Bundesliga Odds, Picks, Predictions: RB Leipzig vs. Borussia Dortmund Betting Preview (Nov. 6)
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images. Pictured: Christopher Nkunku.
RB Leipzig vs. Dortmund Odds
|RB Leipzig Odds||-105|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+140/ -170)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 1:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Given Bayern Munich’s improved underlying numbers, it’s going to be very difficult for either RB Leipzig or Borussia Dortmund to sustain a challenge to the Bavarians for the Bundesliga title this season.
Thus far, only Dortmund have been close through 10 matches, nearly a third of the season. Dortmund have eight wins and two losses and sit just one point behind Bayern, but now may be without star striker Erling Haaland for the next two months.
Dortmund travel to Leipzig on Saturday in a battle of the next two best teams in the Bundesliga , even if Leipzig haven’t consistently looked like a Champions League-level team and Dortmund don’t play like the second-best team without Haaland.
RB Leipzig Crumbles in Close Matches
Now that we’ve hit 10 matches, legitimate comparisons can be made between 2019-20 and 2020-21 RB Leipzig. And while the defense has fallen through the floor from one of the best in all of Europe to a middling Bundesliga side, the attack has actually improved.
That’s because of the addition of Andre Silva, in part, but more because of the excellent attacking play of Christopher Nkunku’s breakout season. Known for his stellar set-piece play and excellent assist numbers in the past, Nkunku is adding goalscoring this year. Nkunku is averaging 0.43 xG per 90, the highest of his career, to go along with his 0.25 xA per 90 minutes.
He’s also been excellent in the Champions League, where he’s totaled five goals in four matches. The story of Leipzig this year has been simple: They’ve been ridiculously bad in close games.
Leipzig sit in eighth despite the third best xG difference in the Bundesliga because of games like last Saturday, a dominant performance against Eintracht Frankfurt that ended 1-1 after a smash-and-grab Frankfurt goal. Somehow, they managed one point from six in the UCL vs. Paris Saint-Germain, despite being even or better in both games.
Leipzig outplayed Köln, Freiburg and Wolfsburg, and won none of those matches, settling for two draws. They played even with Mainz in a loss. Given the performances, you’d expect Leipzig to have about four more points than they actually do, and it’s unlikely Leipzig will continue to play this poorly in close games.
Dortmund Struggles Without Haaland
Dortmund have played a handful of games without Haaland this season, and the performances and results haven’t been encouraging: a 1-0 loss to Gladbach in which the Black and Yellows created 0.5 xG; and, a 1-0 home win against Sporting Lisbon in the UCL that produced just 0.5 xG in the box score.
Even at home in UCL action versus Ajax on Wednesday, Dortmund created little outside of a penalty, with the caveat that they played down a man for most of the match.
It’s very hard to replace Haaland’s 1.36 xG + xA per 90, especially when forward and new signing Donyell Malen is out of form and has struggled since joining Dortmund and the Bundesliga at the beginning of the season.
Dortmund are almost a half goal better in xGD per 90 minutes when Haaland is on the pitch, compared to when he’s off the pitch. Even though these samples can be noisy in the short term amid sample sizes, the entire Dortmund attack has been built around playing through Haaland.
And the Dortmund injuries don’t end with Haaland. Emre Can and Mahmoud Dahoud are out in the middle of the park, leaving Dortmund dangerously thin and very reliant on the talented young Jude Bellingham to do a lot of ball winning and ball progression. Fullbacks Nico Schulz and Raphael Guerriero are also out, leaving the Black and Yellows vulnerable to the overlapping fullbacks that Leipzig are known for.
Dortmund’s defense is just fifth in NPxG per 90 allowed and ninth in big scoring chances allowed, so they remain vulnerable, especially on the wings where Ajax really exploited them through crosses into the penalty area.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Leipzig have been feast or famine in Germany this year, looking dominant in some performances and leaky defensively in others. However, facing short-handed Dortmund, Leipzig have some positive regression coming in close games and are undervalued to take all three points at home.
Dortmund are likely to get on the board on this game given how fortunate Leipzig have been to not concede even more goals, but Leipzig’s attack, bolstered by Nkunku and Silva, and a significant edge with their wingbacks tactically should win this for Leipzig.
Anything -110 or better on Leipzig to take all three points is worth a play here as Leipzig begin their climb up the table in the couple of months in league play.
Pick: Leipzig ML (-110 or better)