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La Liga, Bundesliga Betting Picks: Best Bets for Saturday, June 13, Including Barcelona vs. Mallorca

La Liga, Bundesliga Betting Picks: Best Bets for Saturday, June 13, Including Barcelona vs. Mallorca article feature image

FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images.

  • Saturday's soccer card is highlighted by Barcelona vs. Mallorca and Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Monchengladbach.
  • Barcelona are huge favorites over Mallorca, but a slow start could be in the cards for the Catalans in their first game back in action. Bayern Munich are also sizable favorites over Monchengladbach and could win the Bundesliga title with a win on Saturday morning.
  • Check out our favorite bets for Saturday's soccer matches, including Barca vs. Mallorca and Bayern vs. Monchengladbach.

La Liga is back. The Bundesliga is still humming along. Serie A and the Premier League are coming. Soccer fans and bettors have a lot to look forward to over the next few weeks.

We also have plenty to be excited about on Saturday as three of the world’s best clubs — Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Barcelona — are all in action at different times throughout the day.

If you love the football, Saturday figures to be a busy day. Here are our favorite bets for what figures to be a terrific day of footy…

GOLF PROMOS FOR THIS WEEKEND! Bet $50, Win $100 if your golfer makes ONE birdie and Bet $10, Win $50 if ANYONE birdies 18 on Sunday!

BJ Cunningham

Freiburg at Wolfsburg

9:30 a.m. ET

Freiburg are due for regression at some point this season and their win over Borussia Monchengladbach last week is a microcosm of their season so far. Freiburg won the match despite losing the expected goals battle, 2.35 to 1.6 and they were playing against 10 men for the final 23 minutes of the match.

Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.

Freiburg’s actual goal differential sits at 0, but their xG differential is an ugly -17.73. Freiburg’s day of regression is coming.

Wolfsburg have lost both of their home matches since the Bundesliga returned to play and that has been an issue that’s plagued Die Wölfe all season. Oliver Glasner’s side have only taken 18 of a possible 45 points at Volkswagen Arena this season but their +0.39 xG differential and 1.02 xGA per match suggest they’ve been a bit unlucky not to have better results.

Wolfsburg are known for their defensive prowess but, since the Bundesliga returned to action, Die Wölfe have really improved their offensive output scoring 1.93 xG per game and bringing their expected goals scored per game up to 1.57 for the year.

Based on my model, Wolfsburg is wildly undervalued in the match:

  • Wolfsburg projected odds: -229 (69.61% win probability)
  • Wolfsburg projected xG: 2.13
  • Freiburg projected odds: +789 (11.25%)
  • Freiburg projected xG: 0.81
  • Draw projected odds: +423 (19.14%)

As I mentioned above, Freiburg is due for regression at some point and given how Wolfsburg has improved offensively, I am backing Die Wölfe to get all three points at home.

Pick: Wolfsburg -148

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Jeremy Pond

9:30 a.m. ET

This might be the biggest match on the Bundesliga slate, with both clubs looking to secure the league’s final Europa League berth.

Wolfsburg is currently in the driver’s seat in that race, sitting in sixth place on the table with 45 points. However, Freiburg is just four points back in eighth and looks to grab all three points in this match. Freiburg really can’t afford to drop any points moving forward, due to the fact Hoffenheim is on 43 points and better positioned to supplant Wolfsburg in the standings.

As for the matchup on the pitch, it has really been a mixed bag for both sides leading up to this showdown, with Wolfsburg playing better the second half of the season. The hosts earned a 1-0 victory against Werder Bremen in their latest outing, making them unbeaten in nine of their last 11 league matches. Offensively, Wolfsburg has been solid the entire campaign and sits seventh in expected goals (47.83) in the league.

On the opposite side, Freiburg picked up a 1-0 shutout against Borussia M. Gladbach last weekend and the much-needed three points. It was just the third win for Freiburg in its last 11 games, so there had to be some optimism during training leading up to this match. Goals have been relatively hard to come by Freiburg, which finds itself in 13th place expected goals (38.93) this season.

I really like Wolfsburg in this match, largely in part due to its better form and distinct home-field edge against a Freiburg side that is winless in 11 of its last 12 road Bundesliga contests. Sprinkle a little on the total going under the number as well.

THE PICKS: Wolfsburg (-145), Under 2.5 goals (+112)

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Anthony Dabbundo

Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Bayern Munich

12:30 p.m. ET, FS1

Bayern Munich are one win away from securing an eighth-consecutive Bundesliga title, and fourth-place Borussia Monchengladbach is the only team standing in the way of the dominant champions as the two sides will meet on Saturday afternoon.

Bayern will be without three of its best attackers, two due to suspension and one to injury.

Striker Robert Lewandowski (30 goals) and hybrid-winger Thomas Muller (7 goals, 20 assists) will miss on Saturday due to accumulating a fifth yellow card in Bayern’s 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen. Winger Serge Gnabry also picked up an injury in training and is doubtful to play, while Thiago remains out in the midfield.

Even shorthanded, Bayern have plenty of attacking options. Ivan Perisic, who scored the opening goal in Bayern’s DFB-Pokal semi final win on Wednesday over Frankfurt, Leon Goretzka and Kingsley Coman all bring plenty of attacking ability, just not to the extent Bayern is used to with Muller and Lewandowski.

In fact, all four of Bayern’s top scorers in the league will not play in Saturday’s match, including at least 50 of the team’s 87 total league goals.

Monchengladbach have struggled away from home in attack of late, and will be without their joint-leading scorer Alassane Pléa. Pléa has 10 goals in 2019-20, but was sent off in a 1-0 defeat to Freiburg last Friday and is suspended for Saturday’s match.

Gladbach have plenty of attacking talent to offset this setback, including through attackers Marcus Thuram (10 goals) and Breel Embolo in the midfield.

Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.

Gladbach have failed to score in each of their last two away matches, a 1-0 defeat to Freiburg and a goalless draw with Werder Bremen. But over the course of the season, The Foals have the fourth-most Bundesliga goals and are third in expected goals.

Last time these two met in December, Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer made a crucial late save and The Foals converted a 92nd minute penalty to upset Bayern, 2-1.

While Bayern is playing its third game in seven days and shorthanded in attack, I’m anticipating a slow start for the team looking to end the Bundesliga title race on Saturday.

Without Lewandowski, Muller and Gnabry, the Gladbach defense should be able to keep Bayern off the board for at least the opening 45 minutes. This season, Gladbach have conceded just 11 first half goals, compared to 25 in the second half.

As impressive as Munich has been in scoring goals and going forward since the Bundesliga returned, its defense has quietly stifled nearly every opponent. While Frankfurt found a few holes and scored a couple goals off set pieces, Bayern has kept a clean sheet in five of its last seven Bundesliga matches.

A sluggish start for Bayern on much less rest should keep this game under 1.5 goals in the first half.

Pick: 1H Under 1.5 Goals -120

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Michael Leboff

Barcelona at Mallorca

4 p.m. ET, beIN Sports

One of the world’s most iconic athletes, Leo Messi, comes back into our lives on Saturday afternoon as title-chasing Barcelona visits relegation-threatened Mallorca at 4 p.m. ET on beIN Sports.

Everything, from the odds to the stats to the talent disparity between these two teams, paints a picture of a blowout.

But if there was ever a time to bet on a minnow like Mallorca to pull the rug out from underneath a behemoth like Barcelona it would be under these circumstances, with the playing field leveled — even if just a little — because of the three-month hiatus due to the pandemic.

Barcelona Mallorca
Goals for per game 2.33 1.04
Expected goals for per game 1.94 1.25
Goals against per game 1.15 1.63
Expected goals against per game 1.13 1.9
Total goals per game 3.48 2.67
Total expected goals per game 3.07 3.15

As the numbers show, these two teams are in different universes. Barcelona continues to operate as one of the world’s best teams and their attacking trio of Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann would give any defense in the world nightmares.

Barca’s finishing talent is one reason why you shouldn’t look too much into the fact that they are scoring 0.4 more goals per match than their xG suggests they should be. Uber-talented teams are always a good bet to outrun their underlying metrics.

Based on their expected goals Mallorca’s uninspiring results this season are fair, if not a bit flattering. It’s hard to call Los Bermellones lucky or unlucky. They are what they are.

Interestingly, Mallorca would be in a much worse position if it wasn’t for a slew of shocking wins over Real Madrid, Valencia and Villareal. Is another big upset in the cards? Here’s what the odds say, when you convert them to implied probability:

  • Barcelona: 73.2%
  • Draw: 16.3%
  • Mallorca: 10.5%

Even though Barcelona is very likely to win this game I can’t suggest laying -345 on any team in their first match back after a three-month hiatus in the middle of the season. I also don’t think the full-game price on Mallorca warrants much attention, either.

Mallorca has struggled all season in front of their own goal, ranking third-worst in goals conceded and second-worst in expected goals conceded. Those numbers don’t inspire much confidence against the Law Office of Messi, Suarez and Griezmann.

The goals will likely come for Barcelona, but I do have some faith that Mallorca can hold on for the first 45 minutes, especially since it may take some time for Barcelona’s goal-scoring Cerberus to find their rhythm after nearly 100 days away from the field.

Mallorca is just one point behind 16th-place Celta Vigo in the race to avoid relegation, so a point against Barcelona would be a coup for Vincente Moreno’s chase for safety. The goal won’t be to go out and beat Barcelona, but to hang with them as long as possible to give them a chance at a draw, or if they’re really fortunate, a lucky win.

Since I expect Mallorca to try and gum up the game, I took a look for a decent price on Barcelona to struggle to score in the first half. Barca is +188 not to score in the first 45 minutes, but the 1H Under 0.5 goals is listed at +310. I think these two bets are highly correlated since Mallorca will be hard pressed to create any chances at all and I don’t think they will look to go forward much.

This isn’t exactly a fun bet to watch and losing it on a Mallorca goal would be crushing, but I’ll take a chance on a nice price in what I hope is a mundane first half at Estadi de Son Moix.

Pick: 1H Under 0.5 Goals +310

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