DFB-Pokal Final Odds & Betting Picks for RB Leipzig vs. Borussia Dortmund (Thursday, May 13)
Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images. Pictured: Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland.
- Two of European soccer's most powerful sides will battle in Thursday's DFB-Pokal final in Berlin.
- RB Leipzig enters this match missing some key players, including U.S. international Tyler Adams.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the contest below and explains why he's backing Dortmund to lift the trophy.
RB Leipzig vs. Dortmund Odds
|RB Leipzig Odds
|2.5 (-157 / +128)
|Day | Time
|Thursday | 2:45 p.m. ET
|Odds updated Thursday afternoon via DraftKings.
Prior to the final two weeks of the Bundesliga season, fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund and second-placed RB Leipzig will meet Thursday in the the DFB-Pokal Cup final in Berlin.
RB Leipzig has never won this trophy in club history, plus it's the last chance for manager Julian Nagelsmann to win a title with the team before moving to Bayern Munich at the end of the season. For Dortmund, it has a chance to win a crown prior to two critical games to secure a berth in Champions League next season.
Nagelsmann has never beaten the Black and Yellows in his time with the Red Bulls, plus his side was handed a 3-2 road defeat against Dortmund this past Saturday. They also suffered a 3-1 loss at Leipzig back in January.
Making matters even more tough for RB Leipzig is the fact Dortmund appears to be bolstered by the return of star striker Erling Haaland to the lineup, as he was back training Tuesday and will be in the squad.
Leipzig have allowed more than 1.6 expected goals in two Bundesliga matches all season. Both came against Borussia Dortmund. The Black and Yellows have had more success than any other in domestic soccer to break down RB Leipzig's otherwise elite defense.
For the year, RB Leipzig has allowed 27.2 xGA in 32 Bundesliga matches, which is an excellent showing for a league known more for goals than anything else.
Because its attack is so spread among several talented players, it's easy to forget if a key contributor or two are missing. However, that's exactly the case for RB Leipzig entering this final.
Attacking midfielder Chris Nkunku has been their offensive player this year by expected chances created. His 0.71 xG + xA per 90 minutes tops the list of players, plus standout defensive midfielder Tyler Adams will miss this contest.
Adams would have been critical in stopping Dortmund in transition, which means his absence likely creates a Kevin Kampl-Marcel Sabitzer midfield pairing. Sabitzer offers very little defensively, which often leaves Kampl to be potentially exposed in transition.
RB Leipzig has relied so much on getting attacking play and goals from all parts of the pitch. I think it has sometimes struggled in big matches, because it doesn't have a main target to run its possession through, like it did last year with Timo Werner. That has made the Red Bulls vulnerable in big matches with Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Champions League opponents.
The potential return of Haaland to this game changes everything. Haaland is already one of the world's best strikers, and while things are trending toward him playing, it's not 100 percent he will start this match.
Haaland ripped apart RB Leipzig in transition in the January meeting, which was a decisive win for the Black and Yellows after a sluggish first half. The potential front three of Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus hasn't always been healthy, but when it has Dortmund has an electric transition attack.
Central midfielder Jude Bellingham will be back from suspension and likely partner with Emre Can in midfield, which is the best Dortmund pairing since the Axel Witsel injury.
Dortmund's current form cannot be understated, though. As much as it struggled and underperformed it xG numbers early on, its Champions League performance and recent league showings suggest that it's just as good as RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich have been all year.
Since April 1, no team has a higher xG difference per 90 minutes than Dortmund. The Black and Yellows have won five and only lost once during that stretch, which was an unlucky defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Sunday's match was a decent preview of how this game is likely to play out on the tactical front. RB Leipzig will have more of the ball, with Dortmund looking to hit its foe on the break more often than not. The Red Bulls have an ability to exploit the Black and Yellows' defense from its wingbacks, but Dortmund has Haaland and Bellingham back and they provide a big boost through the center.
Despite RB Leipzig's system being designed to set up pressing traps and prevent high pass completion from its opponents, Nagelsmann hasn't been able to force Dortmund into giveaways and turn that into clear scoring chances.
The Black and Yellows have completed 79.3%+ of their passes against RB Leipzig in the previous both meetings, which makes them just one of four Bundesliga teams to do so.
So many cup finals are decided by a moment of individual brilliance. Dortmund will have the two best players on the pitch.
Take the Black and Yellows to win the trophy.
Pick: Borussia Dortmund To Lift Trophy (-115)