Bundesliga Odds, Picks & Predictions: Best Bets For Bayer Leverkusen vs RB Leipzig & More
DeFodi Images/Getty. Pictured: Mohamed Simakan.
The Bundesliga returns with Bayern Munich signing English superstar Harry Kane to help plug the hole in the middle of their attack last season. Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig both lost key players from their squads, but both have replenished in the summer transfer window and are set to challenge Bayern for the league title yet again.
Union Berlin pulled off a shock fourth place last year and they have a tricky opening weekend matchup with Mainz. Bayer Leverkusen are the oddsmakers pick for fourth, and they host Leipzig in the highest profile matchup of the opening weekend in Germany.
Here are my best bets for the opening weekend in the Bundesliga.
Bundesliga Odds & Picks
|Bayer Leverkusen Odds||+145|
|RB Leipzig Odds||+175|
|Over / Under|
-150 / +120
I wrote in my Bundesliga preview why I remain bullish on Leipzig despite the loss of Christopher Nkunku, Dominik Szoboszlai and Josko Gvardiol to transfers this summer. Marco Rose's side rolled Bayern in the German Super Cup last weekend with Lois Openda starting next to Timo Werner, Xavi Simons and Dani Olmo excelling in creative midfield roles and Mohamed Simakan slotting in for Gvardiol. Leipzig have an excellent scouting department and depth to replenish and I think it's fair to expect Leipzig to perform at comparable levels to last season.
The question is where to power rate Leverkusen in the first full year under Xabi Alonso. The profile of the team changed a lot under Alonso. They pressed a lot less and were more passive out of possession. Leverkusen will struggle to replace Moussa Diary this offseason, who were extremely effective at using his pace to get in behind German defenses and were Leverkusen's most productive attacker last year. Patrik Schick remains out injured and Amine Adli and Serdar Azmoun are both suspended, which leaves Leverkusen heavily reliant on the new additions to feature. Victor Boniface is the big summer signing for them at striker from Union Saint-Gilloise.
Leipzig were more than a half-goal better per 90 than Leverkusen last season and I have more confidence in this Leipzig group gelling immediately than their opponents. Granit Xhaka should help bolster the Leverkusen midfield in this Alonso system, but this game should be a true tossup once factoring in home field advantage.
I'd bet Leipzig draw no bet at +100 or better.
Pick: Leipzig PK (+100 or better)
|Over / Under|
-163 / +130
Stuttgart finished below Bochum in the table and did just sell midfielder Wautaro Endo to Liverpool, but there's a gulf in the true talent of these two teams. Stuttgart had some of the worst variance imaginable last season to end up in that relegation playoff, but they made two key moves in the offseason that should solidify their place in the German mid-table.
The first was losing goalkeeper Florian Muller and adding Alexander Nübel on loan from Bayern Munich. Muller had a -6.7 post-shot expected goal difference last season, one of the worst in the entire league. He had a -4.7 PSxGD the year prior, which means his subpar shot stopping led to roughly 11.4 extra goals conceded in two seasons.
Nübel had a poor season at Monaco last year, but his track record is a considerable upgrade over Muller and should help Stuttgart not badly underperform their expected metrics this year. Stuttgart also permanently signed Serhou Guirassy after his highly successful loan spell last year.
Bochum had a -28 goal difference and were by far the worst team in the league away from home last season. Their xG difference alone suggests a larger gap in true talent. Now that Stuttgart are improving in both penalty areas, they're too short in the market.
Stuttgart should be laying a full goal here, and closer to -190 or -200 on the moneyline. I'd bet Stuttgart ML at -160 or better at home.
Pick: Stuttgart ML (-160 or better)
|Union Berlin Odds||-106|
|Mainz 05 Odds||+300|
|Over / Under|
+110 / -138
The table from last season would tell you there was a sizable gap between Union Berlin and Mainz last season. The entire club profile doesn't show much of a gap at all. These two teams were nearly identical in xG difference, set piece efficiency and overall underlying profile. Given the two low event sides, it's one of the lowest totals you'll ever see in the Bundesliga.
Union Berlin did make some intriguing offseason additions — Robin Gosens is an ideal wing back for the crossing system and Kevin Volland can score goals and offer decent production as a forward. Lucas Tousart was one of the few bright spots on a terrible Hertha Berlin side. Brenden Anderson is a perfect engine room midfielder for a team that won't have the ball a lot of the time.
Union still don't have a good enough attack to separate from comparable teams. Just like I'd bet Union Berlin +0.5 at Mainz because of how often this fixture ends in a draw, I'm going to bet Mainz +0.5 on the road in the opening Sunday of the season. Mainz have the better attack and Union still finished as a bottom three attack in every metric.