Tottenham (+500) at Borussia Dortmund (-162), Draw (+320)
What could easily be the final of the Europa League instead will be played in the Round of 16 as Tottenham face Borussia Dortmund in a two-game, aggregate-goal playoff. Game one goes this afternoon at Signal-Iduna-Park in Dortmund (1:00 PM Eastern).
Dortmund and Spurs are both among the favorites to win the tournament. Indeed, the German side leads the list of favorites, listed at 15/4 to hoist the trophy, while Tottenham are third at 10/1.
In the previous round, Borussia Dortmund showed why they are the favorites, taking down Porto 3-0 on aggregate. Sitting second in the Bundesliga and challenging Bayern Munich for top spot, Dortmund look more like a Champions League squad than one that belongs in the Europa League.
They were able to keep their impressive domestic season going last week by holding Bayern to a nil-nil draw at home. They remain five points back of the Bavarians in the table.
Unlike many teams, Dortmund are comfortable playing varying styles. They can counterattack with speed, using striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; or they can dominate ball possession by giving the keys to midfielder Marco Reus.
Tottenham will be a tough test, however. Spurs are having their best season in recent memory, sitting second in the English Premier League, five points down on league-leading Leicester. They’ve saved their best for the biggest games, too, and can establish themselves as a real club power by taking down Dortmund.
Spurs advanced from the Round of 32 by dominating Fiorentina 4-1 on aggregate. They drew 1-1 away to start and then crushed the Italians 3-0 when they ventured across the Channel. Ryan Mason, Erik Lamela, and Gonzalo Rodriguez scored for the home side.
Tottenham were able to earn the draw on the road in the Round of 32, but Dortmund are close to unbeatable at home. Take them to win by a goal.
Pick: Dortmund (-162).
(Photo credit: Ben Sutherland (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)