Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach Odds, Picks, Prediction: How to Bet Saturday’s Bundesliga Match (August 21)

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach Odds, Picks, Prediction: How to Bet Saturday’s Bundesliga Match (August 21) article feature image
Credit:

Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images. Pictured: Yann Sommer.

  • Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach kick of their second match of the Bundesliga season.
  • Both clubs typically finish at near the top of the table and had strong defensive outings in their openers.
  • Anthony Dabbundo explains below why he thinks both teams will replicate that success.

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Gladbach Odds

Bayer Leverkusen Odds +135
Gladbach Odds +195
Draw +265
Over/Under 2.5 (-160 / +130)
Day | Time Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET
How To Watch ABC | ESPN+ | fuboTV
Odds updated Saturdy via DraftKings.

The last few Bundesliga seasons, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach often have been close in the table, competing for the Champions League and Europa League places behind the established big three in Germany of Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund.

With those three looking relatively strong this year, it makes their head-to-head matches that much more important. Whoever finishes ahead of the other will have the inside track at the fourth CL place, along with Wolfsburg. Gladbach finished strong in 2019-20 to claim the final spot, while they faded in 2020-21, and neither Leverkusen nor Gladbach made CL.

Like half the Bundesliga, both teams have new managers and slightly different identities. But unlike the Bundesliga, neither is relying on an open and attacking style at the moment, and both are a bit shorthanded in attack. There’s value on the under in this matchup, based on my projections, and this might not be the fireworks show people have come to expect watching the Bundesliga.

Leverkusen’s Strength is on the Wings

Leverkusen and Union Berlin both scored on their first shot in their opening game of the season last week. The next 80 minutes featured little going forward, just 1.1 combined xG for the match and plenty of defensive possession from Leverkusen. Union Berlin generated 0.4 xG, the fewest of any team in the top flight in Matchday 1. Leverkusen produced 0.7 xG and the sixth most passes into the penalty area in the top flight.

Their defense is vulnerable through the air, but Gladbach don’t really have an elite aerial presence along their front line. Gladbach had trouble sustaining possession and building attacks against Leverkusen in both meetings last season, and Leverkusen’s pressing ability remains even after the departure of Peter Bosz from last year.

Most of their attack comes down the wings through Moussa Diaby, and their attack was tilted down the left side in the opening match week. But Stefan Lainer is one of the Bundesliga’s top right backs for Gladbach, and he should be able to stifle many Leverkusen attacks.

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Gladbach’s Defense Starred in Opener

It’s rare that Bayern Munich aren’t at the top of the Bundesliga offensive categories at any point in the season. It’s a credit to Gladbach that they’re not at the top of any of the major stats. Manager Adi Hutter’s side allowed chances and progressive passes, but at no point in the game were they overwhelmed.

Gladbach exploited some defensive transition weaknesses in Bayern’s midfield and nearly pulled off the upset as a +430 moneyline underdog. But there were positive signs. First, Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer is in excellent form after a strong Euros.

Sommer had his worst season as a pro in 2020-21 and was a major reason Gladbach ran really cold defensively the whole season. He saved 1.5 goals in the opener, where Bayern had 2.5 post-shot expected goals and scored just once. His shot-stopping ability is huge for a Gladbach defense that allowed the third longest average shot distance in the league last year. If he keeps longer shots out, they’ll be a sturdier defense.

Remy Bensebiani is expected to return at left back to bolster the defense, while the double pivot of Florian Neuhaus and Christoph Kramer is fit and firing. Going forward, Gladbach may be without Marcus Thuram due to transfer rumors, and Breel Embolo is still expected to be out with injury.

Betting Analysis & Pick

The game state of this match sets up for Leverkusen to have more of the ball, some defensive possession and to look to break down Gladbach. The Foals will be on the counter and willing to concede long shots to a Leverkusen team that tends to shoot from distance.

If Sommer is on, it will be tough for Leverkusen to convert from long range, and Gladbach didn’t concede a ton of big chances against Bayern otherwise. Leverkusen’s solid defense has improved immensely in transition in the last year, and that should help this game remain under.

My 2.81 projected goals provides value on the under and I’d be surprised if four goals were scored in this game.

Pick: Under 3 (-115 or better)

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