- Bayern favored by 2.5 goals to beat Eintracht Frankfurt
- Dortmund at -125 to win away at Wolfsburg
- Can Monchengladbach keep their momentum?
As we wait for American pro sports leagues to cobble their reopening plans together, we have another set of Bundesliga games on tap this weekend. It was strange watching soccer matches taking place in empty, cavernous stadiums, but it was nice to have live sports back on TV.
The weekend kicks off with Union Berlin taking on Hertha Berlin on Friday, with five more games scheduled for Saturday. Sunday brings three more matches. Let’s take a look at the betting odds ahead of this weekend’s slate and make some picks, shall we?
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Monchengladbach
|Leverkusen||PICK (-105)||+160||Over 3 (-130)|
|Monchengladbach||PICK (-130)||+140||Under 3 (-105)|
Note: Draw listed at +270
This game is shaping up to be the marquee match of the weekend. Borussia Monchengladbach, currently third in the Bundesliga table behind Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, will play host to fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen. This will also be our first chance to see the cardboard cutout fans Gladbach are using to fill the stands in place of real people.
— Gladbach (@borussia_en) May 21, 2020
Gladbach have found the back of the net 52 times this season, while Bayer have scored 49. Those are two of the highest marks in the league, so this game has the potential to be a high-scoring affair. Borussia Monchengladbach restarted their season with a 3-1 triumph over Eintracht Frankfurt last week, while Leverkusen picked up a 4-1 result over Werder Bremen.
Monchengladbach got the better of Bayer in their first meeting of the season by a 2-1 scoreline in November. Interestingly enough, Leverkusen enjoyed 57 percent of the possession that day and out-shot their opponents by a margin of 18-7. Leverkusen also had 13 corner kicks, while Gladbach didn’t take one corner.
While home-field advantage may not be as pronounced without real fans in attendance, I would still be surprised if Gladbach didn’t see more of the ball this time around. This has been the better side overall this season, and I’m not convinced that Leverkusen are quite as good as their record shows.
I like that you can get plus-money value on the home side here. Gladbach will make it two wins in two over Leverkusen this weekend. Roll with Monchengladbach and their cardboard fans to win outright at +140 on the moneyline.
The Pick: Borussia Monchengladbach (+140)
Bayern Munich vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
|Frankfurt||+2.5 (-130)||+1400||Over 3.5 (-130)|
|Bayern||-2.5 (-105)||-700||Under 3.5 (-105)|
Note: Draw listed at +700
Any game involving Bayern Munich is typically going to be the most lopsided on the schedule, and this weekend is no exception. Bayern topped Union Berlin last Sunday by a 2-0 margin to remain four points clear of Dortmund at the top of the table. As mentioned, Frankfurt fell at the hands of Gladbach in their first match back.
Frankfurt have a goal differential of minus-five, while Bayern are at plus-49. Eintracht are trying to stay above the relegation zone, while Bayern are in search of their ninth consecutive German top-flight title.
The last meeting between the sides was a one-sided affair, but not in the way you may think. After Jerome Boateng picked up a straight red card in the ninth minute, Frankfurt dominated the German giants for the game’s final 81 minutes. The relegation candidates wound up with a 5-1 victory against the 10-man Bayern side.
Frankfurt doubled up on Bayern in terms of shot attempts (16-8), despite Bayern holding 58 percent of the possession. Needless to say, we can’t expect a similar result this time around. If Bayern can remain more disciplined than they did last time around, I see no reason that Bayern can’t pick up a resounding result in this one.
Bayern weren’t at their best last weekend, but here’s hoping they will have shaken off some of the rust heading into their second game back. There’s value to be had on Bayern winning by at least three goals here at -105.
The Pick: Bayern Munich -2.5 (-105)
Borussia Dortmund vs. Wolfsburg
|Dortmund||-0.5 (-130)||-125||Over 3.5 (-110)|
|Wolfsburg||+0.5 (-105)||+300||Under 3.5 (-110)|
Note: Draw listed at +280
Last weekend, Dortmund demolished Schalke in the Rivierderby 4-0. They hit the over on 3.5 goals by themselves, which was hardly a surprise. The young side have now scored 72 goals on the year, which puts them three behind Bayern for the league lead. Their goal differential of plus-39 is also second in the Bundesliga.
Dortmund is a side with some pronounced home-road splits. I’m skeptical of how meaningful home-field advantage is without fans packing the stadium, but the splits are still worth noting. Dortmund have scored 3.46 goals per game at Signal Iduna Park this season. Away from home, they average 1.77 goals per game. If you take the more advanced expected goals stat, the disparity isn’t as stark, but it still exists. Dortmund average 2.39 expected goals per game at home compared to 1.53 on the road.
Celebrations in 2020. pic.twitter.com/F0nrltll6C
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) May 16, 2020
Wolfsburg are currently sixth in the table, and they have been one of the stronger defensive sides in Germany this season. Wolfsburg have conceded 31 goals, which is tied with Leverkusen and Monchengladbach for the third-fewest in the league. That mark includes just 13 goals allowed in 13 home matches.
We know Dortmund can score goals in bunches, but I trust the sturdy Wolfsburg defense to keep this game to a respectable margin. I’m wary of taking Wolfsburg at +300 to win the game outright, but I do like their chances of keeping Dortmund’s daunting attack in check. Bet the under on 3.5 goals in this one.
The Bet: Under 3.5 goals (-110)
Freiburg vs. Werder Bremen
|Bremen||+0.5 (-140)||+215||Over 2.5 (-110)|
|Freiburg||-0.5 (+110)||+115||Under 2.5 (-110)|
Note: Draw listed at +250
Freiburg were a narrow offsides call away from enjoying a smash-and-grab win last weekend over Leipzig, but one would imagine they will be happy to come away with a draw. Werder Bremen, meanwhile, were trounced 4-1 by Leverkusen. Freiburg have put together a surprising season, as they sit seventh in the league, but Bremen are 17th and battling relegation.
Werder Bremen have been abysmal defensively all season, having conceded 59 goals while scoring just 28 for themselves. Freiburg have a negative goal differential (35 for, 36 against), which makes their place in the table a little surprising. Still, it’s easy to see why Bremen are where they are in the standings. Their goal differential of minus-31 is the worst in the Bundesliga.
The leaky defense has been even more porous away from Weser Stadium. The side allows 2.14 goals per match on the road compared to 1.46 at home. Freiburg should be brimming with confidence after going toe-to-toe with a high-scoring Leipzig side a week ago, and I would expect them to take care of business against a lesser side this weekend.
The sides played to a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture back in November, but Werder embarrassingly conceded an equalizer in the third minute of stoppage time despite Freiburg having picked up a red card in the 87th minute. Back Freiburg at home on the moneyline.
The Pick: Freiburg (+115)
RB Leipzig vs. Mainz
|Leipzig||-1.5 (+105)||-240||Over 3.5 (-110)|
|Mainz||+1.5 (-140)||+135||Under 3.5 (-110)|
Note: Draw listed at +390
Here we have what appears to be another lopsided fixture. Leipzig dropped points last week against Freiburg, which resulted in Gladbach leapfrogging RB in the table. Mainz held Cologne to an entertaining 2-2 draw in their first game back. While that was a positive result, Mainz are still just four points clear of the relegation zone with a goal differential of minus-19 this season.
Leipzig’s daunting attack features Timo Werner, who is chasing Robert Lewandowski for the Bundesliga’s Golden Boot. While the German international is unlikely to make up the difference with so little time left in the campaign, stopping him will still be a tall order for a Mainz defense that has allowed 55 goals through 26 games. Leipzig have scored 63 of their own, which is third-most in the league.
Leipzig have absolutely demolished Mainz today, winning 8-0.
A massive day for Werner as well, who grabbed himself a hat trick of goals and a hat trick of assists.
— EiF (@EiFSoccer) November 2, 2019
At least three goals have been scored in all seven matches between these sides over the years. The teams played to a 3-3 draw last May. Last time they met, it was an absolute thrashing. Leipzig put eight goals on the board while keeping a clean sheet at Red Bull Park in November. Werner picked up a hat trick with Leipzig enjoying 69 percent of the possession.
I’m certainly not expecting that to happen again, but it’s clear that Leipzig have an awful lot more firepower than their opponents on Saturday. I like the plus-money value on Red Bull to win by at least two goals.