Bundesliga Best Bets: Our Betting Picks Saturday’s Matches, Including Bayern Munich vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf (May 30)
MARTIN MEISSNER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: David Wagner
- There are five Bundesliga matches on Saturday starting at 9:30 a.m. ET and wrapping up at 12:30 p.m. ET with Bayern Munich's showdown with Fortuna Dusseldorf.
- Our staff previews Schalke vs. Werder Bremen, Augsburg vs. Hertha Berlin, Frankfurt vs. Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf.
The Bundesliga matches are coming fast and furious these days as the league continues its sprint to get the 2019-20 season wrapped up by June 27.
Saturday’s slate features five matches, headlined by runaway-winners Bayern Munich taking on Fortuna Dusseldorf at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Here are our favorite bets for Friday’s five-game card:
Werder Bremen at Schalke
9:30 a.m. ET, FS1
Schalke hosts Werder Bremen on Saturday morning in a matchup featuring two teams headed in the wrong direction. Die Königsblauen currently sits in 9th place, two points off a Europa League playoff, but have been the worst team since Bundesliga resumed play. Schalke has not collected a point and has been outscored, 9-1, in their three matches since play resumed.
While Schalke will be desperate to get off the schneid, this is a must-win game for 17th-place Werder Bremen, who are five points from safety.
Schalke has been in a horrific run of form since way before the break. David Wagner’s side is winless and has a -7.36 expected goals differential in its last 10 matches dating back to Jan. 25.
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 is a way more talented team their current run of form indicates. They finished second in the Bundesliga two seasons ago and made a run to the Round of 16 in the Champions League in 2018-19. There hasn’t been any significant turnover in their roster from those seasons, so their current slide is puzzling.
Despite only losing once in their first 10 matches at VELTINS-Arena, Schalke grades out as an average team at home this season with a -2.13 expected goal differential.
Relegation looks almost certain for Werder Bremen. Die Werderaner has the worst offense (27 goals) and the second-worst defense (59 goals) in the Bundesliga. Their offensive numbers are inline with their xG, but their defensive numbers (46.33 xGA) suggest they’ve been a bit unlucky in front of their own net this season.
That being said, Werder Bremen have overachieved on the road this season. Die Werderaner has 16 points in 14 matches away from home this season, but those results are unsustainable as their expected road output should be somewhere around 11 points. Additionally, Die Werderaner’s expected goals on the road this season is 13.37, which is dead last in the Bundesliga.
Both of these teams are in horrible form and need all three points in this match, but my numbers suggest that Schalke is the more likely team to win on Saturday:
- Schalke 04: 1.45 xG
- Werder Bremen: 0.97 xG
Based on those numbers, I think there is value in plugging your nose and backing Schalke on the “Draw No Bet” moneyline.
The Bet: Schalke Draw No Bet (-124)
Frankfurt at Wolfsburg
9:30 a.m. ET, FS2
Eintracht Frankfurt has been hard done by this season. Their statistical profile tells the story of a team that should be fighting for a Europa League spot, but their actual results put them in 14th place and in the thick of a relegation scrap.
According to expected goals, Frankfurt should have a goal differential of +4 but in reality it sits at -8, which tells you that Die Adler have probably been a bit unfortunate through 27 matches this season. Either way, it’s a fall from grace for the team from “Mainhattan” as last season saw them make a run all the way to the Europa League semifinals.
Wolfsburg’s results this season have been markedly better than their opponent’s, but Die Wolfe also have been unfortunate. Only two teams (RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich) have allowed fewer expected goals against this season and Wolfsburg’s +6 goal differential should be closer to +12 according to xG.
Despite decent defensive metrics, Frankfurt matches typically see plenty of balls hit the onion bag. Die Adler matches average 3.56 goals per match, which is the fifth-highest mark in the Bundesliga.
Wolfsburg, on the other hand, feel most comfortable in low-event contests. Die Wolfe averages 2.64 total goals per match, the fewest in the Bundesliga, and their 2.72 total expected goals per match suggests that those results hold water.
A three-game sample size isn’t nearly deep enough to draw any conclusions from, but Wolfsburg is the better form side in this showdown. Oliver Glasner’s side have won two their three games since play resumed and their lone loss was a closer-than-it-looked defeat to Borussia Dortmund. Die Wolfe should be flying off a 4-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.
Frankfurt have not fought their way out of the relegation trenches just yet. Die Adler have taken just one of nine points since the league returned, though they did come back from a two-goal deficit with 10 minutes to earn a well-deserved draw against Freiburg on Saturday.
Wolfsburg’s defensive metrics certainly jump off the page, but Frankfurt’s backline can also do a job. Despite giving up 1.91 goals per match, Die Adler only concede 1.51 xG per game. Throw in Wolfsburg’s 1.16 xG allowed per match and it’s easy to see a path where this contest turns into a rock fight, which will suit both clubs since Wolfsburg does it best work in slugfests and Frankfurt won’t want to take any unnecessary risks since its trying to collect any points possible to avoid being dragged further into a relegation fight.
The Under 2.5 at +120 and the Draw at +270 certainly stick out to me in this match, but if you want to go hunting for a big price, having a flutter on the game to end 0-0 at 13-1 seems like a great way to spend a Saturday morning.
The Bets: Draw +270; Under 2.5 (+120) or Game to end 0-0 (+1300)
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Augsburg at Hertha Berlin
9:30 a.m. ET
Hertha Berlin, currently 13th in expected goals (35.92) in Bundesliga play, is coming off an exciting 2-2 draw against powerhouse RB Leipzig. The result extended The Old Lady’s unbeaten run to five matches and should have it feeling confident heading into this home tilt.
Augsburg, which sits 10th in the Bundesliga with 38.00 expected goals, could not get anything going during its midweek scoreless draw against visiting Paderborn. The club had just come off a 3-0 road victory against Schalke, which halted its six-match winless streak. So, suffice it to say, I am not sure which Augsburg side is going to show up in this key road match.
Defensively, these are clubs who are far from sound. Augsburg boasts the Bundesliga’s sixth-worst defense in expected goals against (48.45), with Hertha Berlin only slightly better in ninth place with 44.10 expected goals against in league play.
With neither team in any danger of finding itself in relegation hot water or sniffing a Europa League berth, I believe both will go after it in each other’s defensive third and chase all three points.
That said, I am backing both clubs to score in the match and will make it my top play.
As for a side, I am going with Hertha Berlin in this dogfight. The Old Lady was sharp at Leipzig and I see it riding that lightning back on home soil. Combine that with the fact Augsburg has compiled a brutal 2-8-2 record in its last 12 league contests, as well as being winless in its last eight at Hertha Berlin, and you have to like Hertha Berlin’s chances of getting all the points.
The Bets: Hertha Berlin (-110); Both Teams To Score: Yes (-150)
Fortuna Dusseldorf at Bayern Munich
12:30 p.m. ET, FS1
Bayern Munich’s midweek victory over Borussia Dortmund all but secured that Diw Roten will again be champions of the Bundesliga for the eighth season in a row. They now have a seven-point cushion with just six matches to go.
At the other end of the table, Dusseldorf are in 16th place, fighting off potential relegation with three matches upcoming against Bayern, Dortmund, and Leipzig.
Dusseldorf are the league’s worst team from a statistical standpoint so it’s no surprise to see their trip to take on Bayern being priced as one of the biggest mismatches of the season.
Bayern on the moneyline isn’t even worth a look, and I don’t feel comfortable laying the three-goal spread given my questions about Bayern’s desire to get a big scoring margin playing its third game in eight days.
If holding a lead in the second half, I envision a scenario where Bayern manager Hansi Flick uses his five allotted subs to provide much needed rest to some of his top attacking talents who have logged a lot of minutes since returning from a lengthy layoff.
But Saturday’s match offers value in another area, where I’m expecting Bayern to have no issues dispatching Dusseldorf right from the opening kickoff. When the two teams met earlier this season, Bayern scored three first half goals and cruised into the finish in a 4-0 win. Dusseldorf rank second to last in goals scored, last in expected goals for, and last in xG difference per 90 minutes. Although they are unbeaten in their last five (one win, four draws), Dusseldorf haven’t played anyone in the top half of the table.
Dusseldorf’s early game defense numbers don’t look that bad at surface level, as they have conceded seven goals in the opening 30 minutes of matches this season. But according to xG, that number should be closer to 13.09.
Opponents’ inability to score early on Dusseldorf has been more a run of good fortune than anything else. Meanwhile, Bayern have jumped early on its opponents, scoring 16 goals in the opening 15 minutes, their second highest scoring 15-minute stretch of the game, behind only the 15 minutes after halftime.
We saw in Bayern’s win against Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend that once they went up 3-0, the defense switched off for consecutive corners and allowed back-to-back goals. Dusseldorf have scored five goals from corners this year, which could leave the chance for Bayern to be caught sleeping again. But I don’t see Dusseldorf creating much of anything from open play, which keeps me from taking any type of over bet.
I’ll back Bayern to jump on Dusseldorf, scoring twice in the opening half on FanDuel. If this can’t be found on your outlet, first half over 1.5 (-160) also offers value
The bet: Bayern to score 2 or more first half goals (-110)