So without further ado or fuss, here is a look at the first fixture to kick off the highly-anticipated proceedings between league titleholders Bayern Munich and Borussia M’gladbach.
Bayern Munich heavy favourites to get off to a winning start
Despite the fact that Pep Guardiola’s tenure got off to a losing start –a 4-2 defeat to archrivals Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup– it has had no impact whatsoever on the Bundesliga’s outright winner market, where they remain the runaway favourites to at -500 at Bet365 and a whopping -50000 favourites to finish in the top four (should the unthinkable happen and they don’t successfully defend their title).
There is nothing coy about the market on Bundesliga this season. Those prices are telling, a conspicuous vote of confidence for the Bavarians. In part, it’s a reflection of the clear depth and talent sat on the enviable bench, which correlates to a gulf between Bayern and the rest of the field. This gulf was handsomely reflected in last season’s sensational finish on a 29-4-1 record with 91 points (25-points ahead of runners-up Borussia Dortmund, just to illustrate). Also, they are strengthened by a string of strong showings in club friendlies over the last few weeks –including a 2-0 win over Barcelona and Sao Paolo and a 2-1 win over Manchester City– and an emphatic 5-0 win in DFB Pokal over second-tier BSV Schwarz-Weiß Rehden.
Where the opening fixture on the season is concerned, the favourable theme continues. Predictably, Bayern Munich are installed in the soccer odds as the hot favourites at -800 to win outright to Borussia M’gladbach listed at +1800 to pull off the upset and the draw set at a most inconceivable +750.
In a lopsided market such as this one, finding value can be challenging when specially inclined toward the favourites. Even prop markets are begging for value. The 'Over' 2.5, which seems the most likely result given the goal frenzy we’ve seen in the season’s warm-up run, is listed at a hefty -300. Goal markets have better value though; what is interesting to note is that the prices move from high to low where a Bayern win is concerned. A 1-0 win is listed at +1000 but a 2-0 or 3-0 win is listed at +600 and +550, respectively.
Is it as straightforward as the market suggests?
More to the point: can Borussia M’gladbach pull off the unthinkable? Well, on paper, Bayern seems to be without doubt the correct sports pick. But matches aren't played on paper, are they?
Truth be told, Pep received no favours from the schedule with an opener against M’gladbach, a side that has been a bit irksome for Bayern in the past, with the Bavarians managing to take one win in the last four league encounters (the crucial bit is they lost two of those).
Last season, they first drew 1-1 before Bayern won the reverse fixture on the road 4-3. In the season prior, during DFB Pokal, they settled on a scoreless draw before Bayern won on penalties. The history between these two in recent seasons suggests that M’gladbach does have a stake in this match after all.
Bookies aren’t putting stock in an upset when it’s listed at +1800. Yet a 2-1-1 record against Bayern in their last four league affairs suggests it’s possible in theory. A draw, just to remind football betting fans, is listed at +750. And if M’gladbach were to repeat its previous success a 2-1 victory is best priced at +4000 while a 0-0 draw is trading at +2200 and a 1-1 draw is going for +1400.
That said, they had a recent club friendly that went 5-1 to Bayern. A sign of what’s to come? Many hope so because expectations are high for the Bavarians following last year’s impressive account.
So determined is Pep to put his stamp on the most successful team in Europe however, that fears are growing that it might be to the team's detriment. There's no sure sign of a honeymoon period being over than growing criticism. Overstated tactical approach, experimental lineups and formations and capricious positional changes and tweaks that are turning the best Bayern output in years on its head are being put under the microscope and harshly scrutinized already... and the season is not yet underway. The real concern: redrawing the blueprint could have far-reaching consequences.
While Bayern has won almost every preseason match save for the defeat to Borussia Dortmund, the first match of the season is when the real pressure begins; it sets the tone for the rest of the season and the measure of a manager in earnest. It remains to be seen what happens
Football betting verdict
When all is said and done, Bayern Munich should win this match. A team as good as they are has to be able to live up to expectations. But where we disagree with the bookies is on the outcome. Don’t expect M’gladbach to be pushovers in this game at all or for the outcome to be one-sided, club friendly aside. This one is for the count. Expect them to come up with a better game plan now that they’ve had a preview of the madeover Bayern.
Share your thoughts on Bundesliga soccer in our forum!