Helsinki - Budućnost

UEFA Champions League
Asian Handicap
Pick: Budućnost +1.75
Odds: 1.69
Stake: 1

Match date: 06/07/2021

Champions League - qualifications

The champion of Finland, HJK is hosting Buducnost, the champion of Montenegro in the first leg of the opening qualifying round. 

This game immediately caught my eyes, at least I have became interested when the odds moved too much in favor of the home team. That's something I surely don't agree. In my opinion those initial odds on Helsinki around 1.60 were much more realistic than this current offer which is around 1.25 on the home win. 

Helsinki has played many times in the past with the opponents from the Balkan region and had no success what so ever. Partizan was destroying them in the past, Dinamo Zagreb also easily was dealing with them and the most recent opponent was Crvena zvezda. Of course, those mentioned are the best in ex-Yug region while Buducnost is not even close to those names. But these odds are ridiculous really. Helsinki was such underdog in those games against Partizan, Zvezda and Dinamo who are the opponents with 5, 10 or 20+ times bigger budget than the Finnish champion.  

And now Helsinki is such same huge favourite against Buducnost but still, the host is with just slightly more valuable squad (5.5 € vs 3.75 €). So I dont buy it.  

I can agree with some advantages for HJK but all that hardly worth of such odds. Firstly, the host is playing on artificial grass. But let's be realistic. These days everyone can prepare for such conditions, so even the teams like Buducnost who never play on it in the national league, surely found the place where they were training and got used on it. 

What real advantage could be is the fact HJK is already in the competitive rhythm. Namely they already played 10+ rounds in the national league while for Buducnost this is the first official game of the new season. So this could be edge for the host but again, is it worth of such 1.25 odds? I don't think so. 

HJK is dominant in the national league with 10-1-0 record so far and 5-0-0 at home. They are averaging two scored goals per game while at home slightly better but never has won at home with more than 2 goals margin. Also have in mind they mainly were hosting the opponents from the bottom half of the Finnish league standings.  

And when we take a look on the odds in those games and on the odds in today's match, then supposedly Buducnost is in the rank with the worst Finnish teams or just slightly above them. I just can't agree. In my opinion the Montenegrin champion is better of the most opponents against whom HJK meets in Finland. 

Have in mind Buducnost proved decent level in Europe in the recent past. For example they were able to eliminate Astana while in year earlier they met with at that time Serbian champion Partizan and as huge underdog played scoreless draw in the first road leg before eventually lost at home. 

Also, that HJK defense supposedly is good. They have one defender who is the national team member plus one foreign player. But still, that defense has conceded four goals in five home games.  

Drasko Bozovic and Igor Ivanovic are absent players for the guests. By the words of the Buducnost's head coach they already were preparing to play without Bozovic, so I guess only Ivanovic's absent is handicap cause he not playing was late decision. 

In any case, in my opinion this could be some narrow HJK victory. Don't forget this is two legs tie and hardly the host would risk here too much even after some potential early lead. In a case of a 1:0 or 2:0 lead, Helsinki in my opinion would be looking first of all to save their own goal before second leg no matter away goal rule doesn't apply any more. 

HALF LOST Score: 3:1 Profit: -0.5
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