Bundesliga Betting Picks: Our Best Bets for RB Leipzig-Hertha Berlin, Schalke-Dusseldorf and Augsburg-Paderborn (May 27)
Friso Gentsch/Pool via Getty Images. Pictured: Kai Proeger
- There are five Bundesliga matches on Wednesday afternoon, starting with RB Leipzig vs. Hertha Berlin at 12:30 p.m. ET.
- Our soccer writers share their favorite bets for Leipzig-Hertha Berlin, Schalke-Dusseldorf and Augsburg-Paderborn:
If Tuesday’s Bundesliga matches were all about the top of the table and the title race, Wednesday’s are all about the bottom of the table and the relegation battle.
Three teams in the thick of the relegation scrap — Paderborn, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Mainz — are in action on Wednesday afternoon.
Any relegation-scrapper will tell you each match is a must-win, but the stakes are highest for Paderborn, who currently sit in 18th place and are six points behind Dusseldorf in 16th (18th and 17th place automatically get relegated, 16th place plays a play-off against the third-place finisher in the second division), against Augsburg.
Here are our favorite bets for Wednesday’s matches:
RB Leipzig vs. Hertha Berlin
12:30 p.m. ET, FS2
RB Leipzig embarrassed Mainz, 5-0, last Sunday and look to have found their form. Timo Werner bagged his second hat trick versus Mainz this season and pulled within three goals of Robert Lewandowski for top scorer in the Bundesliga.
Die Roten Bullen has earned a +13.47 expected goal differential at home this season, though much of their success at home has come against the bottom of the table, going 7-0-0 with a 26-to-5 aggregate score against the bottom half of the Bundesliga.
Leipzig showed a little rust right after the break in a 1-1 draw with Freiburg, but when their attack gets going its almost impossible to stop.
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.
Die Alte Dame have arguably been the best team since the Bundesliga returned to action. With a 3-0 win at Hoffenheim and a 4-0 win in the Berlin Derby, they had the best goal differential since the break going into the midweek fixtures. However, those results are deceiving as the expected goal differential in those two games is only +0.66.
Home-field advantage has been muted since the return to action and that should help Hertha Berlin, who have not lost on the road since Nov. 24. The Old Lady has amassed 19 points and a -0.50 xG differential in 13 away matches this season.
Aside from their consistent road form, Hertha Berlin has been all over the map. They have wins over Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg and a draw with Bayern Munich, but they’ve struggled against the bottom of the table.
RB Leipzig are clearly the better side in this matchup and their 5-0 win over Mainz looked like a return to form for Die Roten Bullen.
My projections for the game agree with that notion as my model has RB Leipzig projected for 2.64 xG and Hertha Berlin pegged for 0.62 xG.
Given RB Leipzig’s success against weaker opposition, I have no problem backing Die them to win this match by multiple goals.
My Pick: RB Leipzig -1.5 (-106)
Schalke vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf
2:30 p.m. ET, FS2
Wednesday’s showdown between Schalke (8th place, 37 points) and Fortuna Dusseldorf (16th place, 24 points) does not have the makings of a blockbuster. Not only are these two of the worst attacks in the Bundesliga, but neither Schalke nor Dusseldorf have collected a win since Germany’s top division resumed play.
Schalke has been particularly dreadful since the restart, losing both matches by a combined score of 7-0. The expected goals models suggest that the scorelines are a bit harsh on Schalke, but Die Knappen were deserved losers in both matches.
Dusseldorf hasn’t looked particularly sharp since resuming play, either. The Rheinlanders snoozed out a 0-0 draw against last-place Paderborn in their first match back and then were lucky to earn a 2-2 tie against Koln on Sunday.
In short, it’s been tough sledding for both of these teams since the Bundesliga resumed play:
|Expected Goals For||1.06||1.49|
|Expected Goals Against||2.95||2.89|
One look at the statistical profiles for these two teams and it’s easy to see why the total was set so low. Dusseldorf is tied with Werder Bremen for the fewest goals this season and no team has created fewer expected goals than Wednesday’s hosts. Schalke isn’t that far behind in either regard, as Die Knappen have scored the fifth-fewest goals and have generated the third-fewest xGF on the season.
With two colorless offenses meeting, a play on the Under 2.5 seems to make a lot of sense, but I can’t trust Dusseldorf’s defense to get that bet to the window. Just as they do on offense, Dusseldorf rank dead last in the Bundesliga in expected goals against. Somehow, the team with the worst offense and the worst defense in the league is not in an automatic relegation spot. That’s quite impressive, to be honest.
It’s hard to trust Schalke considering their current nine-match winless streak, but Dusseldorf is the worst team in the Bundesliga, even if the standings tell us otherwise. Home-field advantage has been severely muted since the Bundesliga has started back up so I see no reason why the odds should be this tight.
I’ll take Schalke at any number above +160.
The Bet: Schalke +170
Augsburg vs. Paderborn
2:30 p.m. ET
This is definitely not one of the marquee Bundesliga matches during the week’s busy slate, but there are plenty of ripe plays alive in this showdown of mediocre outfits.
Augsburg, which is 10th in the league with 37.50 expected goals, pulled off a convincing 3-0 road win at struggling Schalke and saw its six-match winless skid end in style. It was Augsburg’s first shutout since a 3-0 win against Fortuna Duesseldorf on December 17, which has to give the club plenty of confidence heading into this showdown.
In contrast, Paderborn struggled to a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim and continued its slide toward relegation. Paderborn, which enters the match a dismal 15th in expected goals (30.33) in Bundesliga action, is winless in its last eight league tilts and hasn’t won since a Jan. 25 victory against Freiburg.
Defensively, these are two of the worst teams in terms of expected goals against in the entire league. Paderborn is the fourth worst in the category at 51.57 expected goals against, with Augsburg only slightly better in the Bundesliga in sixth place at 47.27 expected goals allowed.
That data alone has me backing the total going over the number here. Add in the fact 12 of Augsburg’s last 13 home league matches have gone over the line for total goals and it has me playing it with confidence.
As for a side, I am going with Augsburg to get the job done on home soil. That road win at Schalke last weekend was quite impressive and I see the club securing three points against a Paderborn side that has just two wins in 13 road league matches this season.
The Bets: Augsburg (-110); Over 2.5 Goals (-150); Both Teams To Score (-175)