How to bet Frankfurt vs Union, Freiburg vs Mainz, More

Bayern Munich took care of business in the Bundesliga return with a 4-0 home win against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday. It kicked off the Bundesliga’s nine-game slate which is highlighted by Dortmund’s trip to Cologne, league leaders Union Berlin’s surprise visit to Eintracht Frankfurt and a six-man relegation points between Schalke and Augsburg on Sunday.

It’s rare to see Bayern Munich not top of the table, but Union Berlin are road underdogs as they try to keep pushing back the inevitable – with Bayern winning another league title.

Here are my top three bets for the weekend slate:

Our 3 best bets in the Bundesliga

Eintracht Frankfurt v Union Berlin

Frankfurt Odds +120
Union odds +220
To draw +230
More less 2.5 (+102/ -120)
day | Time saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Keep up to date Soccer odds here.

Union Berlin’s two forwards – Sheraldo Becker and Jordan Pefok – both rank in the top five of Europe’s top five leagues in terms of final outperformance. Union Berlin scored 15 goals on 5.7 xG. They conceded four goals in 6.7 xGA. The defense is stellar, as it has been the past two seasons, and the defensive approach is working well.

The league leaders are 15th in the league in shooting, 16th in progressive passing, 18th in pressing intensity and dead last in high forced turnovers. Unlike most Bundesliga teams, they don’t rush. They cross the ball from long range in the a ton area and have been remarkably effective – unsustainably – in turning those crosses into chances.

Frankfurt rely heavily on set pieces to generate chances, where they have scored five of their 14 goals. Now they face one of the best set-piece defenses in Europe.

It’s hard to say a total of 2.5 is inflated, but both attacks are pretty poor – Frankfurt average less than 1.5 xG per game – and I’m betting the least, expecting regression final for Union Berlin.

Dabbundo’s Choice: Under 2.5 goals (-120)

FC Cologne against Borussia Dortmund

Cologne odds +280
Dortmund odds +110
To draw +220
More less 2.5 (-164/ +134)
day | Time saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Keep up to date Soccer odds here.

Dortmund entered the season as a side ready to attack regression after finishing their chances at a ridiculously unsustainable rate last season. The loss of Erling Haaland proved difficult to replace. Moreover, Dortmund will be without Marco Reus and Youssoufa Mokouko on Saturday as both are injured. USMNT star Gio Reyna is also in doubt upon his return from international duty. Sebastien Haller was the expected substitute, but he didn’t play due to a health problem.

All of the attacking injuries mean Dortmund are even more reliant on aging Anthony Modeste to lead the line and the short-term fix hasn’t been a great stylistic fit this year.

The defense has also made significant improvements, simply by not being so slippery under pressure and conceding silly goals. They have their moments – like in the game against Werder Bremen – but Dortmund’s defense concedes less than one xGA per game. On offense, they rank sixth in xG for, a solid drop from last season’s improved attacking numbers.

The market hasn’t quite adapted to the improvements defensively, although it’s getting closer. I will continue to bet on Dortmund until they fully adjust.

Dabbundo’s Pick: Under 3 (-114)

SC Freiburg vs Mainz 05

Freiburg odds +100
The odds of Mainz +250
To draw +250
More less 2.5 (-104/ -118)
day | Time saturday | 9:30 a.m. ET
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Odds via sports betting. Keep up to date Soccer odds here.

Mainz are one of my favorite Bundesliga sides to back as underdogs because the defense travels so well. They don’t concede great scoring chances and Freiburg doesn’t create enough shot volume against such talented teams.

Freiburg excel and also take advantage of set pieces to generate chances, but Mainz – like Union Berlin – are very difficult to come up against from set pieces. Freiburg looked impressive in dominant wins over relegation sides Augsburg and Bochum, but they have played roughly on par with most of their other opponents this season.

In games against non-relegation opponents, they produced 5.3 xG and allowed 5.3 xGA. In other words, it’s an average team. Mainz doesn’t have flashy underlying numbers either, but they are higher in my power ratings with the thinnest margins.

Freiburg has the most goals in the league from set pieces. Mainz conceded the fewest xGs from them. I’m also leaning here, but I’ve got this game lined up near a pick’em and I’ll take the halfback in a game that could easily end in a draw.

Dabbundo’s Choice: Mainz +0.5 (-125)

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