Ajax vs. Borussia Dortmund Odds, Betting Pick & Prediction: Will Dutch Side Prevail in Champions League Match?
Peter Lous/BSR Agency/Getty Images. Pictured: Dusan Tadic
- Ajax is favored over Borussia Dortmund in Champions League group stage action on Tuesday afternoon (3 p.m. ET, Paramount+).
- Both teams are 2-0 in UCL group play so far, but Ajax has looked far more dominant, with a 7-1 goal differential so far.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down his Ajax vs. Dortmund pick below.
Ajax vs. Dortmund Odds
|Over/Under||3.5 (+125 / -145)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Paramount+|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Group C doesn’t feature the biggest names or championship pedigrees in this year’s Champions League, but the group’s squad composition and play styles suggested that there would be goals in the group.
Through two matchweeks, it has not disappointed. On Tuesday, one of the most exciting matches of the UCL group stage takes place in Amsterdam as Borussia Dortmund makes the short trip from Germany to take on Ajax.
Both Ajax and Dortmund have won their first two games of the 2021 UCL group stage, but Ajax has looked a whole lot more dominant. They smashed Sporting Lisbon 5-1 and Besiktas 2-0, with neither game ever in doubt. The Ajax group odds have dropped +300 before the group stage to +160 entering this match at DraftKings.
Dortmund comfortably held off Besiktas in its first match, 2-1, after conceding a late goal. The Black and Yellows scraped by Sporting Lisbon in their second game, winning 1-0 without star striker Erling Haaland.
Ajax has been the most dominant team in this entire competition and is undervalued to take all three points at home in a game that should feature plenty of chances and goals at both ends.
Ajax Easily Best Watch in the Tournament
The Soccer Power Index at Five Thirty Eight rates Ajax as the fourth-best team in the world behind only Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Liverpool.
Do I think that Ajax is that good? No. But Erik ten Hag’s side hasn’t received this much love from that model since the 2018-19 season, when they were a minute away from making the Champions League final.
They’re young, they’re good, and they play a press-and-possess style that can fluster even the best in Europe. Ajax lost to Liverpool in the UCL last year twice, but played even with them in both matches. They were unlucky to not advance from that group and even more unfortunate to get bounced by Roma in the Europa League knockout stage.
None of their top players will really jump off the page as names a casual fan would know, but the same rang true a few years ago. Ajax is led up front by former West Ham striker Sebastien Haller, who flopped for the Hammers but has five goals in two UCL games.
Dusan Tadic was on the team that made the last run and they’ve added underrated attackers Steven Berghuis and Antony to complement Haller.
Ryan Gravenberch is one of the best young midfielders in the world and Daley Blind is still one of the best passing defenders in the world to help progress the ball up the pitch. Ajax’s numbers in the UCL have been remarkable.
Ajax has produced 6.8 xG in two matches and scored seven goals. Defensively, they’ve only conceded 1.0 xGA and one goal. No one has a better xG difference and only Bayern has a better goal difference.
They have the ability to apply pressure to Dortmund and force them into mistakes high up the pitch. They can hit Dortmund in transition, where the Black and Yellows have really struggled.
Dortmund’s Shaky Defense Worrisome
Dortmund had a two-game dip against Monchengladbach and Sporting Lisbon in its attacking numbers, and that not-so-coincidentally happened to be the matches striker Erling Haaland missed due to injury.
Dortmund only created 0.4 and 0.5 xG in those two matches, respectively as the attack was also missing Marco Reus.
When Haaland has been in the lineup, as he will be in this game, Dortmund has been one of the best attacking teams in Europe. However, the Black and Yellows are also finishing well above their expected goals numbers with 22 goals for from 16.9 expected in the Bundesliga. That’s 23% above xG numbers, which is unsustainably good in the long term.
The real concerns for Dortmund come at the other end of the pitch, though, where the pressing numbers are way down and they’re conceding a lot of good scoring chances.
The Black and Yellows won’t be able to win the ball off Ajax enough if they can’t successfully apply pressure on the ball because of Ajax’s plus passers in the defensive line and midfield.
Dortmund has trouble defending width and Ajax has an excellent wide forwards in Tadic and Antony that can excel in space and swing crosses into Haller.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I wasn’t ready to call Ajax better than Dortmund at the beginning of the Champions League. However, after seeing Ajax not only match, but exceed expectations both in the Eredivisie and Champions League thus far this season, they’re appearing to be just as good as some power ratings suggested they were at the beginning of this tournament.
Dortmund has underperformed against similar opponents and is due for some offensive regression in front of goal.
From a situational spot, Ajax will know it needs a win if it wants to win this group with a road trip to Dortmund coming up in two weeks and thus won’t be looking to settle for a tie if it’s even in the game’s final minutes.
Pick: Ajax ML (+115 or better)