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Bundesliga Best Bets: How to Bet Frankfurt vs. Union, Freiburg vs. Mainz, More

Bundesliga Best Bets: How to Bet Frankfurt vs. Union, Freiburg vs. Mainz, More article feature image

Bayern Munich took care of business in the Bundesliga’s return with a 4-0 victory at home against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday. That kicked off the nine game Bundesliga slate that’s highlighted by Dortmund’s trip to Köln, surprise league leaders Union Berlin visiting Eintracht Frankfurt and a relegation six-pointer between Schalke and Augsburg on Sunday.

It’s rare to see Bayern Munich not at the top of the table, but Union Berlin is a road underdog as they try to continue to hold off the seemingly inevitable — Bayern winning yet another league title.

Here are my three best bets for the weekend slate:

Our 3 Bundesliga Best Bets

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Union Berlin

Frankfurt Odds +120
Union Odds +220
Draw +230
Over/Under 2.5 (+102/ -120)
Day | Time Saturday |  9:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Union Berlin’s two strikers — Sheraldo Becker and Jordan Pefok — both rank in the top five in all of Europe’s top five leagues in finishing overperformance. Union Berlin has scored 15 goals off of 5.7 xG. They’ve conceded four goals from 6.7 xGA. The defense is stellar, as it has been the past two seasons, and the defensive approach works well.

The league leaders are 15th in the league in shots, 16th in progressive passes, 18th in pressing intensity and dead last in high turnovers forced. Unlike most Bundesliga side, they don’t press. They cross the ball from wide into the area a ton and have been remarkably efficient — unsustainably so — at turning those crosses into chances.

Frankfurt relies heavily on set pieces to generate chances, where they have scored five of their 14 goals. Now, they go up against one of the best set piece defenses in Europe.

It’s hard to say a total of 2.5 is inflated, but both attacks are quite mediocre — Frankfurt has averaged less than 1.5 xG per match — and I’m betting the under, expecting some finishing regression for Union Berlin.

Dabbundo’s Pick: Under 2.5 goals (-120)

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FC Köln vs. Borussia Dortmund

Köln Odds +280
Dortmund Odds +110
Draw +220
Over/Under 2.5 (-164/ +134)
Day | Time Saturday |  9:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Dortmund entered the season as a team primed for attacking regression after finishing its chances at a ridiculously unsustainable rate last season. The loss of Erling Haaland has proved difficult to replace. Additionally, Dortmund will be without Marco Reus and Youssoufa Mokouko on Saturday as both are hurt. USMNT star Gio Reyna is also in doubt as he returns from international duty. Sebastien Haller was the expected replacement, but he hasn’t played due to a health issue.

All of the attacking injuries mean Dortmund is even more reliant on the aging Anthony Modeste to lead the line and the short term fix hasn’t been a great stylistic fit this year.

The defense has made significant improvements as well, simply by not being as leaky under pressure and conceding silly goals. They have their moments — like in the game against Werder Bremen — but Dortmund’s defense is conceding less than one xGA per match. In attack, they rank sixth in xG for,  a solid drop off from last season’s improved attacking numbers.

The market hasn’t quite adjusted to the improvements defensively, although it is getting closer. I’ll keep betting Dortmund unders until it fully adjusts.

Dabbundo’s Pick: Under 3 (-114)

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SC Freiburg vs. Mainz 05

Freiburg Odds +100
Mainz Odds +250
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (-104/ -118)
Day | Time Saturday |  9:30 a.m. ET
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Mainz is one of my favorite Bundesliga teams to back as an underdog because the defense travels so well. They don’t concede big scoring chances and Freiburg doesn’t create enough shot volume against similarly talented sides.

Freiburg excels and takes advantage of set pieces to generate chances too, but Mainz — like Union Berlin — is very difficult to score against on set pieces. Freiburg looked impressive in dominant wins against relegation sides Augsburg and Bochum, but they’ve played about even with most of their other opponents this season.

In games against non-relegation opponents, they’ve produced 5.3 xG and allowed 5.3 xGA. In other words, they are an average team. Mainz doesn’t have flashy underlying numbers either, but they are higher in my power ratings by the slimmest of margins.

Freiburg has the most goals in the league off of set plays. Mainz has conceded the fewest xG from them. I lean under as well here, but have this match lined close to a pick’em and will take the half goal in a game that could easily end as a draw.

See our pick

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