Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Bayern Munich Odds, Pick, Prediction: German Champions Favored in Bundesliga Opener (August 13)
Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Robert Lewandowski.
- Bayern Munich open their new Bundesliga season at Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
- Julian Nagelsmann has taken charge at Bayern, which is once again heavily favored to retain its league crown this season.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down his Gladbach vs. Bayern pick with a full preview below.
Gladbach vs. Bayern Munich Odds
|Bayern Munich Odds||-185|
|Over/Under||3.5 (-125 / +105)|
|Day | Time||Friday | 2:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.|
The Bundesliga kicks off on Friday afternoon with nine-time defending champions Bayern Munich traveling to take on Borussia Monchengladbach. The defending champions split their two meetings with Gladbach in 2020-21, losing 3-2 at Borussia Park in January before beating them at home 6-0 in May.
Both teams have new managers ahead of the 2021-22 campaign with Gladbach hiring former Frankfurt manager Adi Hütter and Bayern hiring former RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann.
Despite Gladbach’s poor finish to the 2021-22 campaign, they’re undervalued in this spot at home against a Bayern team that ran ridiculously and unsustainably hot in front of goal last year.
Can Embolo Lead Gladbach to a Stunning Upset?
Gladbach were up and down for most of the 2021-22 season. The club reached new heights by qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage for the first time. They lost seven straight matches in all competitions in February and March once former manager Marco Rose announced he was leaving the club.
On net, they were unlucky to be as low as eighth in the Bundesliga based on the quality of their chances allowed and created. Yann Sommer had an unusually bad shot-stopping campaign, but his past seasons plus European Championships performance suggest he should be improved this year.
Gladbach’s attack saw some significant decreases from the prior season when they finished fourth, but the infusion of more Breel Embolo into direct Gladbach attacks has him poised for a breakout season. Embolo led the Euros in expected threat, a stat that measures ball progression and chance creation.
Embolo wasn’t a perfect fit for the Marco Rose system, but he can thrive in the more direct system under Hütter. Many thought the Foals would lose a bunch of their attacking and midfield players like Neuhaus, Denis Zakaria and Marcus Thuram, but all three currently remain at the club and are available on Friday.
Same Old Bayern Munich?
Bayern is in a tough spot here, even with it being the first match of the season. They’ve got the DFL-Supercup on Tuesday against cup winners Borussia Dortmund with silverware on the line. While most of Bayern’s main attackers are available, the defensive issues and fullback injury crisis is notable. Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard are out on the right, Alphonso Davies isn’t fully fit to play 90 minutes and Bayern has a new center-back pairing to break in.
Bayern’s biggest defensive liability was conceding shots from direct attacks last year and with fullback issues, a new center-back pairing and the same midfield double pivot of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, it’s not clear how they will solve those issues. Gladbach exploited this in its 3-2 win and multiple other Bundesliga teams hit Bayern on the counter this way.
Kimmich-Goretzka as a double pivot are excellent going forward but they lack defensive solidity and players like Gladbach’s Florian Neuhaus are adept at finding space between the lines to exploit them.
The defending champions run ahead of their expected goals numbers almost every year, but last year was exceptionally high. Robert Lewandowski was an average finisher for most of his career, but the last two years he’s run well ahead of his xG numbers. He posted 41 goals from 31.6 xG, which is unsustainably good finishing.
Gladbach vs. Bayern Pick
My projections make Bayern a -130 favorite in this game away from home, showing them to be overpriced at their current moneyline of -185. Taking the +1.25 as insurance, Gladbach has its entire squad back and a new manager with fresh ideas to liven up its attack.
Underdogs tend to do well across the main European leagues early in the season because it takes favorites time to gel and get their top players fit and firing. Gladbach’s success on direct attacks can get at Bayern’s vulnerability there defensively and keep this close.
Pick: 1 unit on Borussia Monchengladbach +1.25 (-125 or better) and 0.5 units on Gladbach moneyline at +380 or better)