This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
Maybe the best thing about the return of the Bundesliga is that there weren't any major surprises from the first weekend. A lot of teams showed rust, and that kind of led to better teams winning matches as expected. Conveniently, the lone upset was Hertha Berlin winning at Hoffenheim, which I pegged in last week's article for +275 odds. On the other end of that, I went bold with some draw predictions and a stoppage-time goal by Wolfsburg prevented me from returning even.
Before I dive into the upcoming week, let's review the results from my two theories of no-fan betting.
- 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: Wolfsburg -138, Hertha Berlin +140, Borussia Monchengladbach -138, Bayern Munich -600, Bayer Leverkusen -200
Losers: Paderborn +125, Mainz +137
Winners: Wolfsburg +120, Hertha Berlin +275, Borussia Monchengladbach +125
Losers: Paderborn +230, Mainz +275
Overall, those are positive numbers. No one scored in the Paderborn match and then Mainz came from two goals behind to draw Koln, so those weren't complete misses for either bet, just unfortunate results. After some wins, there's no reason not to do the same thing for Gameweek 27.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Teams to score first
Union Berlin +110, Borussia Dortmund -205, Bayer Leverkusen -103, Hoffenheim -148,
Werder Bremen -103, Augsburg +128, RB Leipzig -286, Fortuna Dusseldorf +148
Union Berlin +235, Bayer Leverkusen +185, Hoffenheim +114,
Werder Bremen +190, Augsburg +275
(I crossed out Werder Bremen because of their poor form)
For starters, I'm not taking a bet with higher than -200 odds, meaning Dortmund and Leipzig are off the table. I think the Monchengladbach and Leverkusen match will be tight in a battle for the last European spot in the table, so I'll stay away from those bets. That leaves us with a decent number of plays.
I personally don't want to bet against Hertha Berlin after a 3-0 win in their first match with a new manager, but the odds on Union Berlin are decent and they at least held their ground against Bayern Munich.
I'm most intrigued by Hoffenheim and Augsburg.
No one will be backing Hoffenheim after they lost 3-0 at home, but that's kind of how they've played all season, with terrible home numbers but a plus-4 away goal differential. These odds may only grow in our favor as the week moves on because there's a decent chance the public will look to Paderborn, who held on to a scoreless draw last match.
However, that's not how I see it. Paderborn were outplayed by an equally bad Dusseldorf squad last week. Already without home-field advantage, Hoffenheim have a lot of edges in this matchup and that's why they're favored. The biggest difference between these teams last week was that Hoffenheim were rusty, getting two of 18 shots on target. Paderborn didn't get much of anything, placing one of seven shots on goal.
I think the play may be to take Hoffenheim to score first and win the match at +155 (DraftKings Sportsbook).
It's a little different for Augsburg because this is mainly a play against the other side. Things simply aren't coming to fruition for Schalke, who were outmatched from the start in last weekend's derby. Even with fans, Schalke drew both Paderborn and Hoffenheim at home prior to lockdown.
Maybe you can't trust Augsburg, but their last four matches have come against teams in the top six of the table. The other positive is that while they have the worst goal differential away from home, that number should improve given the lack of opposing fans. Grabbing them at +128 to score first doesn't feel like enough, and if you think +275 is too big of a risk on the moneyline, a double chance (win/draw) bet at -120 is a good path. After blowing my draw bets last weekend, I'm kind of tentative to do another, but this match is at +245 for a draw.
I think Koln to win at around -130 is decent enough to take a chance on. They slipped up against Mainz last weekend, but Dusseldorf may have the worst attack in the league with 27 goals scored in 26 matches. Koln's issue has been on the back line, and if Dusseldorf can't score no matter who they play, I'll back the favorite in this spot.
It's unclear why Freiburg are at plus odds to win (+125 on FanDuel Sportsbook) against Werder Bremen, who continued their run of bad form Monday against Leverkusen. Bremen have lost six of their last seven league matches, with their lone points coming against Hertha Berlin, who sacked their interim manager shortly after.
Hoffenheim score first and win +155
Augsburg win/draw -120
Koln moneyline -134
Freiburg moneyline +128
OVER and UNDER
Even though Bayern Munich struggled to convert their chances, I still hit on two of my three over/under plays last week. Koln/Mainz hit over 3.5 goals and Eintracht/Gladbach easily hit over 2.5 goals. I think we can find some more advantages this week.
I'm probably going against the public with this pick, as I think Wolfsburg will play for a scoreless draw against Dortmund. Maybe I said that last week about Schalke, but Wolfsburg are at least playing well and held Leipzig scoreless in their last home match. The public will also be heavy on Dortmund to score, but even without fans, I think their home dominance came into play last match. They've been sketchy away, and just 29 total goals have been scored in Wolfsburg's 13 home matches. Under 2.5 goals comes in at +135.
Bayern Munich looked kind of rusty in the attack last match, and I think they will explode for four-plus goals in one of the coming contests. Doing so against Eintracht Frankfurt is more than possible after they came out flat against Monchengladbach. Revenge will also be on Bayern's mind after Eintracht won the reverse fixture 5-1 back in November. More intriguing for this bet is that at least four goals have been scored in five of the last six meetings between these clubs, which includes matches in the Super Cup and DFP Pokal.
There are a number of ways to go, whether it's betting Bayern +850 to win exactly 4-0 or going full Robert Lewandowski at +150 to score at least two goals. If you hate taking risks, over 3.5 goals is +115.
For another over play, I want to capitalize on the attack-minded Mainz that showed up last week. Mainz matches average 3.5 total goals per game and, most importantly, they give up huge numbers to the best teams. Here are some of their prior results against the top three teams, all losses: Leipzig 8-0, Bayern Munich 6-1, Bayern Munich 3-1, Dortmund 4-0.
There are a number of ways you can go with those numbers from adding over 2.5 goals at -200 odds to a parlay or grabbing over 3.5 goals by itself for +133. I'd be all over Leipzig to score first and win at -148 because that number could jump to almost -180 by match time. Going along with those previous results, betting Leipzig to score more than 3.5 goals at +400 odds doesn't seem outlandish. Leipzig maybe didn't play great in their first match back, but they still managed eight shots on target against a team better than Mainz.
Last week's parlay was a bust, so instead of going crazy with long shots, I'll make this one more realistic.
Koln ML - 134, Hoffenheim W/D -265, Mainz/Leipzig over 2.5 goals -200 = +262 odds
$100 to win $262