Bundesliga Betting: 3 Clubs Who Could Knock Off Bayern Munich
Soccer’s back, y’all.
After seasons everywhere were universally suspended in early March due to the coronavirus pandemic, top domestic leagues around the world are beginning to get the ball rolling again, starting on May 16 with everyone’s second-favorite European league, the Bundesliga.
To even the casual observer, the German top flight is synonymous with Bayern Munich, the dominant power in both the past and present. The Reds have won seven league titles in a row and 29 all-time – no one else in Germany has hit double-digits – and they’re once again in pole position to capture the crown in 2020.
But this hasn’t been a typical Bayern run-away job, as they’re just four points up on the chase pack with nine matches to play. With so much uncertainty surrounding how clubs will fare upon returning to play after such a long layoff, the best of the rest in the Bundesliga are optimistic that this might be their year.
And that creates an opportunity to hop on FanDuel Sportsbook and bet on one of these underdogs to take the Bundesliga crown from the grasp of Bayern Munich (-430).
With that mind, here’s a look at the three most-likely suspects to find a way past Hansi Flick’s side this summer, starting with…
Borussia Dortmund (+500)
51 points, 4 points back of Bayern
Famously, the Black and Yellows are the last team other than Bayern to win the Meisterschale, having won back-to-back crowns under Jurgen Klopp in 2011 and 2012. They’ve finished runners-up to the Bavarian giants four times since, including missing out on the title by only two points one year ago.
This season, Lucien Favre’s side has had issues at the back at times -- other than sixth-place Schalke, every club in the current top seven has a better defensive record -- but they boast the league’s second most-prolific attack at nearly three goals per game and had been red-hot prior to the pandemic with a 7-1 record since the league’s winter break.
Looking ahead, BVB has a decent run of fixtures over their final nine matches, as they host Bayern and local rivals Schalke while avoiding fourth-place Mönchengladbach and fifth-place Leverkusen, whom they’ve already played twice. Their toughest test will come at third-place RB Leipzig, who they drew 3-3 with in December in arguably the league’s best game of the season.
If Dortmund can beat the reigning champs at Signal Iduna Park at the end of May, they’d have to be considered co-favorites for the title.
RB Leipzig (+850)
50 points, 5 points back of Bayern
Much has been made of the way the Red Bull corporation has turned this former fifth-division side into true top-flight title contenders in just over a decade. Some regard Leipzig as a model organization that’s won the right way -- by hiring the right people and emphasizing youth over big signings -- while others have a distinctly less-rosy view of the club from Saxony.
Still, regardless of what you think about them, the new kids on the block have been fantastic again this season. With nine matches remaining, Julian Nagelsmann’s side are already just one goal shy of their total output of last year and are tied with Bayern for the league’s stingiest defense. They’ve lost a league-low three times this campaign and have also gone unbeaten against the 29-time German champions, earning low-scoring draws both home and away versus Bayern.
Crucially, RB’s stretch run is considerably easier than their main challengers for the title, as they don’t play any of the other current top-seven clubs outside of second-place Dortmund, who they welcome at Red Bull Arena on the penultimate matchday of the year.
The only potential wrinkle to watch for would be the resumption of the currently-suspended UEFA Champions League. Leipzig is currently in the quarterfinals of the tournament after defeating Tottenham in the Round of 16, and additional matches -- should they occur in June -- would add further stress to a smaller squad with an already congested fixture list.
Borussia Mönchengladbach (+10000)
49 points, 6 points back of Bayern
Apologies to Bayer Leverkusen, but the only other real title challenger to monitor is the other North Rhine-Westphalia club, as Gladbach find themselves two games behind the leaders with nine to play in their quest for a first league title since 1977.
Die Fohlen -- the Foals -- were top of the table for eight weeks in the fall, and while they haven’t always been the most consistent since, they’ve not gone more than two matches in a row without a win and haven’t lost back-to-back games all season.
Despite not having a double-digit goal scorer, they still boast the league’s fourth-best goal differential and are tied for the third-tightest defense, thanks in large part to an aggressive mentality, which has them leading the Bundesliga in duels won, and outstanding play from Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer.
Interestingly, Marco Rose’s squad has hit the post or crossbar a whopping 10 times this season and have scored only two penalties, numbers you’d imagine would turn in their favor at some point. Plus, unlike other clubs in the league, they'll have supporters in the stands for the remainder of the season, which can't hurt -- even if they're just cardboard fans.
Gladbach’s run-in isn’t terribly imposing -- no Dortmund, no Leipzig and no Schalke on the fixture list -- but they do host Leverkusen in a massive derby match in the second week of the restart before navigating a trip to Bayern in early June, a club they beat 2-1 at Borussia Park earlier this year.