Bundesliga Betting Odds & Picks: Value on Underdog FC Schalke vs. Bayer Leverkusen?

Credit:

MICHAEL SOHN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: David Wagner

  • With a win today, Bayer Leverkusen can likely jump up to fourth place in the league and secure a spot in the Champions League.
  • Schalke, however, has had a difficult second half of the season and enters the game in horrible form.
  • Does that mean there's betting value on the favorite? Or will the underdog surprise and put up a nice result? We break it all down below.

Bayer Leverkusen at Schalke 04 Odds and Picks

Bayer Leverkusen odds -220
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Schalke odds +540
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Draw odds +350
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Over/Under 2.5 (-148/+118)
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Time Sunday, 12 p.m. ET
TV FS2

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Bayer Leverkusen will meet up with Schalke on Sunday to wrap up Matchweek 31 in the Bundesliga.

With Borussia Monchengladbach playing Bayern Munich, Leverkusen can jolt up into fourth place with a win and all but secure a spot in the Champions League for next season.

Schalke, on the other hand, are watching their season slip away and are desperate to get any sort of result from the match.


Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.


Schalke 04

Die Königsblauen are in the worst form of any Bundesliga team since play resumed. With only one point out of a possible 15 since the league restarted, Schalke’s season and chances at a Europa League spot are all but finished.

Goal scoring has been the main issue for David Wagner’s men as they’ve only managed to create 0.64 expected goals per game in their last five matches. Schalke are a much better team than they’ve shown the second half of the season.

In the first half of the season, Schalke earned 30 of a possible 51 points, with a goal differential of +8. Since then, they’ve only managed 8 points of a possible 39 and have been outscored 25 to 6. Schalke are much too talented to be playing this bad going forward.


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Bayer Leverkusen

Leverkusen have taken a step back in their last few matches after a blazing hot run of form. In their last three matches, Die Werkself has lost twice at home and stole a win at Freiburg in a game where they lost the expected goals battle, 0.43 to 0.78. In fact, Die Werkself has a -3.35 xG differential in their past three matches.

Leverkusen do boast a fantastic record on the road this season, earning 31 of a possible 45 points with a goal differential of +9. However, expected goals shows those results to be a bit misleading, as Leverkusen has a -0.65 xG differential.

Additionally, Die Werkself’s expected points is almost 10 points lower than their actual points on the road (31 actual vs. 20.66 xPoints).

All reports are indicating that Leverkusen’s best player Kai Havertz should be fit for this game after missing the last two games due to injury.

Die Werkself absolutely need Havertz as he’s been their main goal threat scoring five goals in four games since the break. He will need to have a significant impact on the game if Leverkusen are going to earn all three points.

Analysis

I’ll be honest, this is a really tough game to handicap.

On paper it looks like an easy Leverkusen win given how bad Schalke have been over the past month. However, Leverkusen’s odds are a bit shocking and I don’t trust Leverkusen at that steep of a price.

Based on my model I have a lot of value on Schalke:

  • Schalke 04 projected odds: +253 (28.37% win probability)
  • Schalke 04 projected xG: 1.19
  • Leverkusen projected odds: +115 (46.52%)
  • Leverkusen projected xG: 1.55
  • Draw projected odds: +298 (25.11%)

It’s a bet that makes me a bit sick, but I can’t ignore this much value, even if Schalke are in a horrendous run of form.

I’m backing Schalke +1 in hopes they can squeeze out a draw in this game.

Pick: Schalke +1 (+108)

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