This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
Once again, my no-fan betting theories proved successful in Gameweek 27 even though I went against them for one of my plays. Maybe the worst part was that I didn't even include Dusseldorf because I thought Koln were a better side. Whatever…
At the least, +275 underdogs won straight up (Hertha Berlin, Augsburg) in back-to-back weeks. More impressive is that betting the away team to score first theory is 12-3 through two weeks. The moneyline gambles, which include the two +275 plays, are 6-4. I'll take it.
Let's review the theories and results from this past weekend.
- Bet the away team to score first if the home is less than a -200 favorite
- When two fairly even teams are playing, lean on the away side
Teams to score first
Winners: Borussia Dortmund -205, Bayer Leverkusen -103, Hoffenheim -148, Werder Bremen -103, Augsburg +128, RB Leipzig -286, Fortuna Dusseldorf +148
Losers: Union Berlin +110
Winners: Bayer Leverkusen +185, Werder Bremen +190, Augsburg +275
Losers: Union Berlin +235, Hoffenheim +114
I crossed out Werder Bremen because of how they were playing, but if you abided by the theories, they cashed at decent odds in a 1-0 win. Maybe I shouldn't cross out teams.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Teams to score first
Bayern Munich -182, Wolfsburg +140, Monchengladbach -200, Freiburg +120, Mainz +100, Paderborn +135, Schalke -115, Koln -105
Bayern Munich -125, Freiburg +255, Mainz +205, Paderborn +295, Schalke +163, Koln +195
As usual, I'm removing any bet that's higher than -180, so some of the teams to score first are off the table. Getting the Bayern Munich moneyline at -125 against Borussia Dortmund is a pretty good bet because while the home team has won the last six meetings, that may not matter without fans. Bayern won the first meeting 4-0 and are the better overall team.
Even though it didn't work last week, I'm staying away from teams I don't like because Schalke are a mess. Maybe they have a better team than Dusseldorf, but they just lost 3-0 to Augsburg.
This week, I'm looking at Freiburg, Mainz and Paderborn. Of note, rosters will look different on a short week, so you may want to wait for starting lineups if you don't care what odds you're getting.
Freiburg just lost to Werder Bremen, so the public won't touch them (good for us). More useful is that Eintracht Frankfurt may be overrated at home because of a plus-nine goal differential that means nothing without fans. Freiburg may not be a good team, but they played Leipzig tight and, despite losing to Werder Bremen, they managed seven shots on goal and created 13 chances. These odds almost make no sense if you take home-field advantage out of the equation. If you don't want to go all in at +250 odds, you can grab Freiburg at -121 for a win or draw.
It's the same kind of situation for Mainz against Union Berlin, who most recently fell apart in the Berlin derby. There's no reason for Union Berlin to be favored at +135 to win. Mainz were just torched by Leipzig, but that wasn't surprising. Their matches average 3.6 combined goals, and that means anything can happen. I'm willing to bet Mainz at +205 to win against a side that has 32 goals in 27 matches (I'm ignoring that three of those goals came in the prior meeting, a 3-2 Union win). Instead of guessing who will win a high-scoring match, consider Mainz +100 to score the first goal (it's +255 to score first and win). Those aren't great odds, but they make sense since these teams are fairly even.
I'm not in love with Paderborn after their two mostly boring matches following the shutdown, but they're at least getting points despite sitting in last place. Augsburg are coming off an impressive win, but they're far from reliable. Even against Schalke, two of their three goals came in the final 15 minutes from substitutes. If you're into Paderborn, +295 to win is where the money' at. However, I prefer to bet the way Paderborn play, which leads to a win/draw bet at -106.
With new faces expected in starting lineups, I also want to focus on the better, deeper times, namely Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig. Leverkusen just handled a solid Borussia Monchengladbach team, and I'm not sure Wolfsburg have enough firepower on a short week to win this matchup. Leverkusen can replace five or six starters and still have a better team than Wolfsburg.
I know Hertha Berlin are playing well under their new manager, but Leipzig are at a different level than Hoffenheim and Union. Similar to Leverkusen, their depth will prove valuable on a short week, especially when you consider guys like Angelino and Patrik Schick were fully rested Sunday.
If you don't want to bet Leverkusen at -134 to win by itself, you can parlay that with Leipzig at -305 to win, to get better than even odds.
Freiburg -121 win/draw
Paderborn -106 win/draw
Mainz +100 to score first
Leverkusen -134 to win
OVER and UNDER
My over/under plays have been lights out the last two weekends. Following a 2-1 week, I hit on all three plays last weekend: Wolfsburg/Dortmund under 2.5 at +135, Bayern/Eintracht over 3.5 at +115 and Leipzig/Mainz over 3.5 at +133. Unfortunately, Robert Lewandowski didn't come through at +150 to score twice.
Bremen held Freiburg scoreless, but I doubt they'll get a repeat against Monchengladbach, who need wins to contend for a top-four spot. There have been at least three goals scored in eight of their last nine matches, so it makes sense to use over 2.5 goals at -165 as a parlay piece. If you want more, this has the makings of another 3-1 result and over 3.5 goals is +160.
Neither Mainz nor Union Berlin score consistently, but they both allow a ton of goals. That lack of defense will hopefully lead to goals, similar to the first meeting that finished with five. You can get decent -124 odds for over 2.5 goals between them.
I like the Hoffenheim and Koln matchup slightly more because Koln's back line has been a mess against two weaker sides (Mainz, Dusseldorf). Unfortunately, the odds aren't great unless you go over 3.5 goals at +138. The lack of a healthy Hoffenheim striker leaves some doubt, but after watching Koln the last couple weeks, I'm not sure that matters. There will be attacking on both ends of this matchup, which is why both teams to score is a heavy -235.
Despite a positive week, my parlay didn't hit after Koln failed to show up in the final match of the weekend. One of these will hit, don't worry.
Werder/Gladbach over 2.5 -165, Leverkusen ML -134, Freiburg win/draw -121 = +416
$100 to win $416