Bundesliga Betting Guide for Matchday 27
Last week’s highly anticipated return of the Bundesliga provided a handful of stunning goals, a few moments of genuine drama, and some welcome relief for the sports deprived across the globe.
But while the resumption of matches after a two-month hiatus did little to disrupt some aspects of the German top flight -- Bayern and Dortmund continued their winning ways; Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland and Kai Havertz kept scoring; Augsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt remained inept -- Matchday 26 felt more like a smudged carbon copy of this season than the glossy original we’d come to know.
But while a dip in fitness and form was always to be expected after such a long layoff, the lack of any semblance of home-field advantage sans crowds was startling, a confirmation of the role supporters play in lifting their teams, especially against superior opposition.
To that point, home teams went a woeful 1-5-3 on re-opening weekend, and while four of the five victorious road sides were positioned higher in the table than their hosts, it’s hard to argue that the likes of Frankfurt -- who sit sixth in the current home table standings and boast one of the top in-stadia atmospheres in Europe -- would’ve succumbed as meekly to Borussia Mönchengladbach if the Commerzbank-Arena wasn’t so silent.
It’s with that backdrop that we gaze ahead to the Bundesliga slate for Matchday 27, a fixture list complete with a Berlin derby and a pair of top-six clashes.
For the odds on all nine matches, look no further than FanDuel Sportsbook, and for insight on three of the most interesting confrontations, we've got you covered below, starting with...
Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Borussia Mönchengladbach
Draw at +270
Saturday’s glamour fixture at Borussia Park sees third host fifth in a North Rhine-Westphalia derby with serious Champions League ramifications.
Both clubs were in good form before the coronavirus-enforced sabbatical, and both picked up exactly where they left off on Matchday 26 with dominant road wins over lesser opposition. As mentioned, Gladbach beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 and should’ve scored at least one more, while Leverkusen were irresistible in a 4-1 rout over relegation-threatened Werder Bremen.
Even though the Foals won the reverse fixture 2-1 in November at the BayArena, Leverkusen was still finding their footing at that time and were a mid-table squad, while Gladbach were in formidable form as league-leaders.
That dynamic has shifted a bit in the months since, as the pharmaceutical giants have taken 22 points of a possible 27 in the second half of the season -- or the Rückrunde, as the locals call it -- while Gladbach have earned a more modest 17.
And while Marco Rose’s team is 9-2-2 at home this year, it’s anyone’s guess if that form will carry over with only cardboard cutouts of their famously dedicated supporters in the stands.
Still, Gladbach have beaten Bayer three times running in league play, with Leverkusen’s last win over their regional rivals coming in March of 2018. Given the unique circumstances and the form of both clubs, the draw -- which boasts +270 odds -- feels like the right play over picking Bayer (+170 to win) or Gladbach (+135) to take all three points.
Borussia Dortmund at VfL Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg at +330 or Draw at +300
If you love to back an underdog who has a fighting chance, look no further than the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday.
Yes, Matchday 26 saw Wolfsburg require a 90th-minute winner to defeat a struggling Augsburg side that was without their manager because he needed toothpaste -- no, seriously -- while title-challengers BVB showed their class and composure in a 4-0 demolition of Schalke in the Revierderby for their fifth league win a row.
But before you assume it’ll be more of the same this weekend, have a quick glance at the fixture list.
Der Klassiker -- the potentially title-deciding battle between the Black and Yellows and Bayern Munich -- is on Tuesday, May 26th, a mere 72 hours after Dortmund finish their Matchday 27 encounter with the Wolves.
Erling Haaland eyeing #DerKlassiker coming next like...#BundesligaIsBack #BVB #BVBFCB pic.twitter.com/b8qPrCzIyt
— Star Sports Football (@StarFootball) May 19, 2020
And while the travel isn’t an issue here -- it’s only a 300-kilometer trek down the A2 between venues -- when you consider the lack of training during the pandemic and the amount of injuries Dortmund are already dealing with, there’s zero chance that Lucien Favre fields a first-choice starting XI on Saturday with such a massive game looming.
Plus, let’s not diminish Wolfsburg’s credentials. After a shaky run of form in December, Oliver Glasner's side is now unbeaten in their last seven and have moved ahead of the likes of Schalke and Freiburg into sixth, good enough for the league’s final Europa League spot.
The unbeaten run continues
7 games unbeaten #VfLWolfsburg pic.twitter.com/kpXh4yskTO
— VfL Wolfsburg EN (@VfLWolfsburg_EN) May 17, 2020
And sure, Wolfsburg’s meager +5 goal differential -- a mere 34 goals back of BVB on the season -- and their 3-0 loss at Dortmund in November aren’t exactly harbingers of an upset. But you can’t deny the feeling that this BVB squad won’t resemble the one we’ve seen all season, and that certainly levels the playing field.
Add in the fact the Dortmund has allowed 70% of their goals on the road this season and average nearly a goal per game fewer away from Signal Iduna Park, and all signs point to a potential stunner -- or at least a tight affair -- in Lower Saxony. A draw (+300) or Wolfsburg win (+330) both offer a lot of value.
Fortuna Düsseldorf at 1. FC Köln
Düsseldorf at +320 or Draw at +280
Here’s a case of a team being rewarded by the bookmakers for a superiority on their own turf that might not exist anymore in the current climate.
On one hand, Köln has been strong at home all season and are averaging over half a goal per game more at the RheinEnergieSTADION than on the road.
When you combine that with Düsseldorf’s terrible road form – they’ve won just twice on their travels in 2019-20 -- you understand why the Billy Goats are favored to the degree they are.
Fact: Düsseldorf beat Köln 2-0 in November’s reverse fixture.
Fact: Düsseldorf have just one win in their last nine, but they’ve lost just three times in that span and are unbeaten in their last four.
Fact: Düsseldorf’s eight draws are fourth-most in the league.
Fact: Both teams earned a point last week, but while F95 dominated proceedings without reward in a nil-nil against bottom-side Paderborn, Köln threw away a two-goal advantage in their 2-2 draw against 15th-place Mainz and looked out of touch defensively.
To sum up, in this matchup of the last two German second division champions, Köln may be having the better season, but with no fans behind them, there’s little reason to believe Markus Gisdol’s side is superior to a Dusseldorf team that have beaten them once already. Check out Düsseldorf to win (+320) or draw (+280).