Soccer Picks Borussia M'gladbach vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Nila Amerova

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 3:56 PM GMT

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 3:56 PM GMT

Germany’s top flight serves up a top billing between Borussia M’gladbach and Bayer Leverkusen on Friday, kicking off the weekend soccer-betting menu in fine style. Here’s a primer on this tilt complete with our choice betting tips and picks.

Borussia M’gladbach declining

It hasn’t been an ideal start to the second half of the season for Borussia M’gladbach with back-to-back defeats to Bayern Munich and Hannover 96. Granted, starting the New Year on a visit by Bayern Munich, only the prohibitive favourites to win the Bundesliga title from the start of the season (a score the darlings of Germany underscore with a 13-point lead in the table ahead of week 20) and the hot favourites to win Champions League at +225 soccer odds at Bet365, was always going to be tough for Die Fohlen. It goes without saying: the defeat was hardly surprising either.

But neither was their second defeat away to middleweights Hannover 96, come to think of it. Although almost ten points separate the pair in the Bundesliga table, Borussia M’gladbach have accomplished their top table pretensions on the back of solid home form. Away form leaves much to be desired at 2-2-5 to date (which includes the 3-1 defeat at Hannover) and therefore you could argue that it was par for the course.

As a result of this disappointing start to the second half of the season, Die Fohlen have slipped down to fifth in the table with a 10-3-6 mark. What has also dropped is market confidence. In spite of a solid 8-1-1 mark at home, sportsbooks send Die Fohlen into their upcoming clash with Bayer Leverkusen as the nominal favourites. So nominal as to make it a moot point really. 

It’s a tight soccer-betting line where this matchup is concerned with Borussia M’gladbach listed at +160 to win outright while the visitors are listed a hairbreadth away at +163. Clearly, such a coy market suggests that this match could go either way. Or even in the absence of a clear favourite it could very well settle on a draw that is listed at +230 at Bet365. It’s worth noting that Borussia M’gladbach have gone without a win in their last four fixtures – they are 0-2-2.

Bayer Leverkusen flying high

Bayer Leverkusen are sat in second place with a solid 13-1-5 record through 19 laps and 40 points. Although they are 13-points adrift of Bayern Munich and with little hope of closing the gap, they must be mindful of the threats from below which include Borussia Dortmund (3rd), Schalke (4th) and Borussia M’gladbach.

Currently, Bayer own a four-point edge over their nearest threats Borussia Dortmund and are seven points clear of Borussia M’gladbach. Not unlike their upcoming hosts, they stuttered out of the gates with a dispiriting 3-2 defeat to lightweights Freiburg to start the second half of the season. An outcome that marked their second straight road defeat and saw their road form slip down to 5-0-4 on the season. It’s worth mentioning they are just 2-0-3 in their last five Bundesliga outings.

Fortunately for Bayer backers they bounced back with a victory over Stuttgart in week 19 Bundesliga betting.

Borussia M’gladbach vs. Bayer Leverkusen betting tips and picks:

Borussia M’gladbach’s recent form doesn’t inspire confidence and, as such, they are appropriately priced at +160 to win outright. That said home form has been their sole reprieve this season, which is underscored by a nine-game undefeated streak prior to the date with Bayern Munich. Taking away the defeat to Bayern Munich, it’s not such a stretch to expect Die Fohlen to bounce back. In fact, they’ve held their own against top opposition such as Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. That earlier success should send them into this game with confidence.

Bayer Leverkusen’s road form is inconsistent this season and, hence, they too are appropriately priced at +163 to win outright at Bet365 or thereabouts depending on your choice sportsbook. That said, aside from a defeat to Schalke 04, Bayer have beaten all top opposition on their travels. The other three of their four defeats on the season have come to lesser opposition such as bottom of the table Eintracht Braunschweig, Werder Bremen and Freiburg. Is this a case of being guilty of underestimating lesser opponents? They certainly rise to the occasion when taking on bigger threats don’t they.

Soccer Betting Verdict: On balance, sportsbooks have this matchup correctly priced on a tight betting market. It’s hard to predict which reality will rule on the day: solid home form or inconsistent road form. What’s more, is the drop in recent form by the hosts symptomatic of a more serious concern, the start of a steady decline? Or will home form set the record straight? Whichever side you decide to back, it’s going to be considered a good play in this current mood. For our money, our recommended soccer pick is the Over 2.5 at -125 and with both sides to score as well.

Soccer Free Picks: Over 2.5 at -125

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