Bundesliga Odds & Picks | Best Bets For RB Leipzig vs Stuttgart & More
ANP/Getty. Pictured: Emil Forsberg.
The Bundesliga returned with its expected fireworks in the opening match week. Harry Kane grabbed a goal and an assist on his Bundesliga debut as Bayern thrashed Werder Bremen 4-0. Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig played out a thrilling 3-2 contest, as Leverkusen edged them following Löis Openda's miss off the post late in the second half for Leipzig.
Borussia Dortmund found a late winner to beat Köln at home and Augsburg played out a wide-open 4-4 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach.
Bayern are another huge moneyline favorite at home against Augsburg to conclude the weekend slate, but the two highest profile matches on the board are on Friday as Leipzig host Stuttgart and on Saturday as Gladbach face Leverkusen.
Here are my Bundesliga odds & picks ahead of the weekend slate.
Bundesliga Odds & Picks
|Over / Under|
-175 / +136
Stuttgart have a strong case to be the most improved team in the Bundesliga in 2023-24. It's a clear bet given that they barely survived relegation last year despite a positive xG difference. Stuttgart made a real upgrade in goal from a shot-stopping perspective and the attack flourished on opening Saturday with a 5-0 thrashing of Bochum at home. Stuttgart had 31 touches in the Bochum penalty area against just five allowed. It was a dominant performance and it wouldn't be shocking to see Stuttgart push for a European place this season.
Away to Leipzig will be a much tougher challenge, especially after Marco Rose's side lost a relatively even contest to Leverkusen in the first week. Leipzig conceded three goals to Leverkusen, but the underlying process from Rose's side was among Europe's elite in the second half of last season. Leipzig did lose Joško Gvardiol to Manchester City, and the defense struggled at times to deal with the quick strike transitions of Leverkusen through Florian Wirtz and Jeremie Frimpong.
Stuttgart also lost holding midfielder Wataru Endo to Liverpool, but the biggest issue for Stuttgart was the poor shot-stopping. Muller cost them roughly 11.5 goals in the last two seasons with his poor shot-stopping, which was the worst in the Bundesliga in that two-year period. Leipzig had a top 10 defense in Europe in the second half of 2023.
The market hasn't quite adjusted to the improved defense and the total is slightly inflated as a result. I have 2.77 goals projected for this match, and thus would bet under 2.5 at +135 or better.
Pick: Under 2.5 (+135 or better)
|Over / Under|
-110 / -110
Dortmund managed a victory against Köln in the opening match week and produced 1.8 xGF, but there is a hole in their ball progression from the loss of Jude Bellingham and Raphaël Guerriero in the summer transfer window. Dortmund had just four passes into the penalty area and one cross completed into the box. As a result of the middling ball progression numbers, Köln actually had more touches in the Dortmund penalty area than the hosts. Köln had 29 box touches to 22 for Dortmund, which should serve as a warning sign for manager Edin Terzic going forward.
Bochum have one of the worst defenses in the Bundesliga, but they have a plus shot-stopper in goal and actually had more wins at home last year than losses. They're going to be in a relegation scrap all season long, but the market power rating on the quality of the Dortmund attack is too high right now.
Bellingham and Guerriero were the two top players for Dortmund at both passing and carrying the ball into the final third/penalty area. Their losses won't be easily replaced and it puts a lot of pressure on Julian Brandt and Marco Reus to increase their numbers in ball progression.
Eventually, Dortmund have enough attacking talent in the squad to sort out their issues and do a better job of tilting the field on opponents. However, until they show more evidence of that, I'm going to hold my nose and bet a Dortmund under 3.5 at -115 or better.
Pick: Under 3.5 (-115 or better)
|Werder Breman Odds||+375|
|Over / Under|
-150 / +120
Freiburg had a resounding home victory against Hoffenheim last week, but I'm of the belief that result said more about the declining quality of Hoffenheim than Freiburg's continued success. One of the major reasons Freiburg were able to outrun regression was plus shot-stopping quality from Mark Flekken. He saved 15+ goals for Freiburg throughout his four-year stretch, which propelled them into the European places in Germany.
They also win with their premier work rate and are excellent on set pieces. Flekken departed for Brentford in the offseason and while they did add Florian Muller from Stuttgart, they opted to start 21-year-old Noah Atubolu from the U-21 Freiburg squad in goal.
Christian Streich's side won the xG battle and were deserved winners in the end, but they had fewer attacking penalty area touches, fewer shots and probably won't get eight shots and 0.9 xG from 29-year-old striker Michael Gregoritsch every week. Freiburg have long outperformed their underlying numbers at the margins, but the loss of Flekken could mean defensive regression is looming.
Freiburg also had one of the five-worst pass completion rates in the first match week. Bremen were embarrassed late at home against Bayern, but the first 60 minutes of that match were quite competitive. Bremen's underlying numbers suggested they weren't nearly as open defensively as the final goal tallies showed last season, and this game could easily get muddied up with neither midfield able to take control.
Streich's side is clearly better on the margins, but not enough to be laying -145 in this matchup. I'd bet Bremen +0.5 at +115 or better.