This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
Last weekend was somewhat different from the norm in the Bundesliga after a lot of road favorites failed to score first, pushing my theory to a 26-12 record. In addition to Monchengladbach losing as a favorite, Bayern Munich gave up an early goal before a mostly easy second half in a 4-2 win. Even with those losses, Mainz was yet another large underdog (+265) to win outright. There's been one of those winners almost every week since the Bundesliga returned, and it's a wonder why those lofty odds don't disappear when an elite team isn't involved.
As usual, let's review the theories and results from this past weekend.
- Bet the away team to score first if the home is less than a -200 favorite
- When two fairly even teams are playing, lean on the away side
Teams to score first
Winners: Mainz +125, Wolfsburg -152, Koln -127
Losers: Monchengladbach -195, Bayern Munich -250, Hoffenheim -127, Schalke -103
Winners: Mainz +265, Wolfsburg +118,
Losers: Hoffenheim +143, Schalke +205, Koln +143
THE WEEK AHEAD
Teams to score first
Leipzig -275, Borussia Dortmund -360, Freiburg +155, Union Berlin +130, Eintracht Frankfurt +118, Werder Bremen -148, Augsburg +100, Leverkusen -265
Freiburg +340, Union Berlin +275, Eintracht Frankfurt +240, Werder Bremen +115, Augsburg +200,
The huge underdogs stand out the most despite recent upsets in the league. Considering Freiburg just beat Monchengladbach, getting them at +340 to beat Wolfsburg, who have had trouble scoring and recently lost to Frankfurt, is a steal.
Going further, Freiburg have lost two of their last six league matches, both 1-0 results, including one against RB Leipzig. Even better, Freiburg won the first meeting against Wolfsburg and have taken seven points from the last three matches. They may not win in a defensive contest, but getting Freiburg at +108 to win or draw is a decent bet. I took a similar approach with Mainz last week and they ended up winning by two goals.
It also makes sense to put some money on Union Berlin for fun. Koln just held Augsburg to one goal, but they haven't won in their last six league matches and have allowed at least two goals in five. Union are on the same form as Schalke at this point, but +275 to win and -115 to win or draw is pretty good. Given Koln's back line, I'd also consider +130 for Union to score first. It appears home-field advantage is still being built into some of the odds.
After one bad performance, the oddsmakers are off Eintracht Frankfurt again, but while they have a minus-13 goal differential away from home, they've won their last two league trips. They have another midweek match, which doesn't help, but I think they're worth taking given the odds at -122 to win or draw against Hertha Berlin.
Betting Bayern Munich is usually a good idea after their -1 hit last week. Even with Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller suspended, I think taking Bayern -1.5 at -106 is a decent route. Without those guys, they can score five goals against most in the league, and Monchengladbach aren't playing overly well, already losing by two goals to Bayern Leverkusen and failing to score in their last two road trips.
If you aren't comfortable betting Bayern to win by two goals, take them at -295 to win with Leverkusen -180 and it comes to +109. I know Leverkusen haven't been easy to trust and also have a midweek match, but they play Schalke.
- Freiburg +108 to win or draw
- Union Berlin +130 to score first
- Eintracht Frankfurt -122 to win or draw
- Bayern Munich -1.5 -106
OVER and UNDER
Unders have been hitting at a better rate for me over the last couple weeks, and I have a couple more for the coming weekend. It seems a little too obvious to take the under on Wolfsburg and Freiburg, but under 2.5 goals is +112. Wolfsburg and Freiburg matches have the fewest number of goals scored in the league, averaging 2.6 and 2.7 goals per match, respectively. Four of Freiburg's last five matches have had two goals or less, while Wolfsburg have scored one goal or less in three of their last four. I'm thinking 1-1 draw or 1-0 result to either side.
Sticking with the under, Paderborn have scored three goals in their last five matches and Werder Bremen are surprisingly worse with two in their last five. Since the restart, both are playing more defensively, and that's oddly not seen in the odds with under 2.5 goals at +123. If you really like scoreless matches, it's +1300 to finish 0-0.
For those who like betting on goals, I'm sticking with the big boys. There's a chance Erling Haaland is back, but even if he's not, Dortmund could be set for four-plus goals against Fortuna Dusseldorf, who recently gave up five to Bayern. I'd be more confident if Dortmund allowed more goals, but getting +120 for over 3.5 goals is good enough.
I like the Bayern and Gladbach over 3.5 goals a tad more with -112 odds. Again, some will be turned off by no Lewandowski, but I think Bayern's midweek match could lead to some tired legs and a goal or two for Monchengladbach, similar to last weekend's 4-2 result against Leverkusen. Plus, the last time Monchengladbach played a good team they lost 3-1 to Leverkusen.
I'm taking the easy route with this week's parlay and looking at the biggest favorites. It's rare when these teams lose to lesser competition and Schalke's recent struggles are the main reason I'm throwing Leverkusen into the mix.
Borussia Dortmund ML (-278), Bayern Munich ML (-295), Bayer Leverkusen ML (-180) = +184
$100 to win $184