Bundesliga Odds, Betting Picks, Preview: FC Koln vs. FC Mainz Prediction for Sunday, May 17

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  • FC Koln is favored over FC Mainz in updated Bundesliga odds for Sunday's match, with the total at 2.5 but heavily juiced toward the over.
  • Sunday is the second day back for Germany's top soccer league, which resumed play without fans on Saturday.
  • See how we're betting Koln vs. Mainz below.

Bundesliga Betting Odds: Mainz at Koln

  • Mainz odds: +290
  • Koln odds: -115
  • Draw: +275
  • Over/Under: 2.5 (-160/+128)
  • Time: 9:30 a.m. ET
  • TV: FS1

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The lone Bundesliga match on Sunday morning features mid-table FC Koln hosting Mainz, who are in the thick of a relegation battle and just three points clear of Fortuna Dusseldorf in 16th place.

Home-field advantage was always going to be muted in these ghost games, so it isn’t all that surprising that home sides only won one of the six matches on Saturday. It’s hard to learn anything from a six-game sample size but it is interesting to note, especially since Sunday’s opening match features an odds-on home favorite.

Another thing I was keeping a keen eye on during Saturday’s six-match slate was how long it took for teams to get going. Anecdotally, it seemed like everybody’s touch was a bit off and plenty of golden scoring chances (looking at you, RB Leipzig) went awry.

I’ll once again throw around the small-sample caveat, but only two of the 16 goals scored on Saturday came within the first 25 minutes and they were both scored by the same team (Monchengladbach). It’s hard to predict the type of impact a two-month hiatus in the middle of a season would have on teams, but one would think that the break will have an adverse effect on scoring, at least until these players begin to get used to the new rhythm of the Dystopian Bundesliga.

Stat Koln Mainz
Goals For 39 34
Expected Goals For 36.74 33.59
Goals Against 45 53
Expected Goals Against 38.31 46.58

Even though their statistical profile doesn’t leap off the page, I gave some serious thought to playing Mainz at +280. The Carnival Club may have trouble creating any offense against an OK defensive side on Sunday, but these weird conditions should provide a more level playing field compared to normal times. Koln are in “better form” and have home-field advantage, but you can toss both of those things out the window right now. The Billy Goats grade out as average and, up until their hot run before the break, were in the relegation battle, as well.

My main focus on this game will be on the total. Neither one of these sides feature a prolific attack and there’s not much star power to speak of, though Jhon Cordoba is a potential under-wrecker for Koln, so I immediately started my breakdown with the Under and tried to work backwards.

While both of these teams average more than 3 goals per game (Koln 3.36/Mainz 3.48), their expected goals show that both of these teams are better defensively (that doesn’t mean they’re good) than their results show.

The market seems to be moving towards the over, which isn’t surprising based on the goals per game numbers I highlighted above, but I think bettors may be underestimating how much the the long layoff will come into play for a pair of teams that don’t have much scoring punch.

In addition to playing the Under 2.5 at +125 or better, I’m also going to sprinkle the game to end 0-0 at the highest number I can find.

The Bet: Under 2.5 (+128)

[Bet now at PointsBet. NJ and IN only.]

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