Bundesliga is set to kick off this weekend with a whole slew of scintillating matchups. Arguably, the match to spot is between Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, two credible threats to Bayern Munich’s title defence campaign this season. Here’s a preview of this much-anticipated clash complete with soccer free picks.
Bundesliga Title Race Begins
Germany’s World Cup victory has raised Bundesliga’s profile to new heights. Undoubtedly, there is a lot of talent, skill, quality and depth to be had in the German football system. However, there’s a criticism to be had as well and that is the league as a whole simply isn’t quite competitive as some of its European counterparts. Last season, Bayern Munich romped to the title in record time, securing the coveted title by March, thereby effectively any sense of gravitas of German football. In order for Bundesliga betting to really capture the imagination of football lovers the world over this season therefore, genuine competition needs to exist, concentrated challenges from the rest of field in order to deliver a bona fide title race. Enter the top two candidates: Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen.
To look at the Bundesliga futures landscape however isn’t to find encouragement. Bayern Munich have the market cornered on -600 future odds to win outright followed at a great distance by Borussia Dortmund at +550 and Bayer Leverkusen at +3300. So much for a bona fide title race.
Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayer Leverkusen Match-Betting Tips:
Borussia Dortmund are the only conceivable challengers in Bundesliga right now, having finished second in the league last season with a 22-5-7 mark and 71 points, albeit 19 points behind Bayern Munich. It marked their second straight runner-up finish after back-to-back Bundesliga titles (2011 and 2012).
A slew of injuries really set back BVB’s challenge last season that allowed Bayern to runaway with the title so early in the season. Over the summer, they officially lost Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, but his move to the Allianz Arena was inevitable as it was a much-discussed headline over the past season. It marks the second prize bauble they’ve lost in as many seasons to their archrivals Bayern after Mario Gotze absconded the season before).
On the positive side, Borussia Dortmund have acquired some good replacements during the summer transfer window, picking up Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile from Torino and Adrian Ramos from Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin, amongst many others.
The opening fixture against Bayer Leverkusen is definitely going to test Borussia Dortmund’s credibility as a challenger this season. It’s a tough opening fixture to have and the reality is that it could go either way. But home advantage is on their side and bookies match BVB on favourable -188 soccer odds to win outright. Last season, BVB went 11-2-4 (home) and 11-3-3 (road).
Bayer Leverkusen Makeover
Bayer Leverkusen started the season brightly last term before the wheels came undone, plunging them into a crisis that eventually allowed Schalke to leapfrog into third place and almost saw them fall out of the top four entirely. They only barely clinched fourth place with a 19-4-11 record on the season and 61 points, a point ahead of Wolfsburg.
The disappointing finish to the season prompted wholesale changes from top to bottom beginning with coaching. New manager Roger Schmidt, nicked from Red Bull Salzburg, is tasked with raising Bayer Leverkusen’s profile in Bundesliga. To date, the best the club has managed is a runner-up finish, as recently as 2011. His brand of attacking football can certainly give Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund a run for its money, if offseason friendly action were a sign of things to come. Granted they’ve not faced the highest quality of opposition, but one can’t downplay the effect winning has on a team. As things currently stand, Bayer Leverkusen boast a 9-1-1 mark since May when Bundesliga went into the summer break. Some notable results include wins over Copenhagen (3-2), Southampton (1-0), Seoul (2-0) and Lokomotiv Moskva (3-1). You can back Bayer Leverkusen to beat Borussia Dortmund at +425 while the draw is trading at +350.
Soccer Betting Verdict
Wide reasoning suggests that Jurgen Klopp and his established system in Borussia Dortmund are the better soccer pick at -188 to win outright in their home opener. New coach Roger Schmidt and Bayer have had an auspicious summer, which should send them into this clash with measured confidence. Getting a result at the expense of Borussia Dortmund at home is a big ask though, aptly reflected by the +425 odds on the outright win and the +350 odds on the draw.
Either way this is going to be a big test for both sides that will determine whether all their preparations and success in the summer are viable in the broad spectrum of Bundesliga. A home win is certainly more likely but an away win isn’t improbable either – last season, Bayer stunned BVB 1-0 away before settling on a 2-2 draw at home in the reverse fixture. Recent trends between these two teams also point to a competitive matchup that has been decided narrowly with the exception of a 3-0 win by Borussia Dortmund in September 2012.
Free Soccer Picks: Borussia Dortmund to win outright is the popular soccer pick at -188 but there might be value in considering the double result where Bayer Leverkusen or the draw is priced at +160.