This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
Bundesliga is known as the highest-scoring league in Europe, but scoring has been unpredictable following the shutdown. Not many expected Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund to finish 1-0, while two other midweek matches were scoreless. Unfortunately, that doesn't help the betting outlook because Bayer Leverkusen gave up four goals at home and SC Freiburg managed three goals after scoring once in their previous two matches.
Another big underdog hit as Wolfsburg took down Leverkusen, but I didn't include that in my theories because I thought Leverkusen were a step above Wolfsburg. Yeah, my bad. Either way, the numbers are still strong. The away team to score first theory is now 18-6, while moneyline gambles took a hit and are 7-9. Of note, a lot of those losers ended in draws and there are also some big upsets in there.
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: Bayern Munich -182, Wolfsburg +140, Freiburg +120, Mainz +100, Schalke -115
Losers: Monchengladbach -200, Paderborn +135, Koln -105
Winners: Bayern Munich -120
Losers: Freiburg +255, Mainz +205, Paderborn +295, Schalke +163, Koln +195
THE WEEK AHEAD
Teams to score first
Bayer Leverkusen -230, Eintracht Frankfurt +128, Werder Bremen -105, Augsburg +128, Hoffenheim -130, Borussia Dortmund -385, Leipzig -250
Werder Bremen +175, Eintracht Frankfurt +265, Augsburg +280, Hoffenheim +138
As seen in the lack of options, most of the top teams play weaker competition, so there's little reason to back away sides in those situations. Leverkusen don't apply to the theory as a -148 road favorite because they are a better team than Freiburg (I think?) and, in turn, that's not a gamble.
The best bets have been win/draw plays (my win/draw bets are 4-0) because while some underdogs have hit, the win/draw plays are a lot safer. A lot of matches finished as draws in midweek play, and they've turned a positive the last three gameweeks, most of them being near even odds.
The obvious bet for this weekend is Werder Bremen +175 to win mainly because the win/draw bet is at -190. If anything, you could throw the -190 in a parlay if you didn't want to bet Bremen to win straight up. These odds will likely worsen following this article because Schalke have been bad, losing five of their last six league matches, giving up multiple goals in all of the losses.
There's not much else I'm intrigued by in terms of straight-up underdogs, but there's plenty to look at.
I don't want to bet against Hertha Berlin (v. Augsburg) or Wolfsburg (v. Eintracht Frankfurt) even though you can get decent odds on both opponents. While Frankfurt are allowing a ton of goals, Wolfsburg have had one of the more consistent back lines and I think that could lead to a two-goal win. You could pick an exact score like 3-0 or 3-1, but getting plus odds for Wolfsburg to score first and win at +123 is too good to pass up. If you're really into Wolfsburg, I have a feeling Wout Weghorst capitalizes at some point, though I'm not going to give him out at +105 odds to score when he has one shot on target in his last four starts. If you can find closer to +140 or +150 odds, I'd take it.
I think it's worth it to back Leverkusen and Leipzig for bounce-back performances. Leverkusen have the slightly harder match against Freiburg, who they drew in the first meeting. Leipzig are a bit easier to trust mainly because Koln have struggled defensively by allowing seven goals in the three matches following shutdown. There are a number of ways to back Leipzig, but my favorite may be the -2 at +270. If they go off and win by more than two goals, similar to the Mainz match (5-0), you win at +270 odds. Even if they only win by two, you get money back. You could play it safer and take -1 at -115 odds or -1.25 at +114. For -1.25, half of your bet goes to -1.5 and the other half go to -1. It's not my favorite play, but you at least get some money back if they win by one goal.
I'm not huge on any of the odds for away teams to score first, but Hoffenheim at -130 is a decent rate, mainly because Mainz have allowed a league-high 61 goals. Hoffenheim are getting forwards back from injury every week and that should help their scoring chances going forward. Looking back at Bremen, they are +220 to score first and win. You don't get a ton with that because +175 to win by itself isn't a terrible rate, and Schalke just lost Wednesday after scoring first.
Werder Bremen +175 to win
Wolfsburg +123 to score first and win
Hoffenheim -130 to score first
Leipzig -2 at +270
OVER and UNDER
The over/under bets didn't have the best midweek, mainly because Monchengladbach and Werder Bremen finished scoreless. Mainz and Union Berlin scored two goals in the first 33 minutes and then couldn't score again. At least Hoffenheim came through to hit the over 3.5 goals against Koln. You can always trust the leaky Koln back line, which is where I'll start even though they play Monday.
Taking the over on Leipzig/Koln kind of correlates to my previous bet because I think Leipzig could score three or four goals. If they get one or two early, Koln will push forward and leave numerous lanes for Timo Werner and Patrik Schick. The odds agree with me, as the over 3.5 goals is just +115.
Mainz disappointed last match, but they've still allowed the most goals in the league. Hoffenheim are figuring things out and this is the type of match that could finish 2-1 or 2-2. I'm not fully on the over 3.5 goals at +140 odds, but at -180 odds for over 2.5 goals, it's a worthy parlay piece.
I shied away from my under plays in midweek action and ended up kicking myself because they all hit. Of course, I'm going to take an under this week and it will end in a 3-3 draw. Schalke have one goal in three matches and that came from the head of defensive midfielder Weston McKennie. Werder Bremen have found success by playing defensively the last two matches, with one goal in total coming from them. There's a chance this ends 2-1, but I'll take my chances and go under 2.5 goals at -124.
My parlays have not been a party. While the overall numbers are positive, I continue to pick the wrong bets for the parlay. This parlay is all on Saturday, playing heavy on win/draw bets. Let's hope there are no upsets.
Werder Bremen -190 win/draw, Hoffenheim -215 win/draw, Wolfsburg -345 win/draw, Hertha Berlin -375 win/draw = +268
$100 to win $268