quarter. He has averaged 30 points over his last two games, so this is a big development for the 76ers.

8:14 p.m. — Joel Embiid just hit a tough shot falling away from the basket. That gives the 76ers their first lead of the game, 15-13 going into the first commercial break.

8:10 p.m. — The Hawks are making some nice passes off the bat. Trae Young finds Clint Capela for an alley-oop.

8:08 p.m. — Joel Embiid has the first six points for the 76ers. Kevin Huerter has five of the first seven for the Hawks.

8:07 p.m. — Last night, Charles Barkley guaranteed the Bucks would beat the Nets. He was right. Tonight, he is on the Sixers.

8:03 p.m. — 76ers win the tipoff. Furkan Korkmaz misses the first shot of the game. John Collins starts the scoring with a two-point bucket for the Hawks.

7:55 p.m. — Shaq wants Ben Simmons to be aggressive in this one and not worry about the free throw issues he has been having.

7:50 p.m. — No surprises with the Hawks starting lineup either. Trae Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Clint Capela will begin the game for Atlanta.

7:37 p.m. — The Sixers’ starting five is in. It’s the same as Game 6: Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Furkan Korkmaz, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid.

7:30 p.m. — Joel Embiid and the Sixers are getting in some pregame work.

7:25 p.m. — Who wore it better, Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid?

76ers vs. Hawks start time

  • Time: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
  • TV channel: TNT
  • Live stream: Watch TNT

Game 7 between the 76ers and Hawks is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 20. It will be televised nationally on TNT.

NBA playoff schedule 2021

(All times Eastern)

June 20

Game Time National TV
Clippers vs. Suns 3:30 p.m. ABC
Hawks vs. 76ers 8 p.m. TNT

June 22

Game Time National TV
Clippers vs. Suns 9 p.m. ESPN

June 24

Game Time National TV
Suns vs. Clippers 9 p.m. ESPN

June 26

Game Time National TV
Suns vs. Clippers 9 p.m. ESPN

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Padres’ Manny Machado wore the perfect Father’s Day footwear

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Padres' Manny Machado wore the perfect Father's Day footwear

Manny Machado’s got heat on feet. Kind of.

While ostentatious, loud and colorful cleats are all the rage in baseball, the Padres’ star third baseman dialed it down on Father’s Day. Like, a lot down.

Machado took the field wearing a pair of Nike Air Monarch cleats — the preeminent, iconic dad shoe — during San Diego’s Dad Day matchup vs. the Reds.

The Monarchs have fostered a reputation for being an unforgettable dad-worn sneaker, making Machado’s footwear a tremendous salute to fathers (and grillmasters) around the country.

What makes the cleats even better is that they are in the classic white, silver and navy blue colorway, which is the only way to wear those bad boys. While these are Jordan Brand player-exclusive cleats, they’re dad-exclusive away from the field.

MORE: Joey Votto makes young fan’s day in San Diego

Machado has worn all different makes of cleats throughout his career, usually flashy and gaudy types. The All-Star infielder has worn Jordan 11s, 12s, 4s and a bunch of others on the field.

Still, lacing up a pair of Grillmaster 5s on Father’s Day earned him plenty of praise from fans who understood the tribute:

You’ll probably be able to catch Machado after the game at a BBQ near you, likely cracking some bad puns and calling everyone “big guy.”

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Nets’ Kevin Durant joining Team USA for Tokyo Olympics after Game 7 loss vs. Bucks, report says

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Nets' Kevin Durant joining Team USA for Tokyo Olympics after Game 7 loss vs. Bucks, report says

Kevin Durant isn’t going to be taking much time off this summer.

In fact, he appears to be ready for more action despite playing all 53 minutes of the Nets’ Game 7 overtime loss to the Bucks and scoring a game-high 48 points. And he’s joining another super team that has title hopes.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Durant is expected to commit to Team USA ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Durant would become the sixth player to commit to Team USA, joining another player with Olympic experience, Draymond Green, and four first-time Olympians: Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker.

MORE: Kevin Durant blames ‘big-ass foot’ for loss to the Suns

Durant competed in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He averaged 19.5 points at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and 19.4 points at the 2012 London Olympics.

In addition, Durant shot 54.6 percent from the shorter-range international 3-point line at the two tournaments and has compiled a 39-0 record in international play.

Team USA can now turn its attention to its remaining question marks with Durant’s commitment reportedly secured. Anthony Davis and LeBron James won’t be participating in this year’s Olympics, but Stephen Curry was “50-50” about competing in the event.

Either way, Team USA should be considered the top threat at the 2021 Summer Games with Durant in the fold.

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