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RB Leipzig vs. Stuttgart Bundesliga Odds, Picks, Prediction, Preview: How to Back the Hosts (August 20)

RB Leipzig vs. Stuttgart Bundesliga Odds, Picks, Prediction, Preview: How to Back the Hosts (August 20) article feature image

Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images. Pictured: RB Leipzig standout Angeliño.

  • American managers Jesse Marsch and Pellegrino Matarazzo face each other when RB Leipzig and Stuttgart battle in Friday's Bundesliga action.
  • The Red Bulls are looking to give Marsch his first win in the German top flight after a season-opening defeat against Mainz.
  • Michael Leboff gives his detailed insight below and explains why he expects RB Leipzig to roll to the win.

RB Leipzig vs. Stuttgart Odds

RB Leipzig Odds-215
Stuttgart Odds+525
Over/Under3.5 (+120/ -150)
Day | TimeFriday | 2:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.

Friday’s Bundesliga showdown between RB Leipzig and VfB Stuttgart could be dubbed The Yankee Derby. That’s because both German clubs are managed by Americans — RB Leipzig by Jesse Marsch and Stuttgart by Pellegrino Matarazzo.

The match will mark the first time Yankee skippers will face one another in Germany’s top flight.

At this point, Marsch is the more known commodity in soccer circles. The former Major League Soccer player followed a successful stint in charge of the New York Red Bulls with an even more encouraging reign at RB Salzburg, cementing himself as the next in line for when Julien Nagelsmann inevitably left for Bayern Munich.

Leipzig managers often become “the next big thing” in German soccer, so it was a pretty important moment for the United States when Marsch was confirmed as Nagelsmann’s successor after winning back-to-back titles in the Austrian Bundesliga.

While this will be Marsch’s first go-round as a manager in the Bundesliga, Matarazzo is now in his second full season in charge of Stuttgart after he led them back to the first division in the 2019-20 campaign. The Wayne, N.J., native followed that automatic promotion campaign from the second division with an impressive ninth-place finish in the top flight last season.

Marsch and Leipzig are big favorites to win this tilt, but Stuttgart should be full of confidence following a 5-1 drubbing of newly-promoted Greuther Fürth.

Strength vs. Strength

Marsch’s reign at Leipzig didn’t get off to a flying start. Taking on a Mainz side that finished 12th last season, Die Roten Bullen fell flat as -235 road favorites in a 1-0 loss that was a pretty dull match that saw the teams basically split the expected goals.

Leipzig, who came into the season as third favorites to win the Bundesliga at +1600 odds, is expected to be noisemakers in the Champions League, but another flat performance against another mid-table side will slightly turn up the pressure on the American manager.

While it would have been nice to at least get a point in his first Bundesliga match, there’s no reason to doubt Marsch and Leipzig will right the ship sooner rather than later.

For one, there was no better defensive team in the Bundesliga than the Red Bulls last season. Not only did Leipzig allow the fewest goals in the division, but they also led the league with a 0.86 xGA per 90 minutes.

There will be an adjustment period under Marsch, but I don’t have any concerns that it will be a steep learning curve. The Wisconsin native wants his teams to press and hunt the ball, which is something Leipzig players will be used to by now.

The 1-0 loss to Mainz might have been a dud, but it wasn’t a defensive breakdown as Leipzig limited the Carnival Club to 1.1 xG, two shots on target and 30% possession.

However, Leipzig’s curtain-raiser did leave something to be offensively, as Die Roten Bullen mustered just two shots on target and only created 1.2 expected goals. I would expect Leipzig to have more offensive success, as Stuttgart do not profile as a sturdy side.

Die Schwaben allowed the sixth-most goals and fourth-most xG in the Bundesliga last season, but were able to outscore those issues thanks to a high-flying offense that finished seventh in goals scored and sixth in xG created.

Matarazzo’s men continued that strong offensive form by shipping five goals past Fürth, but solving Leipzig is going to be a much trickier tip-toe. That played out last season, with Die Schwaben getting shut out in both contests against Leipzig.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

I expect there to be some scoring in this match and I’m not alone as the total is set at three goals, with the over juiced to -130 odds. That said, I expect the bulk of the scoring to be done by one side, as I think that Leipzig’s defense should be able to withstand the Stuttgart attack.

The same thing cannot be said of the inverse, with Die Schwaben sacrificing defensive sturdiness for offensive prowess. That style can overwhelm lesser opposition and makes for a fun watch, but against a complete team like Leipzig that could be a recipe for a blowout.

Given they are playing their second match under a new manager, I do think there’s a chance that this match could go awry for Leipzig and that’s more than enough to keep me from laying a big price on the moneyline.

However, should things click for Die Roten Bullen. There’s a good chance they dominate this game and win by multiple goals, especially since Stuttgart has the type of defense they can overwhelm pretty easily.

Ten of Leipzig’s 19 Bundesliga wins last season were by multiple goals and Stuttgart lost by two or more in seven of their 13 defeats, so I think there’s plenty of signals pointing to some value on the home side to win this one by at least two goals.

Pick: RB Leipzig -1.5 (+130)

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