Sunday Bundesliga Odds, Pick, Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich Betting Preview (Oct. 17)
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images. Pictured: Robert Lewandowski.
- Bayer Leverkusen hosts powerful Bayern Munich in Sunday’s intriguing Bundesliga clash.
- The Bavarians are heavy favorites in this contest, highlighting the weekend card in the German top flight.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the confrontation below and details why he likes Bayern Munich to cruise to the win.
Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich Odds
|Bayern Munich Odds||-175|
|Over/Under||3.5 (-125 / +105)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 9:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
After seven matches of the Bundesliga season, the closest challenger to Bayern Munich isn’t the expected Borussia Dortmund or RB Leipzig.
It’s Bayer Leverkusen, who finished the 2020-21 season in sixth place, well off the pace of the Champions League places. Leverkusen faded hard to end the 2021-22 season and it led to the removal of manager Peter Bosz at the end of the season.
Leverkusen started the 2021-22 campaign flying high yet again, scoring goals from everywhere and well overperforming their expected goals numbers. A look at the table will have you thinking that Leverkusen is a legitimate title challenger or top-three finisher in the Bundesliga this season.
However, a look at their underlying numbers suggests a very different story, and the gulf in talent and production between these two teams isn’t being properly adjusted for in the market. Leverkusen is overvalued and Bayern should remind everyone Sunday why the Bavarians have won this league for nine consecutive years.
Coming off a loss and after an international break, there’s no better spot for Bayern.
Leverkusen’s Stats Paint Lurking Regression
It doesn’t take long when looking at Leverkusen’s advanced stats profile to see why they’ve massively overachieved their expected numbers to begin the 2021-22 season. Leverkusen is sixth in the Bundesliga with 11.8 xG in seven matches. A solid return, but they’ve converted those 11.8 xG into 20 actual goals. Only Bayern has scored more in the league this season because of the excellent shooting of their attackers.
Despite being sixth in shots per 90 and middle of the pack in shot quality and average shot distance, Leverkusen has the highest goals per shot in the whole league. A whopping 43% of their shots on goal have been goals, about 13% higher than the median finishing rate in the Bundesliga.
Leverkusen sits in 12th in big scoring chances created, sixth in entries into the penalty area and 17th in crosses. It’s not an elite offense based on any of the underlying numbers, yet they’ve scored nearly three goals per game.
Moussa Diaby and Florian Wirtz have been excellent secondary attackers to supplement Patrik Schick, but they are also way overperforming their shooting numbers. Diaby and Wirtz have 11 combined goals from 3.9 expected goals, which accounts for most of Leverkusen’s xG to goal difference.
At the other end of the pitch, Leverkusen has been pressing less, at one of the lowest rates in the Bundesliga. They’re letting opponents into the final third and penalty area too at a solid rate, which is a major red flag ahead of playing Bayern.
Prime Spot to Back Bayern Munich
I tend to bet against Bayern Munich as an overvalued public favorite more than I bet on them, but this is as good of a spot as there is to get behind them after a bizarre 2-1 loss to an underachieving Frankfurt team in their last game.
Bayern’s defense had legitimate issues last season under Hansi Flick. They were very vulnerable defensively, struggled to stop counters and leaked goals. Thus far in this season, center back additions and new manager Julian Nagelsmann have somewhat fixed the issue. Bayern’s defense is first in shots allowed, xG allowed and second best in penalty area entries allowed.
The defense should force Leverkusen to take a lot of shots from distance, which shouldn’t be an issue for Manuel Neuer in net. They’re conceding way fewer big scoring chances than last season, too, as a result of conceding fewer direct attacks up the middle of the pitch.
Bayern’s attack may have some aging players along the frontline, but the production is as good as ever: first in xG, first in shots and first in entries into the penalty area. The ball-progression ability combined with the shot-getting ability makes for a very difficult team to defend, and Leverkusen won’t offer much resistance until Bayern gets the ball to the penalty area.
Contrary to last season, Bayern isn’t running absurdly hot in front of goal, either. They’ve scored 24 goals from 20.4 xG, which is somewhat over what you’d expect, but not an outlier by any stretch given the sample size.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Because Bayern is a very public team and a popular betting favorite across Germany and the globe, my projections almost never show value in backing Bayern to win. Yet on Sunday, they do. My projection makes Bayern -200 to win this match and -1.2 goals against Leverkusen.
Given Leverkusen’s mediocre attacking and defensive numbers, Bayern should have no issue beating them on the road, as they did to Dortmund and Leipzig already this season.
Leverkusen has scraped by playing decently well against mid- to lower-table teams, but they were outclassed when they faced Dortmund and will be again on Sunday.
Pick: Bayern Munich -1 (-110 or better)