Bundesliga Betting Preview: The 200-1 Longshot Worth a Punt to Win the Title
Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Breel Embolo
The Bundesliga’s return this weekend is a huge moment for sports fans and really for society as a whole. Germany’s top division is set to become the first major league in the world to resume play after the COVID-19 outbreak. The Bundesliga may not have the same footprint here in the state that the English Premier League boasts, but in terms of competition and starpower, it is on level pegging with any league in the world.
Plenty of sports media outlets have published articles over the past week trying to help sports-starved fans find a team to support for the rest of the season, but instead of trying to pick a team based on their kits or how passionate their fanbase is, why not take a look at the oddsboard and throw some cabbage on a team.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you fall in love with a team when your money is along for the ride.
Bundesliga Title Race and Odds
|Team||Points||Odds (Implied Probability)|
|Bayern Munich||55||-500 (83.3%)|
|Borussia Dortmund||51||+600 (14.3%)|
|RB Leipzig||50||+800 (11.1%)|
|Borussia Monchengladbach||49||+20000 (0.5%)|
|Bayer Leverkusen||47||+25000 (0.4%)|
At -500, Bayern Munich is a prohibitive favorite to continue their dominance over the Bundesliga and win their eighth consecutive Salatschüssel. Not only do the Bavarians lead the league in points, goals for and goal differential but they also have the best expected goals (xG) differential. Their success this season is well earned and they deserve to be the odds-on favorite.
That being said, a two-month hiatus in the middle of a season should level the playing field quite a bit as nobody has any idea how these teams will adapt to having to jump right back into the fire amid a global pandemic and play “ghost games” in front of empty stadiums. Bayern Munich is still very, very likely to win the Bundesliga but if there was ever a time to take on a big favorite, it would be in a situation like the unfortunate one we’re living in.
Taking a shot on Borussia Dortmund or RB Leipzig may seem like a worthwhile investment since they’re both terrific teams and are within striking distance of Bayern Munich, but they would need help from the seven-time defending champions to have a chance. And, if you’re betting on either Dortmund or Leipzig to win the title, you’re really betting on Bayern to fall apart. If you’re going to do that, why not take the gigantic odds on a team like Borussia Monchengladbach, just two points behind Dortmund and one behind Leipzig, instead?
The best chance that one of these teams has at catching Munich is if the Bavarians come out of the gate flat, perhaps, because they won’t be as motivated to play under these strange conditions.
Motivation is impossible to handicap, but one team I expect to give an honest account of themselves is Borussia Monchengladbach, the team that is putting cardboard cutouts of their fans in their home stadium. Die Borussen are enjoying a surprisingly successful campaign and currently sit in a Champions League spot. The Foals still have plenty to play for.
Gladbach’s success in 2019-20 has been no fluke as Marco Rose’s side have created the third-most expected goals for (xGF) and their 34.54 expected goals against ranks sixth in the Bundesliga. They aren’t an elite side by any means, but they should be held to the same standard as RB Leipzig, if not
In normal circumstances the six-point gap between them and the German Giants on top of the table would be far too wide to be interesting with just nine matches remaining, but there are so many unknowns ahead of us that you just can’t discount Monchengladbach from the title race.
If Bayern Munich or Dortmund drop some points during the expected adjustment period and Gladbach come out of the gates hot, who the hell knows.
Gladbach’s 200-1 odds mean they only need to win the Bundesliga 0.50% of the time for this bet to have value and I’ll absolutely take that price on a team that is essentially a hot streak away from making this very interesting.
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