Bundesliga Odds, Picks, Prediction: Prepare for Fireworks Between Freiburg and Borussia Dortmund (August 21)
Lars Baron/Getty Images. Pictured: Erling Haaland (center) of Dortmund.
- Marco Rose has had a positive start as Dortmund's new manager.
- Anthony Dabbundo sees value in the over in this matchup with the expectation both teams get on the board.
- If Erling Haaland continues to add passing range to his game, Dabbundo believes he could quickly become the best all-around striker in the world.
Freiburg vs. Dortmund Odds
|Over/Under||3.5 (+120 / -145)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated Friday night via DraftKings.|
Borussia Dortmund steamrolled their way past Eintracht Frankfurt in their Bundesliga opener, 5-2, before the Black and Yellow lost the DFB Super Cup final to Bayern Munich in the midweek. It’s been a positive start for Dortmund under new manager Marco Rose and they’ll play their first road match of the year on Saturday when they travel to take on SC Freiburg.
Freiburg settled for a 0-0 draw with Arminia Bielefeld but were unfortunate not to win the game away from home as they created three big scoring chances and more than 1.5 expected goals.
My Bundesliga projections show no edge on either side in this game, but the total is too low for a recently improved Dortmund attack and an underrated attack in Freiburg on the counter. The over has value in this matchup as Dortmund’s defense remains questionable at this point.
If you had to pick Dortmund’s biggest weakness, it would be in defending wide areas. Neither of their fullbacks are particularly established or successful fullbacks, especially defensively. Freiburg does most of their attacking up the wings and consistently relies on these areas for ball progression.
One weakness in Rose’s Gladbach teams was that they often struggled to deal with progression up the wings because they often play narrow midfields. This probably will continue early in Dortmund, where his midfield is pretty narrow and pass heavy with Mahmoud Dahoud and Jude Bellingham. Freiburg had success with crosses into the box last year and ranked fourth in crosses into the penalty area.
Hoffenheim and Frankfurt are the other two in the top four with Bayern Munich, and both of those teams gave Dortmund and Gladbach trouble defensively last season. Freiburg’s goal scoring will come if they keep creating chances as they did against Bielefeld in the Bundesliga opener.
Erling Haaland was already regarded as the best young pure striker in the world last year. Last season, he was a shot monster, excellent with the ball at his feet and incredible in the open field. He lacked passing range and often was on the end of chances instead of creating them for his teammates and becoming an all-around forward.
But he took one step toward being an all-around forward with his performance against Frankfurt in the opener. He had nine shot-creating actions — a measure of movements that lead to shots for teammates — against Frankfurt after averaging 2.5 per game last season. It’s only one game, but adding the passing range to his game would turn him into the best all-around striker in the world. He could carry Dortmund close to a title challenge, if the defense can hold up.
The defense remains a concern because of how mistake prone it has been for more than a year now. Dortmund conceded an own goal and allowed nearly 1.5 xGA in the second half against Frankfurt. They were protecting a 3-to-4 goal lead for most of the half, but this Dortmund defense is still conceding chances and goals at too high of a rate.
It’s not clear who Rose will start up top with Haaland, but he does seem set on a midfield of Dahoud, Bellingham and Reus, in front of Haaland. The passing and chance creation range of this midfield suggests that Rose is going to try to outscore a lot of teams this year and he has the firepower to do so.
Betting Analysis & Pick
My projected total for this match sits at 3.59, so I’m good taking anything plus money at 3.5. So long as Rose is playing this midfield, Haaland takes the next step forward in ball progression and passing and Dortmund continues to be vulnerable up the wings, they will be one of the most exciting watches in all of Europe.
Freiburg has a lane to attack Dortmund up the wing, as they did in a 2-1 win against Dortmund last year and as they did in a 2-2 draw with Rose’s Gladbach last season. Expect some fireworks in this game as both teams get on the board.
Pick: Over 3.5 goals (+100 or better)