Schalke 04 opens its 2013-2014 Bundesliga bid at home to Hamburger SV. With odds already in full swing, one thing becomes immediately clear: Schalke 04 are the runaway favourites to beat their northern rivals.
<p style="text-align:center"></p> <p><br />Will they come through on their odds or is there value on the underdog? Join us as we dissect this matchup and deliver our <a href="/soccer/" title="Free soccer picks, predictions, odds and analysis at SBRForum.com!" target="_blank">soccer picks</a> for your consideration. </p> <p><b>Schalke 04 have home ground advantage and good form</b></p> <p><img id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" alt="Image preview" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" src="/picks-pictures/JensKellerSchalke04Bundesliga_August2013_200.jpg" style="font-size:1em" />Since 2000-2001 Bundesliga action, Schalke 04 has finished runner-up four times – bit of a case of always a bridesmaid, never a bride – including the 2009-2010 season. Last year however, Schalke 04 clawed its way to fourth finish (55 points and a 16-7-11 mark) by the skin of their teeth, with a last match win at Freiburg. While a fourth place finish is indeed commendable, the manner in which they accomplished it was not. </p> <p>That account has left many indifferent towards Coach Jens Keller, who replaced Huub Stevens midway through last season, and somewhat hesitant to back him and his men in the season proper. But not the <a href="/betting-odds/soccer/" target="_blank" title="Free live and updated soccer odds at SBRForum.com!">soccer odds</a> makers though. If the overarching Bundesliga odds were any indication, Schalke is expected to perform true to past form. They are listed as third favourites (co-favourites with Bayer Leverkusen) at <a href="/soccer/free-picks/soccer-betting-2013-14-bundesliga-futures-betting-odds-a-32618/" title="Soccer Betting: 2013-14 Bundesliga Futures & Betting Odds" target="_blank">+2500 to win the Bundesliga</a> and as well at a solid -138 to clinch another Top Four finish. </p> <p>As far as this matchup is concerned, <i>Die Königsblauen </i>are hot favourites to win outright at -250. Now, summer warm-up club friendly matches have gone exceedingly well for Schalke and that augurs well towards a positive start on the season. Aside from a hiccup against Salzburg where they lost 3-1 on the road they’ve reeled off seven wins. How much takeaway is to be had from those results is debatable though when considering the quality of most of the opposition is rather mediocre at best. </p> <p>DFB Pokal, which kicked off this past weekend, began on a winning note for Schalke 04 as they beat Nottingen 1957 (OBERLIGA) 2-0 on Monday night. </p> <p>That Schalke 04 sports winning form going into the season lends value to their odds –in that the probability of a win is high for them. In terms of return on a Schalke 04 <a target="_blank" title="Free sports odds, picks, predictions and analysis, at SBRForum.com!" href="/">sports pick</a> at -250 though, the value is nominal. So if you are inclined towards <i>Die Königsblauen, </i>turn your attention to several prop markets.</p> <p> A 1-0 or 2-0 win is going for +650 each while a 2-1 win is going for +700. The latter would appear the better option (or any score that involves both teams finding the back of the net) given their history. Last season, the pair split their meetings with Hamburger SV winning at home 3-1 while Schalke won the reverse fixture 4-1 at home. In fact, in the last four meetings in domestic action both sides have scored.</p> <p>Some things to consider: Schalke 04 have fortified their defense with the acquisition of Felipe Santana from Dortmund and they’ve also added two exciting up-and-coming talented midfielders from Bundesliga 2, namely Christian Clemens and Leon Goretzka. </p> <p><b>An upset looks to be unlikely as Hamburger SV flounders in preseason</b></p> <p>A quick glance at Hamburger SV’s preseason warm-up output and there is cause for concern with a 4-1-4 output. Granted, Hamburger did face some stiff opposition namely titleholders Bayern Munich, who happily thumped them 4-0, and West Ham United, who beat them 3-1 on the road. They also did manage a 1-1 draw to Internazionale which could be hailed a success. But overall, their warm-up does leave something to be desired. It’s therefore no surprise that they are listed as the wishful underdog at +650 to win outright and even the draw seems unattainable at +350. </p> <p>Hamburger SV finished a respectable seventh in the league table last year with a 14-6-14 record and 48 points. This year though they’ve made significant moves to strengthen they have also lost one of their best prospects forward Heung-Min Son to Bayer Leverkusen as the club needed to fill the void left by the departure of Schurrle to Chelsea. It remains to be seen how this relatively new looking Hamburger SV will gel together and whether they can rise to expectations.</p> <p><span style="font-size:1em">[gameodds]11/239655/?r3=43-349-192/us&r-1=43-349-192/us[/gameodds]</span></p> <p><strong>Football betting verdict</strong> </p> <p>On paper, it’s coloured a lopsided affair with Schalke 04 emerging as the correct favourite for good reason: form and home advantage. So for those inclined towards the favourite, nobody can fault that logic. At the same time, given Hamburger SV’s past success against Schalke 04 there is a chance they might deliver the upset, although form throughout the summer doesn’t say it is so. And perhaps Schalke on the road is a tougher opener than they would have liked to begin their season on. </p> <p> That said, these two teams have played well against each other in the past and, most importantly, have scored goals aplenty. So we are plumping down to a bet on the score, 2-1 or 3-1 at +1000 at Bet365 to Schalke and our best pick for the neutral soccer fan is <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=778&book=bet365inarticle" title="Bet and win on Bundesliga soccer at Bet365.com!" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">OVER 2.5 at -163 at Bet365</a>.</p> <p><em style="font-size:1em">Share your thoughts on <a target="_blank" title="Join the discussion on SBRForum's soccer message boards!" href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/forum/soccer-handicapping/">Bundesliga soccer in our forum</a>!</em></p>