It might have the least sexy name among Europe’s premier leagues, but for soccer bettors everywhere, the return of Germany’s Bundesliga – now streaming live on DraftKings – is a welcome glimpse of something approaching normality.
Soccer bettors began to feel a little more comfortable when May 16 dawned. After weeks of trying to convince themselves that there was nothing in the least bit desperate about using the leagues of Belarus and Nicaragua to scratch their betting itch, the return of the Bundesliga felt like a homecoming.
Germany’s top division, the Bundesliga is one of the big five European soccer leagues, alongside England’s Premier League, France’s Ligue 1, Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga. As such, it is normally a focal point of the continent’s betting action each weekend.
And now it’s back, a testimony to Germany’s commendable performance in limiting the ravages of the coronavirus. With its 18 teams having five games left in their schedule, the Bundesliga hopes to wrap up its season by June 27, health issues permitting.
Watch Bundesliga Soccer Live With DraftKings
Bettors can now watch Bundesliga soccer on their laptop or mobile device, with DraftKings becoming the latest sportsbook to stream games live. This service is available to those customers with funds in their accounts who are situated in states where DraftKings has launched its mobile sportsbook, namely Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Bundesliga Teams To Watch
Typical of a continent which refuses to embrace the American concepts of parity and ‘any given Sunday’, the Bundesliga is one of several European leagues that are dominated by a single club.
Bayern Munich is bidding for an eighth straight championship but after a string of titles won by double-digit points margins, its pursuers may be wising up.
The reigning champions finished just two points ahead of Borussia Dortmund last season and they returned to action in mid-May with Dortmund and three other teams within eight points of them.
After an inconsistent start which led to a coaching change, Bayern has dropped just two points in 15 league games since early December. A 1-0 win at Dortmund in late May may well prove decisive, as they are now seven points clear of the field.
It looks like another frustrating year for Dortmund, who led the table by six points at half-way last season, only for three ties (or ‘draws’ as they are known in Europe) and a loss in their next seven games to puncture their momentum. Despite strengthening their roster considerably in the off-season, defensive frailty still dogs them.
Stacked with potential stars and coached by the equally promising Julian Nagelsmann, RB Leipzig has topped the league table at times this term, only to be undermined by inconsistency and too many ties.
At the other end of the table, Paderborn and Werder Bremen currently fill the automatic relegation slots (see ‘Bundesliga Fast Facts’, below) but don’t write them off. Both have given sides in the top half of the table a run for their money this term, Paderborn twice being edged out 3-2 by Bayern Munich and tying 3-3 with Dortmund.
How To Bet The Bundesliga
The smartest play may be to keep your money in your pocket until soccer as we know it returns, hopefully, next season. Social distancing, screening, empty stadia – these are times unprecedented for even the most experienced pros and the trends mentioned below (using data from SoccerStats) are more tenuous than usual after the league’s two-month lay-off.
If you must play, bet small stakes only, check injury reports and if your sportsbook gives you the option of betting in-play, consider watching the game for 15 minutes before betting, to make sure your team looks sharp.
As good as Bayern Munich are, they are slow starters at home, as likely to be tieing or trailing at half-time as leading. Betting the half-time market (where you bet on the outcome of the game’s first half), take what should be generous odds and bet the tie and road win in Bayern’s remaining home matches (Borussia Mönchengladbach on June 13 and Freiburg on June 20) dutching your stakes so that your profit is the same should either bet win. Google ‘dutching calculator’ to spare yourself the math.
Because the sample size of games played behind closed doors is so small, it’s hard to be statistically precise on how much home advantage is reduced when games are played in empty stadia. If you are prepared to follow your instinct, however, taking good odds against a Dortmund home win could yield profit. They are markedly better at home (in front of 80,000 spectators) than on the road, suggesting that they are vulnerable without a partisan atmosphere. You could either dutch your bets on the tie and road win, or bet the road win in the Draw No Bet market, where your stake is refunded if the game ends in a tie. Dortmund host Hertha Berlin on June 6, Mainz on June 17 and Hoffenheim on June 27.
Remember the exploits of Paderborn against teams in the top half of the table this season. Their ‘no-name’ lineup plays without fear on the road and they visit high-flying but inconsistent RB Leipzig on June 6. While Paderborn’s fate seems sealed, relegation is not yet mathematically guaranteed and a dutched bet on the tie and road win at big odds may give you more of a run for your money than seems likely on paper.
Talking of RB Leipzig, their last three games summed up their season, as they hammered Mainz and FC Koln on the road by a combined score of 9-2, either side of a disappointing home tie with Hertha Berlin. Such inconsistency may well inflate their odds in the remaining games, yet in the top half of the league, no team has a softer schedule from here onwards. Even at short prices, the Red Bulls could still be a value bet, once the Paderborn game is behind them.
As always, the choice of whether or not to bet is ultimately yours and never bet with money you cannot afford to lose.
U.S. Players In The Bundesliga To Watch
American viewers will want to look out for these U.S. players with Bundesliga experience – Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Weston McKennie (FC Schalke), Alfredo Morales, Zack Steffen (both Fortuna Dusseldorf), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), John Brooks (Wolfsburg)
CO Sportsbook Lines For This Weekend’s Games
(All times MDT; road team listed first; details of named sportsbooks at Colorado Sportsbooks; odds correct at time of writing)
Friday, June 5, 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 6, 7:30 a.m.
Bayern Munich -212 (FoxBet)
Bayer Leverkusen +500 (FanDuel, FoxBet)
Tie +400 (FanDuel, BetMGM)
Mainz +280 (FanDuel)
Eintracht Frankfurt -107 (DraftKings, BetRivers)
Tie +275 (FoxBet)
Paderborn +1700 (DraftKings, BetRivers)
RB Leipzig -650 (FoxBet)
Tie +750 (DraftKings, BetRivers)
Saturday, June 6, 10:30 a.m.
Hertha Berlin +700 (FoxBet)
B. Dortmund -278 (DraftKings, BetRivers)
Tie +440 (FanDuel)
Sunday, June 7, 5:30 a.m.
Wolfsburg +115 (FanDuel, FoxBet)
Werder Bremen +245 (FoxBet)
Tie +240 (FanDuel, BetMGM, FoxBet)
Sunday, June 7, 7:30 a.m.
Schalke +215 (DraftKings, BetRivers)
Union Berlin +150 (FoxBet)
Tie +220 (FanDuel, BetMGM, FoxBet)
Sunday, June 7, 10:00 a.m.
FC Koln +155 (DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, FoxBet)
Augsburg +170 (DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, BetMGM, FoxBet)
Tie +245 (FoxBet)